Today’s “Doesn’t even feel like school” idea: Go visual!
It’s so easy to get caught up in print. We read books, we write math problems, we handwrite letters, we study phonics. Over and over again, the abstractions called “the alphabet” or “numerals” forces kids to think using a mental translator. “That shape represents this concept, sound, quantity.” It’s a grueling process we have long forgotten in our adult fluency. Kids are wired to know through their direct experiences. The alphabet and numbers are representations of concepts, not directly accessible to children, hence the sometimes enormous blocks in both computation and writing/reading!
To give the mind a rest from all that translatin’: go visual. Get out of the world of words and digits. Get a camera and take photos.
For a day or a week.
Maybe you take photos of your addition facts in real life: 3 Red Delicious Apples in one picture, 4 Granny Smiths in another, put them together: 7 apples!
Mount them on paper for a math problem solved!
Maybe your child takes photos of all the items in your house that start with the sound “p.” Then your child takes photos of items that end in the sound “er.”
Stop focusing so much on paper and pen. Focus on big, lively, visual reality that is waiting for a child to explore it! Cameras give your kids a feeling of power, too. They are the directors of a scene and the view finder is their selective vision.
Send your children on a treasure hunt for the concepts you keep trying to drill into them from the desert of pencil and paper. Put them in the technicolor world and come at those ideas/abstractions from a fresh angle.
See how that goes.
Cross-posted on facebook.
Image by Shazeen Samad