Friday, January 29, 2010

Understanding Reference Materials

Hunter has been really noticing the phases of the moon lately. We have been casually talking about it every once and a while, and he usually points it out when he takes the dog out before bed.

Tonight he was (again) super excited to show me something, and begged me to come outside and see. He, pointing to the sky, told me that the moon was "moving" and also that it was full. It really was quite a neat sight, as clouds were quickly moving through the sky, giving the moon an appearance of motion. When I told him that the moon wasn't really moving, he tried to debate it with me at first ("But look at it, Mom! It really is!") and then retreated inside to get something.

I went back inside and started doing the dishes, and then saw him back outside, camped out on the lawn chair, flipping through the pages of a book about home childcare, saying, "Hmm, does the moon move... Where can I find out if the moon moves..."

Apparently he has definitely gotten the idea of books as not only sources of information in general but also as a source of a place where we can find answers to questions. After just moments of looking through that book, he jumped back off the chair and ran back to the bookshelf for another book. Seeing what he was doing, I offered some advice that perhaps he should try looking for a book that he thinks might have information about the moon in it. You know, like not just any book but one he thinks might have something about the moon?

He didn't really need much help than that and grabbed an astronomy book from the library and headed back out, sat on the chair again, and stopped when he found a picture of the moon (and explaining to me that there were "holes" in it, which I told him were called craters).

We never really got to finish our little reference book expedition because we got interrupted and he ended up going to bed, but I was excited to see him not only understanding but, more importantly, appreciating and facilitating the concept of books as a place to find things out, answer questions, and make discoveries.

"It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven..." 
Psalm 89:37
Hunter is 4 years, 10 months old

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