Tuesday, 16 July 2013

School Time

Yesterday Iona decided that she wanted to play schools with her toys. It always amuses me how even home educated children who have never seen the inside of a school want to play it, but I guess it's just the number of TV programmes and books which feature it. Anyway, she told me I had to be the teacher, and told me exactly what to say to her toys, while she observed and moved them around. After a while of her toys being told off for being late for school I saw the perfect opportunity for a bit of impromptu learning, so brought down her cuddly toy clock with the hands set to 9:00 and asked her what time this was for the start of school. She insisted on changing the time, so after telling her the new time I drew this for her:

(the name of the village was Iona's idea). I then suggested we write a register of the toys' names to mark if they were there or not. She didn't quite get the idea, and insisted on writing a separate page for each toy, but it was all good practice in writing.

After a couple of hours of "school" I was tiring, so when Iona mentioned that she'd watched "The Mr Men Show" with Daddy in the morning (while I nipped to town to buy my brother's birthday present) I had another brainwave. I asked what Mr Man or Little Miss Iona might invent. She suggested Mr Food, so I explained that almost all the Mr Men have names which describe them, i.e. are adjectives. I drew my own invention:

(red cheeks courtesy of Iona) then Iona came up with her own, Mr Hungry:

I was pleased because, off the top of her head, Iona decided he would have an open mouth and crumbs on his chin, and then drew a tongue in too. She also quickly drew Miss Sun:

She copied "Miss" from my picture, but figured out "Sun" for herself (she still reverses z and s fairly often). She then drew another figure and told me it was Miss Bossy:

I think this comes from having read "How to Be a Friend" over lunchtime; we got it the other day from a charity shop and I've left it lying around, as Iona is currently struggling with whether she wants friends as she has to share with them! This "strewing" worked: I think Iona would have rebelled if I'd suggested she read it but she picked it up herself and let me read it all through to her, leading to some good, if short, discussions.

Finally, Iona decided to again write me a few notes in the evening. The first said this:

It took me a lot of time and miming from a silent Iona to finally figure out that it said "I've lost my voice"! OK, so there's room for work on spelling and separating words, but I love that she sees writing has a point and she's keen to try it all the time.

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