Thursday, June 23, 2011

Animal Matcher

Lathaniel, my only child who does not speak, proves to me each and every day that he is selectively mute. How could a boy who listens so well to directions and can do any task you ask of him, even more complex tasks, be unable to say anything other than "no", "cheese", "Darrien", and a handful of other words and phrases?

My conclusion is that my little man is just the smart and quiet type. Take tonight for instance. As he was conducting a nonviolent protest against using his potty, I decided to at least do a little animal identification lesson. We started with the frog and turtle in his potty seat. The scene played out like this:

Me: "Lathaniel, touch the frog."

Lathaniel touched the frog.

Me: "Lathaniel, touch the turtle."

Lathaniel touched the turtle.

No hesitation, no mix ups, just a yeah I know this swagger. Now, I know this might not sound very impressive, but here comes my terrible-mother-confession, I've never explicitly taught Lathaniel the names of the animals. Sure we read books with animals and we visited the Woodland Park Zoo last summer, but it was all casual encounters of the animal kind. Still I know, you're not impressed, but he didn't just match those animals, he also matched all the animals on the safari shower curtain (monkey,zebra, giraffe, alligator...).

So, Lathaniel may not be a genius, but he definitely is a sharp little lad, despite my neglecting to actually teach him anything. And, I guess that proves that language is acquired just as Stephen Krashen's research assured me it was.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed! Those are pretty obscure animals. I've taught Lorena dog, cat, cow and a few other farm animals, but she still only knows dog and cat. I think you're right. They learn so much more from reading and listening to their parents than from "lessons".