Thursday, March 1, 2012


This post is to record some observations about Ryan's work. 

First is that he has been showing more control with his pen. You have seen how he loves writing letters. This is his colouring - which caught my eye because I noticed that it is really getting within the lines now. Actually he has been doing this for some time now, I can't recall exactly when he started. I only realised its significance because another blogger made the same observation about her child.

I wonder if he can colour within the lines if I show him how or if I ask him to. I myself don't bother to colour within the lines (I did the Jj in the photo, the rest were all his) and I never tell him that he must colour within the lines. We always zoom through these pseudo-colouring sheets, we never stop to properly colour the image. I don't know about Ryan, but I know I'll be bored waiting for him to colour all the images. Also, a part of me actually likes seeing him colour without regard for the lines, perhaps because I see it as a sign of creativity and childlike innocence.

Another reason is that colouring takes time and concentration, so if the point is not actually to learn colouring, I don't want to get ourselves stuck into colouring, which would shift the focus away from the point of the lesson. The page in the photo is not actually a colouring exercise, it's from a book on letters. You may have heard the story that goes something like this - a mummy/teacher gave the child a printout of a letter A and asked the child to paste pieces of coloured paper on it. The mummy/teacher thought that she was teaching the child about the letter A, but when asked what she had learned, the child said, "I glued colours on the paper", and she didn't have the faintest idea what an "A" was. So, when we go through stuff like this, I prefer to keep it simple so that the learning is kept on track. I keep our focus on the point of the exercise and, as long as we get it, we can move on.

Anyway, if I was worried that his creativity would suffer by colouring more within the lines, then this next observation would reassure me that I needn't be. This was a very simple exercise of matching upper and lower case letters. Ryan can do this without thinking so he decided to spice things up! Except for the u-U line which is a direct line, he took his pen for a long walk all over the image before connecting with the correct letter! You can see that the lines go all over before they all end up at their correct destinations (there are some green ink marks on the page that seeped through from the back page - please ignore those). I thought it was pretty creative of him, it shows some "out of the box" thinking, plus it shows that he has a sense of humour!

We bought this book (plus a few others by Sesame Street) probably a year ago, but forgot all about it. It's too easy for Ryan now, I should have brought it out earlier. It was 48 pages long and Ryan happily zoomed through the whole book in one sitting. I guess he also enjoyed it because it was easy. We do try to include some easy and familiar stuff in our home learning, as it builds confidence and provides encouragement to learn new and more difficult stuff.

I recently noticed also that, when he is creating something (colouring, writing, painting, etc), he often says, as he is creating it, that it is "nice". For example, he will say, "nice lemon" as he is colouring the lemon. It is really amusing, actually. It is probably the result of us telling him (after he has created something), "wow, your [lemon] is so nice". I think Richard and I need to come up with more words now!


Anonymous said...

Great Job Ryan!
~aunty alicia~

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