Monday, May 4, 2009

The Goal

So, as I just wrote, we've been working on anatomy and geography in passing, and I am so amazed with that.  Good grief, she's 2.  The only reason I'm doing any of that is that she has already mastered everything I can find that people teach in preschool, and she is still a sponge for more.  It just seems wrong to stop giving her opportunities to learn more when she is on such a learning curve.  This is so surprising and astounding to me that as I continually fish for something new to offer her, sometimes I start to forget the goal.  Reading 1 Timothy 1 this afternoon reminded me - the aim of instruction is LOVE that stems from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.  One day this precious little girl is going to launch off into the world, and when she does, what is most important isn't how much knowledge she has accumulated.  What will matter as she makes those early, tough decisions that last for the rest of one's life is her devotion to Christ, the love and wisdom he puts within her heart, and faith to live the life he created her to live.

Human Anatomy

It never would have occurred to me to teach a 2 year old human anatomy.  Of course I taught her things like fingers and eyes and such, but I didn't think about expanding this into internal organs or anything.  A couple of months ago I was at the local children's museum, and in one of the rooms they have play x-rays of the skeletal system that kids can put on an x-ray reading screen and "read" under the light, and various diagrams of the human muscles and bones.  There was a 4 year old boy and his 2 year old sister, and I was astounded that they were identifying and naming things like the skull by looking at an x-ray picture.  And they were loving it.  So I showed my daughter a few of the things.  She thought the "patella" (I don't even know how to spell it) was a fun name for the knee cap and has really remembered that.  Well, I'm 9 months pregnant, and I have a little kids book someone let me borrow that shows the process of a baby growing in mommy's tummy and then coming out.  Probably in part because she is enamored with the idea that a baby is about to come out of me, she is really interested in the book.  I started using the real name for the different things in the pictures - like, umbilical cord, placenta, uterus, etc.  And she has really picked it up.  We've done joints, veins and arteries, and some other things like that, too.  I am constantly amazed what kids this age are capable of learning.  I guess it make sense.  She is actually eager to build vocabulary at this stage.


We have a board game called Ticket to Ride, and the board is a map of the United States with train track spaces over it. The game is way over a toddler's head, but my little one loves playing with the train pieces.  At some point, we made up a game together with the pieces where I would ask for a ticket to one of the states in which we have family, and I would then take a train and move it to that state.  She loved playing ticket holder, and through time, I realized she was learning where the different states were.  I started slowly expanding the states that we went to by train.  I realized the game board map wasn't the easiest to read because of all the train track spaces, and so I checked out a kid atlas at the library.  I started pointing to rows or lines of states and saying their names rhythmically ("North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas!") and when said in rhythm like that she picked up their locations really quickly.  She now can locate about 15 states.  Her favorite list is "Washington, Oregon, Caaaaaaalifornia, and Nevada," which she finds to be hilarious.