One morning this week my daughter had just (slowly) read “window” and then went in a corner to scribble a row of swirls on the terrace. “I wrote ‘window’”, she announced. “Nice,” I said, looking at the swirls, and trying to think of a reasonable word to suggest: “You could write the word CAT if you want.” I wrote the C and made room for her to copy it below. She started with a diagonal line. I outlined the curve of my C again and she did a wobbly C of her own. Next the A, which didn’t quite meet at the top. Then a fairly respectable T.
This isn’t the first time she has written letters. Even back in Beirut she was pointing out the Ns or As which emerged unintentionally (I assume) from her scribbles, so a year ago, well before her second birthday. But this was the first time we attempted to line up her letters in a word. Actually I haven’t put much emphasis on her writing her own letters at all as I can see it is hard work whereas reading is pure pleasure. It’ll come later, maybe when she is three or four. Or so I thought.
After lunch and nap time and all sorts of distractions, we were once again on the terrace. I had my laptop. She came asking, “Can we write HAT?” “Sure,” I said, thinking she wanted me to write it for her, even though it seemed a bit simple for a kid already reading words like rabbit and basket. So I began writing H. “Like over there!” said my daughter. When I looked where she pointed, there was H and A already lined up. She had already started writing HAT. “What’s the last letter that’s missing?” I asked. “T” she said, “like cat.” And she took a new piece of chalk and added the T. And that was that.
Clearly the cat in a hat which sat on the mat deserves some credit here.
All of the “three Rs” seem to be developing rapidly right now. She began reading two and a half months ago, and funnily enough both writing and arithmetic made something of a début this week. More on the numbers another time, but if anyone has any experience with Colour Factor or Cuisenaire Rods feel free to share, as I think it will be my next purchase on Amazon.