Last Friday we plunged into Child Development. Our guest and speaker was educational consultant Patricia Atwell. She specializes in the twice-exceptional student. During our meeting Ms. Atwell did not give the typical developmental timeline for our children. Instead she imparted her knowledge and a peek at the variety of ways she has known to help see the uniqueness of our children as well as the subtle or not so subtle techniques to help our children learn, focus, concentrate, enjoy, take control and even LOVE their day-to-day.
It was a refreshing way to look at my child. After I left the meeting I couldn’t help but take little glimpses or moments of time from my days as a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher and play them in my mind. So many of the points of her talk were familiar but some forgotten to me! I especially loved one handout from Ms. Atwell. She gave us what seemed to be a word scramble. It looked like a list of nonsense sentences. The goal was to try to decipher the real words or meaning of each statement.
Here is an example: Want a drain sit bores.
What???? Read it a couple more times and see if you can figure out what the sentence should be. Scroll down when you are ready for the answer.
Answer: When it rains it pours.
This particular activity pointed out how sometimes the words or meanings that we adults take for granted might not register to a child (maybe even some adults). Maybe they heard the example sentence… Maybe they only heard one word. Maybe they heard the whole thing but they just don’t know what it means!
My 3-year-old boy is quick to repeat and even use words he has just learned. This lesson helped me to remember that he is only 3 and that even if he hears it and can repeat it, it doesn’t mean he knows what it means. Here’s a funny example: He loves cars and trucks and construction and clearly knows about tires and dirt and cement. But the other day he decided to use the word “percent” while playing with his trucks. He stopped calling his construction vehicle a cement mixer and started calling it a percent mixer! Just to use the word… Obviously he is not aware of the meaning of percent!
I had a lot of thinking to do and still do. :-).
P.S. Can you use an example from home that came to mind at this MOPs meeting? Tell us about it in the comments below.