Monday, July 20, 2009

Skill Building

There are some things that we do with our four year old that he really responds to, and make long trips in the car, or early morning communications before the coffee has fully brewed much more enjoyable. Some of these are things that have emerged naturally from movies such as Meet The Robinsons or Robots or games that we play with Legos and Edublocks. Here is a short list:

Invent New Ideas Every Day - Zhen is challenged constantly to devise imaginary solutions to real world problems. His imagination is fired up in all kinds of ways, and has been very active since he was three years old and able to communicate effectively with us. He brings his ideas into his art with crayons, paint, clay, chalk, mud outside... really anything and everything. He brings his ideas into his music through the keyboard in his room, which once belonged to his father, by making up songs and learning the notes that give him is musical language. He makes up stories at bedtimes that twist and weave from beginning to end in short doses prior to falling into dream worlds which he believes he can act within. If Albert Einstein was right when he said that "imagination is more important than knowledge", then a three year old can begin the process of developing a potent imagination that will serve him or her for life. As an involved parent, you can influence this growth dramatically.

Create Music with Your Special Skill and Make Up Songs - This is how Zhen puts it to us; his music comes from a special place inside of him that he only goes to sometimes, when he wants to. The result of him going there is filled with creativity and personal meaning. As parents, the sounds that are produced are more enjoyable than Mozart.

Words: What do they mean? Invent Your Language - We encourage Zhen to ask questions about the words he hears. We do not necessarily give him the meaning to those words straight away, but instead ask him to tell us what he thinks they mean. We believe that this is a highly valuable activity that really helps develop language skills, and an appreciation for words. Zhen speaks English as his first language, and is becoming more and more proficient in Spanish each day. He has known his alphabet in both languages since he was an early three year old, and sings many songs in both languages as well.

Favorite Words - We document Zhen's favorite words from time to time as his interests change. As of 7.10.09 they include "Invisible and Camouflage"

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