05 August 2009


I am in the throws of preparing to start official school on Monday with Ada Brooks. This is the date I decided worked best for us as far as getting everything finished I want to get through by Christmas. Other than that, its completely arbitrary - no one making us start school on Monday.

The reading program I chose is called "Phonics Museum" by Veritas Press, the leading Classical Education press. In keeping with classical education philosophy, they've incorporated history lessons into their phonics program - the readers, rather than content-less Dick and Jane type stories, are stories out of history in very basic format. And, rather than being tied to a cartoony version (see above right) of a noun that it starts, each letter is tied to a famous work of art containing a picture of something that starts with that letter.

There are cards with the letter and an image of the painting, and the kids get a coloring sheet based on the famous work of art (some art is easier to produce a coloring sheet out of.... impressionism... not so easy). On the back of each sheet is a short artist bio that the parent reads to the child.

While I was examining the curriculum to determine what all I needed to get prepared before we start next week, Eason crawled up in my lap. (He's been doing that a lot lately - marking the lap as HIS territory instead of the territory of the evil baby invader Collins...). "What's that, mama?"
Me: 'Letter cards, eas.'
So, we started going through the letter cards. You know - 'A says aaa. A says aaa. A says aaaaapple'
Eventually, we got to the L card. The work of art on it is a detail of a painting by Jean-Leon Gerome called The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer.

See Above.

So I said L says llll. L says llll. What animal do you see in the painting?

Eason says.. "A dog"

I said, "goose! that is not a dog - that is a lion."

[side note - when ada brooks was little and she started saying or doing less than brilliant things - you know - like calling a clear picture of a lion a dog when she was well past the 'learning to identify animals' stage and so should know better - we would call her a goose - like a silly goose - instead of the less than optimal other options: 1) praising idiocy (what's wrong with most of america) or 2) calling her an idge (not good for a child's security if a parent starts calling him stupid at a fairly young age....)]

back to funny child-rearing anecdote:

eason says "It is not a lion. it is a dog. it looks just like deets"

Deets belongs to our good friend, and incidentally Eason's godfather, Jacob. Deets is an imposing german shepherd named after Joshua Deets from Lonesome Dove (played by danny glover). We haven't seen Deets in months - probably four months? maybe six? and we haven't talked about him in at least two months. This amazes me about the memory children have sometimes. Ada Brooks regularly remembers perfectly events I've long forgotten. And she can find most any lost thing in the house because she remembers seeing it. Eason is seeing in this picture a dog he hasn't seen since before he started making sentences.

me, laughing: "I guess Deets kind of looks like a lion - this is definitely a lion."

Eason: "mama - think Deets can roar?"

Eas proceeds to hop down and roar around the house.
I do love him.

No comments:

Post a Comment