Friday, November 10, 2006

Guiding drawing with Isabelle

So I drew a silly, scary face on a piece of paper, and Isabelle said it needed a chin. I added a chin. She said it needed a top, and drew it on. Guided drawing was born. The one in the upper right is the original. The circles around it are ears. The smiley face next to it I did the facial features, she completed. Over on the left, I drew the bodies and she drew the faces, with eyes, hair, and ears (top only). The upper one is Mommy. The lower is Daddy. "And heres a curl, and another curl, and another curl, and another curl."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spelling, names, and school reform

Well, that Montessori School may be a liberal education, but Isabelle is learning some facts at an impressive rate. With only two months of schooling under her belt, she has learned the days of the week (at least Wednesday-Saturday), the months of the year (except November), several adorable songs, and now she is learning phonics! The other day she surprised me with "O. O is for Owen."

Knowing that Montessori was teaching phonics ahead of letter names, I asked after the sound "j," and she told me "j" was for "Jonathon." So we are having lots of fun now with letter sounds and people's names, although "b" is for "Brian" but "d" is for "Daddy" is still a challenge--an inconvenient overlap that I shouldn't have called attention to, did it by accident, momentarily forgetting my name. Hey, I have three of them. I'm "Brian" in the teacher's lounge, "Mr. Wightman" in the classroom, and "Daddy" at home.

Speaking of which, I've finally figured out where I stand on names. I've decided that it is the place, rather than the title. The school rules ask you to address teachers by their last name, that is school culture and it is respectful of people to address them as they wish to be addressed. Personally, I prefer my first name, but I don't wish to oppose the school culture. Outside of school I will happily answer to either name. Moreover, I will try to address you as you like to be addressed. I think it's a happy truce. There are arguments on both sides for the proper address of teachers, and it's not on my school reform list.