Saturday, 16 February 2008

Ways of learning

I witnessed an interesting facet of Colin's personality yesterday. He has been emerging as a very bright boy, quick to pick things up and a memory to retain things instantly. I got the chance to actually witness him in his learning mode.

Tired of hearing "Baby Baluga" for the umpteenth time, I told Colin I had a new song to play for him. I turned on "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" and started to sing along. Colin turned to me and said sharply "No sing Mommy!"

I'd never been told that before by Colin, and so I stopped and watched to see what would follow. Colin stood perfectly still, staring at the CD player as the song played on. He didn't move a muscle for the entire track, just listened intently. As the last notes died away, he turned to me and said "Mountain again?"

I reset the song and then turned back to him. This time, he danced and sang along, catching all of the timing, and most of the melody and words. I was amazed that he had not only picked up the form of the song, including the actions, but that he seemed to remember in which order the verses came!

However, even more amazing was later that evening, as I was putting Colin to bed, he requested "Mountain" as his lullaby. Being short on time, I sang him the first verse, kissed his head and started to leave. He promptly sat up and said "six white horses!" I couldn't fool him. He knew there were more verses. I obliged him verse two, after which he declared "see her!", requesting verse 3. He proceded to guide me through the entire song.

Okay, so this was a bit of a mommy-bragging blog entry, but it wasn't the intelligence of my son that got me about this experience. It was that I got to witness the process of how he assimilates information. I think back to him standing there in the kitchen, eyes locked on the CD player, requesting complete silence. I could see him drinking in everything, as though this was the only chance he had to learn it. And then at the end of this process, it was all there, in his head.

There are many different ways people learn, and I'm grateful to have seen one of the ways Colin does. I think understanding him will be key for me as I try to teach him at home and help him learn throughout his life.

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