Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reading Is NOT The Only Way To Learn!

Sudoku puzzles seem perfect for D; I tried to get him interested before, he did a book and then was done. When my parents came out for a visit last week, my dad was doing the puzzles so naturally, D is all into them again. As usual, just doing something isn't enough for D though, he's designing his own. He's thinking through all the things that make it a legitimate puzzle, he and my dad had a great time starting these.

This is like every computer game D plays, he isn't interested very long unless he can design the maps or something in it for himself. He wants to make his own levels, his own puzzles, his own everything. This is one of the reasons I get annoyed when someone tells me no one can learn unless they're reading or "your children can't learn if they're not in class". That is NOT true at all! Reading has restricted my own learning ability - if I can't see something in writing, it isn't really in my head. D never learned by reading, he was able to read quite well, but like most of my other boys, he wasn't able to learn that way until much later (ages 12-14 for most of them). Now he and they can learn things easily through experimenting, discussion, thinking, AND reading. For me, I've noticed if I realize or discover something, I rarely remember it unless I write it down or have read about it. It may merely be a limitation of my own brain or it may be a result of learning to read so young. It's hard to say, I learned to read at age 3, was reading quite well by 5, and now whenever I am curious about something, I go to other's discoveries and opinions to find out. D and his brothers generally go explore the subject hands-on and make brand new discoveries.

Now I'm dealing with this with the grandbabies, little A was surprised to find out what matches do. She's in daycare and is being introduced to letters and numbers but doesn't have much real world experience. Sometimes I think she's just pretending though, would a four-year-old really have never seen a match? Especially one who does go camping? Her other family has plenty of money so I don't think they sleep in tents and make campfires but still...anyway, I showed her the matches I was using, let her light one and we talked a bit about fire. This little one needs to experiment and experience the world, not be forced into a narrow path of reading other people's words only. Now I need to convince my son and little A's mom of that. They both have the idea pushed by almost everyone that reading is the only sign of intelligence, the only way to be more than a blob of nothing, it's so maddening! They're both the oldest kids in their respective families so all the mistakes, pushing, and sometimes wrong expectations fell on them. Sad. So often I wish I could go back to when big A, my first beautiful baby, was born and re-do things, make his life better, I would NEVER have allowed myself to be coerced to put him in kindergarten at age four. He was totally unready, shy, still took very long naps, how could I have been so gullible as to subject my own son to things I felt were wrong for him just because "officials" told me I should?!
Enough rambling for now, D is waiting for me to go shop for pianos, we may be able to do a payment plan, he's so excited! He LOVES his music!