Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Teachable child

My eldest child dislikes being taught things. That's ok; I try not to do Teaching Her Things. Sometimes I can offer to Show Her Things, and sometimes that's too close to Teaching. She does a pretty good job of teaching herself, mainly, and I can get by with occasionally demanding that she demonstrate something to me so that I can stay reasonably secure in our decision to accommodate her need to learn things in her own way, at this incredibly early stage of her development (she's just barely six and a quarter years old).

But my youngest middle child (eek!) quite likes being taught, though, and then demonstrating things, and getting praise or confirmation of her correctness or something.

I was really really struck by this the other day. My middle child, who is almost four, had a few bits of Lego and my top fave bit of Lego kit, the taker-aparterer. But one 8x2 standard-height brick had an 8x2 flat bit on top of it, and she couldn't separate them. She asked me to help, and I did. Then came the bit that struck me.

I said, "Here you go - shall I show you what I did?"

And she said (this was the first part I noticed), "Yeah."

And I said, "Look - you were pulling them apart the long way, and the top one bent in the middle but didn't come away. I put this thing on the other side, and pulled them apart the short way."

And she said "Ohh! I see!"

It was really quite something, at least for me.

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