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Some Kids I Have Known
Teaching Ross, Our three year old

Ross is beginning to develop his large muscles first in his arm by having him first learn to draw large circles on a blackboard attached to the wall. The control of larger muscles first, is necessary in order for a child to develop the smaller muscles necessary to write.

He is beginning to have a more relaxed control when drawing the smaller letters also. He is now spelling his name orally and beginning to write it with less tension. We use the cookie sheet with sugar sprinkled on it for him to practice his letters. It is an easy matter to simply shake the pan and have a "clean slate" on which to work. This is a tactile exercise. Feeling the texture of the sugar (you may use salt or sand) registers on the brain more completely than just holding a pencil to make a mark.

We are learning geography and today I was surprised for him to voluntarily point out the country of Australia. He also informed me it would be better if, "I had a globe instead of a map!" I have video tapes of the various countries. They are interesting and it is amazing how a child would rather watch them than some of the simple children's shows on televison. Ross was particularly fascinated with Venice where they have streets for roads over which boats travel, instead of cars. It recognizes the boot called Italy and can point out where Venice is located.

I try to be alert to teach scientific principles. Yesterday when he was over filling a glass causing it to run over, I took an empty glass and put various objects into it until I could get no more into it. I told him, "when something can no longer hold anything else it has reached its capacity as to its volume." Interestingly enough, he seemed to understand and was ready to quit pouring more water into the glass.

To practice the letter H today we looked through an old magazine in order to find things beginning with H. We couldn't seem to find much. There were Hedge Hogs, Helicopters, and Holly. There were many pictures of people so we looked for hair. We actually found pink hair, short hair, long hair, curly hair, very straight hair, white hair, and more. After we tore the page out we then tore the picture out using our fingers. This is to develop cortical opposition and really is better for development than cutting with a pair of scissors, although they love to do this also. Cutting with scissors is sometimes harder for a four year old and we did much better with tearing the paper. We then took all the H words and pasted them to a bright colored piece of light cardboard paper, upon which we used a heavy black marker to draw the letter H at the top. If you use a pencil to draw the letter on first, it is easier for the child to try to follow the lines already there. There is no rush, at this point one is simply introducing the letters anyway. With repetition they will learn them at their own pace.

For our craft work we gathered Pine cones from the tree out front. We looked for the smaller ones. In a paper egg carton we poured melted paraffin over cloves and the pine cone setting in the place where the egg goes. We discovered we should have cut the egg carton up to its individual holders first, but we managed as it was. Be very, very careful with this step if you even want to do it at all. Ross has a good understanding of the heat since they have a wood stove. Some children may not. Working around a stove is always an "iffy" thing and you may not wish to do it. We took the egg carton outside, since it was very cold today, the wax set up quite nicely. It held the cloves and the Pine cone. These are something his mother can use as starters in their outdoor grill. With cinnamon and more cloves added this can also be a nice potpourri, hanging on a string in the closet.

We discussed the word Guacamole since this is what we had for lunch. I showed him the letter G, told him how the English pronounce it and then how the Spanish language is different and how they pronounce the word. I spoke a few phases to him in Spanish and it was a thrill to catch his attention, in that he didn't understand what I was saying, and then, how he laughed when I explained it was another language other than the one we speak. Since we knew about Venice, I was able to tell him about the Italian language. Tomorrow we are going to start with the Lisbon video tape. Let's see! What do they speak?

On our Christian teaching I am concentrating on how the Master teacher Jesus emphasized the need to "listen."

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