Learning Series: Amelia

There is perhaps nothing better than helping young children learn to read. The wonder in a child’s eyes as she begins to understand that the pictures and words of a beloved book she knows by heart are written in those squiggly lines right there on the page is remarkable! Watching a child learn this secret is delightful to the child, parent and teacher alike.

Talking to a child from the moment of birth is the beginning of literacy. As we talk to them, children quickly come to understand much about the world.

I got to hold a seven-month-old over the weekend during a busy dinner party while her mother ate dinner and visited with other guests. Immediately Amelia and I fell into a cadence. Amelia would notice something in the room around us. She would lock her eyes on it and reach for whatever it was. As she did, I began telling her something about this new thing.

flower vase

When Amelia noticed a flower arrangement, I said, “Vase. Leaf. Flower,” I repeated these words again and again, allowing Amelia to lead the way. As she looked from one part of the arrangement to the next, touching each part, I named them for her.

A baby’s ability to focus on a thing and explore it with eyes, ears, or fingers never ceases to amaze me. After Amelia had explored the vase, leaf, and flower several times, I pulled her back a bit. Then I said, “Vase.” Her eyes darted to the vase. Amazed and delighted, I said, “Flower.” Again, her eyes bounced up to look at the flower. We played this game until her attention wandered, and we moved on to something else.

I was struck by the powerful learning that opened to Amelia as I simply watched and responded to her. She led the way. All I needed to do was let her, then suggest a next step, something else she could know. She responded. She learned. Beautiful.





About Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be You

Principal at the School at the north end of Los Angeles Harbor where AWESOME happens. Working to make the world a little more wonder-full.
This entry was posted in Learning, Teaching and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Learning Series: Amelia

  1. franmcveigh says:

    The value of “talk” and allowing a child to lead the learning! THANKS for the reminders that we can “see” if we just slow down and pay attention! 🙂


  2. elsie says:

    What fun to observe that learning! Amelia is lucky to be exposed to opportunities of learning.


  3. Tara Smith says:

    Love the way this experience unfolded – for both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leigh Anne says:

    I loved watching my children learn about their world. Their curiosity is at such a peak when they are little like that. What a fun experience for you – for both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a joy to spend time with a little one and learn together!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jarhartz says:

    Hmm your teacher’s eyes show the huge importance of this seemingly natural act so many parents do with their infants. Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

    • daywells says:

      Seemingly natural – for some. Big push to help parents know the importance of talking to their children. I think helping parents and caregivers and relatives info on the power of watching and responding to a child could be rewarding for all.


  7. May I just tell you how wonderful it is that you offered to hold someone else’s baby while they ate? I loved it when people did that for me and try to return the favor whenever possible. (I loved everything you wrote about teaching and literacy, but I had to pay homage to what you did since I found that a rarity when my daughter was small.)


    • daywells says:

      I remember the exact same thing. Unaware that you haven’t gotten to eat for caring for your child… I remember people saying things like, “oh, you’re still eating?” Aye! Looks like you are really enjoying your lit human! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s