Friday, March 9, 2007

Musings on John Holt. . .




I have been reading John Holt's book "How Children Learn." It sounded a little more upbeat than the prequal "How Children Fail." I'v always thought that was such a funny title. Anyway I am enjoying the book immensly and one of his suggestions has already been very popular with Angelica. He talks about how he learned to read from signs so he suggests writing signs on index cards and taping them around the house. It is important that the child watches you do this too and that you act like you are doing it for fun, not to teach them anything. (i.e. If they ask you, "what does that say?" you tell them what is written on the card instead of saying "what do you think?" or "Sound it out. because then the roose is up)

So I started writing labels and taping them to things like "bed", "floor", "mirror", "toilet". Angelica was very much in the spirit of things and demanded to make her own (john holt says let them do this even if theirs are not correct or just plain nonsense.) So Angelica decided to label "banana" on the fruit bowl with the bananas in it. Today Zita pulled "refridgerator" off of the fridge and tried to wear it, at which point Angelica laughed when I pointed out that Zita was wearing the label for the refridgerator. Angelica then insisted on having me make a label for Zita. So Zita walked around the house for a little while today wearing the label "Little girl ZIta" I wish I had gotten a picture. It was pretty cute.

Oh, but the whole point of the lovely picture of the chicken pooping is that my favorite John Holt quote so far is

" There is more real learning in a good picture (drawn by the child) than in twenty workbooks."

6 comments:

Sarah said...

That is great! I just finished a GREAT book called "Einstein Never Used Flashcards". It was similiar in purpose -- they really pushed the benefits of play and the detriment of structured instruction on young children. I LOVED it.

Scruffy McGee said...

Har! I found this'n on Steaks fine site. y' should have the kids draw ye some fish!

they likes the fish, right?

Bridget said...

That's a fun idea! How old are your girls now? Is there an age suggestion for when to start this sort of thing?

Michael knows how to read, but Teresa (3 1/2) and Kat (just turned 2) are probably ripe for this kind of fun learning!

WondrousPilgrim said...

I love that idea. but mostly I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that picture!

can't wait to see you!

Ben said...

Good, Maggie! I'm going to enter the picture as a teeshirt design on threadless.com. Be sure to vote for it when I do!

Content said...

People should read this.