Friday, November 20, 2009

Summer taking over Spring

We've had some insanely hot weather for Spring, days nearing 40C and it's only Spring. Admittedly it's nearly Summer, but we seem to have bypassed Spring, which is a shame because I love the in-between seasons! Extreme weather is no friend of mine.

We have spent the week watering the garden constantly, and covering the more delicate of the seedlings over with umbrellas during the heat of the afternoon sun. The pet rats started behaving strangely this afternoon so we had to move them outside and spray them with cold water. They soon perked up and wandered about chomping on grass and other goodies.

Stylish has been busily decorating the indoor cage for the rats with hand sewn hammocks, and various things for them to climb on and rest in, they are loving life! And she learns so much from her little projects. Needle craft is such a useful skill, as is caring for pets, and providing all their sustenance, which she does with vigour!  

Her pet frog is starting to call for a mate. I think he should be re-named Pavarotti, but .... what would I know. Their names are Hansel and Gretel. She hopes they will breed and that she can sell them for billions of dollars. Owing to the fact that the two she has cost her $50 of her hard earned pocket money, I think it's possible that she can make something off their breeding habits. 

Spikee has developed a sudden interest in writing so I bought him a wipe clean numbers book and he is happily tracing the numbers (well, scribbling on them anyway). He amazed us all with his ability to circle certain things and draw lines between things that are connected - like a lamb and a ewe, a foal and a mare. He rather impressively understood their relationship of mother and child, which I was interested to see. Sometimes we forget how many things small minds can absorb in their daily existences. Who ever compared them to sponges was onto something. 

Watching the children learn by simply living reminds me each day that the natural learning process works! I know that I struggle with de-schooling myself, more than the children struggle with it, especially Spikee because he has never been institutionalised. I really wonder about how literacy develops without a structured system being imposed on the children, but from discussions that I've had with other parents .... it just does! How could a child grow to adult hood without learning to read in our culture? Our culture relies so heavily on reading and writing skills, that it would be impossible!  Having grown up with an English teacher as a mother, this is really departing from my own early belief system though, and that's why I often have questions or niggling worries. However in a recent discussion on a forum I frequent a member told me that an illiterate adult can learn to read, or learn the skills which make reading possible, in just 30 hours. With Stylish being fully able to read by the time she was pulled out of the institution, I never witnessed the amazing ability to self learn that so many natural learning families have experienced. I guess I just have to resign myself to a bit of waiting now that I have that information on board!


Tinkr said...

In regards to letting kids learn to read naturally, we are going through that phase now with my eldest.
She is 5, I have encouraged her learning the alphabet, reading stories to her, explaining the sounds of the letters. We play eye spy with letter sounds, computer games and other games and puzzles. She has been writing individual letters for a few months and is lately asking me to spell out words that she wants to write and she can sound out three letter words to read them.
It has been hard for me to not try to 'teach' Evie to read and just trust she will pick it up. Evie get frustrated with people trying to 'teach' and so it's counter productive. She is certainly flying along with her learning though.
Just trust, it will happen.

Alice and Mother said...

Thanx for your thoughts! I appreciate hearing about other family's experiences of naturally learning to read.