Saturday, October 6, 2012

Playing school

For the nerd family of four looking ahead to a three day weekend, the view from Saturday looks long.

Perhaps sensing this, Beanie and Bubbie, entirely on their own initiative, chose to undertake some learning.

Beanie has been teaching herself how to read and write Korean, with the aid of a series of video lessons on DVD that my father gave her, some old hangul workbooks from when I was sent to Saturday morning Korean school, and some Korean translations of favorite children's books that we received from my sister-in-law. Whenever I watch Beanie sit down with her Korean lessons, I always wish I had her persistence. When an eight-year-old is determined, she can be a small force of nature. I feel like all I can do is stand back and let her give it a go. So, that is the lesson I am learning from her.

As Bubbie was getting dressed, with me hovering around to make sure he actually got dressed, he said that he had a big question - are mammoths related to elephants? Even though they are extinct, he quickly added. This led to reading about mammoths online - they are more closely related to Asian elephants than African elephants, which I did not know - and then to Bubbie's decision to write a book about what he had learned. This became a way for me to sneak in a bit of handwriting exercise :) Bubbie typically resists explicit instruction from me. He likes to learn together with me, which I think in part is why he likes to ask big questions. Bubbie reminds me that treating a kid as a partner in learning is important.

It is pretty to think the rest of the weekend will be like this.

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