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Monday, February 27, 2006

Second-Hand Learning

My almost 4 yr old loves to spell words now. Whenever we're in the car, he likes to ask me how to spell out objects he sees along the road. We passed by a gas station this evening on the way to dinner, and he asked me how to spell GAS. He actually knows, but as always, he likes to goof around and say it's spelled as GS. I reminded him that he's missing a vowel in the middle. All of sudden he blanked. . . . . vowel? What vowel? He had learned his vowels early on so he may have forgotten. As in the past, I sang a modified Old MacDonald song to help him learn the vowels (Old MacDonald had a farm, A-E-I-O-U, etc). To remind him of his vowels, I started singing the song with "Old MacDonald had a farm. . . . . . " and waited for him to finish the rest. There's silence.

A couple of seconds later, out of nowhere, his younger brother piped in with a very soft voice and sang the rest "A-E-I-O-U." I was so shocked! He knew that? He's not even two yet!! He actually said "A-E-I-O-U" very clearly. I was so impressed. This boy of mine doesn't even talk yet, just words here and there. He is my more musically inclined child so when I heard him say the vowels tonight, I was truly surprised and impressed. Because he's younger, I have not been intentional in formally instructing him. However, he sees and hears his bigger brother do school on a daily basis so he picks these up without me knowing. This is what I call second-hand learning. I just love it.