As I walked into the classroom this morning, one of the two year old’s handed me a ball and asked “Can you pay attention with this?” She meant, of course, that she wanted my attention, which I was more than happy to give. Later in the gym, she said “excuse me, Ms. Foster, can you push me?” How very polite!
Children gain language at their own pace and in their own way, this child being a bit ahead of the game, but her words started me thinking about my own children’s language. “Appropriate” was and is a big word around here. In preschool, it was not uncommon to hear one of the boys tattling on his one of his brothers, “he’s saying ‘propiate words!” And “actually”, though it was often pronounced “akshee”. “Akshee, I had that toy first.” Then there are the silly mix-ups, like the time Boy 1 stated something so evident that his younger brother had to comment. But instead of calling him the old favorite, ‘Captain Obvious’, he coined the moniker, ‘Doctor Oblivious’. I think this works for all of us at one moment or another in our lives!
Words enrich our lives. They bring meaning and color and taste to the world. Children learn so much when interacting and conversing with others. Reading books, discussing articles, asking questions, and sharing stories play an important part in our household. Here are just a few ways words are enriching our home in the past few weeks:
- We are currently reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, a favorite of mine from childhood. The boys ask plenty of questions, like what’s a trundle bed? Are they going to talk about food through the whole book? Are the Big Woods still there? I welcome the questions, because they show they are listening and learning.
- We read interesting articles about current events at dinner and discuss. Young people can have incredible insights.
- We play Three Good Things at dinner time, relating high points from our day with each other.
- When we speak with our children, we use language we would with adults (such appropriate and actually), and explain when they need us to.
- Shows or movie are watched and discussed together. We have great conversations going around this season’s Biggest Loser!
- Games! Boy 2 has beaten me a number of time in Scrabble, but any game is a good reason to socialize.
Feel free to share how words enrich your lives!