Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's a Trapezoid, Mommy!

"It's a trapezoid, Mommy!" Hunter said holding up his cracker. He was actually eating triangle-shaped crackers, so at first I assumed he was wrong. But as I turned around to look, lo and behold, it was indeed a trapezoid as the top had been bitten off and the new shape was a four-sided form.

I had forgotten that he knew those shapes. A while ago I made him some cards with various shapes on them and showed them to him, but I never tested him so I didn't really know if he learned them. Guess he did.

When I made the cards, at age 2 1/2 Hunter didn't know any more shapes than a circle, square and triangle. Most children's books about shapes only have a few shapes and the list is rarely complete. So I decided to make my own.

Some people loath flashcards as if they're child abuse, but it is putting no more "pressure" on them than reading a book would. He loves the flashcards I make him because I show them very quickly (less than a second per card) and he simply gets the pure, straight-forward information in a fun and easy way without long, silly lessons or slow, boring drills.

Knowing the names of a variety of shapes makes him notice details in things, as in the case with this cracker today. As I've pointed out so many times before, useful encyclopedic knowledge is not just "trivia", but is indeed a springboard to a great big world of new learning. Being able to recognize and name a variety of shapes extends far more than just pointing out which card is which in a set of a dozen flashcards, but opens the doors to lots more learning all around.

"Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see."
Isaiah 42:18

I also have some cards of regular polygons. I never tested him on these before but I see now that he has learned them just as quickly and just as easily as he learned circle and square, being able to instantly see the difference between an ennegon and a decagon.

It's a great big world full of wonderful things to learn about. Shapes is a splendid thing worth teaching your child.

"And all the doors and posts were square, with the windows: and light was against light in three ranks."
1 Kings 7:5
Hunter is 2 years, 10 months old

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