Wow, what a week. It seems that I am the father of at least two geniuses (how did that happen). First of all Boy-Boy informed me that the shape I had drawn for him wasn’t a diamond. It was in fact a rhombus. This in itself was bad enough, but as he told me, he gave me a look of such patronising pity that I felt unworthy to even be in his presence. Whenever I am around him now at home, I have started to wear a long conical hat with a big “D” on it. He will usually look at me with a vaguely superior look in his eye, something which I think does not really suit a three year old.
Later in the week I helped Fraboo do her reading. I’m sure you will remember in a previous post I expressed my displeasure at her reading scheme. Well I think that it’s only fair to inform you that it has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime! True, Fraboo’s reading ability has come along in leaps and bounds, and the stories she reads, are now that rather than a series of observations about a cat stuck in a tree (Look the cat is stuck. He is stuck in the tree. It is a brown tree….).
The offering this week was a revelation in just how much her reading had improved! Dealing with palaeontology as a central theme, the book we read was called something like “REVENGE OF THE PTEROSAURS!”. In the story the protagonist, a father pterosaur, searched for food for his brood. Everywhere he looked there was always another predator which beat him to the grub, and we were told very many times that “This is no place for a Pterosaur”. In a clearly prehistoric landscape, I think it would be fair to argue that this was exactly the right place for a Pterosaur. If the book was set in a tourist packed Piccadilly Circus, the author probably would have had a fair point, but perhaps, I am being a touch pedantic.
In this particular yarn Fraboo was introduced to at least four new words; Pterosaur, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus and Rex. These are brilliant words, and ones with which I fully expect her to become acquainted in due course. However, I don’t think that it is unreasonable to place these words a long way down the priority list. I would prefer that she become familiar with words which have a little more regular usage. Words like antennae or harpsichord, would have been slightly more relevant. Or perhaps a word like because.
Whilst I love reading, and am pretty good at it too, I realise that I don’t understand how someone learns how to read. Like a famous sports brand, I just do it. But asking a child to sound out words (D-O-G is dog) and then to introduce them to very long and relatively obscure words, with silent letters in them, is a bit unfair.
I understand that children do very often love dinosaurs, and that this might be a very good way of providing them with an engaging subject matter. Would it not be better to describe them as the flying dinosaur , dinosaur with three horns, and fierce dinosaur? If the parent is really interested or knowledgeable (like me) they could tell their offspring the name of the creatures shown. But instead I found myself getting more and more frustrated as Fraboo tripped over latin names.
Of course as an avid fossil collector in my younger days, I took the opportunity to offer Fraboo some pearls of my wisdom. But she didn’t seem remotely interested in knowing that scientific research now suggests that T.Rex was not an apex predator as is commonly assumed, but was more likely to be a scavenger. Curiously, she had never seemed more eager to go to sleep, and I had to nudge her awake more than once as I regaled her with interesting nuggets of information about the fearsome beasts.
Over the next week or so we can look forward to titles such as “THE ALLOSAURUS ATTACKS”, “THE DIMWITTED DIPLODOCUS” and “THE ARCHAEOPTERYX (or how pterosaurs grew feathers).
Anyway I’d better go as Boy-Boy is coming back from kindy and I have no idea where I put my hat!