Kindergarten has started.
In addition to the new routine of packing lunches and peanut-free snacks every day, we have been also adjusting to the introduction of homework.
The homework is not particularly grueling for a five-year old but we have found that the requirement to sit down and complete exercises and reviews can draw out somewhat with our daughter’s need for frequent breaks to get the wiggles out.
We have tried to make the sight word exercises fun, almost puzzle/game-like when we get to those. This homework time has also proven enlightening in a comical way which I’ll get to in a few paragraphs or so.
The Sensory Alphabet Discs and Sensory Word-Building Blocks we built out of simple, cheap wooden craft store materials have helped a lot in this area because our daughter can move the letters around to form new words and un-jumble letters to form the correct words. We plan to keep a few letter discs in baggies within her backpack for the word endings that the kids are working on each week. This way, when boredom strikes, she can always take out that tupperware lid and letter disc-baggy and word-build on a whim.
Using the letter discs has made sight word exercises a little more fun and exploratory for our little girl.
After some time working on the development of new words, our daughter came to a new exercise that seemed very simple.
It was an optional drawing exercise to close up the lesson. The assignment said, “Draw a picture of a cap”.
Our daughter drew what appeared to be either a nose-diving pregnant sea-horse or one of those dreadful head-kerchiefs that the unstylish masses sported years ago. (Unexplainably, I believe I still see those awful things in accessory stores from time to time.)
I asked her why she drew her “C-A-P Cap” like that. What were all those vertical lines, really?
And she said to me, “Those lines are those bumpy things on top of the cap. You know the ones on daddy’s BEER CAP???!!!”
There is no way that, in the 5.5 years of our daughter’s life, that we have failed to impart to her the OTHER meaning of “C-A-P”. I mean, I could see that a five year old might not fully appreciate the concept of a “melting polar ice cap”, or the more metaphorical verb form of “capping the night with a toast!”.
But, surely, at some point we used that word to highlight something we wear on our heads to enjoy or play sports or to cover our ears in the cold?
Could it be possible that whenever her kindergarten teacher introduced the word “Cap” to the young students that images of her dad enjoying a nice cool brew with dinner popped into her head with nary a thought of the human-head covering type?
I can just envision how this lesson might’ve panned out in a classroom environment if I hadn’t caught it in time to teach her the other meaning of “Cap”…
Teacher: Blogger-Daughter, can you use the new word “Cap” in a sentence?
Blogger-Daughter: Yes, teacher, I can! My mom always says, “Why is there a beer cap in the food disposal, again???!!!”
I think I know what we will be doing tomorrow.
I am going to go through all the projected sight words for the rest of the year to see if there are any other spring-loaded tricky ones (like this one) in our future that I need to head off at the pass.
But, this was a great exercise in the end.
We are really getting to use those sensory letter discs.
There appears to be some early childhood literacy happening.
And, now our daughter officially understands that the word “C-A-P” can also refer to a very innocuous head garment.
It only took nearly 6 years to make that last one happen.
But, really, guys- let’s take another look at that picture she drew.
Those are some pretty impressive beer-cap ridges, don’t you think? That is some real attention to detail!
And, really- is she even WRONG?
I completely agree with you.
HAVE YOUR KIDS SURPRISED YOU WITH THEIR WORD DEFINITIONS YET?