Friday, July 1, 2011

Telling in a World of Visuals

There are so many people that have a great eye for detail - in the images they see, in the room they sit in, and in the things they do.  I am not one of those people.  I am a reader, so my mind's eye captures what it needs in my head and most of the time - is told correctly and/or conveyed to others correctly.
Children begin language by conveying their thoughts or what they've heard by one great big retell! As they get older they refine, learn new vocabulary, new structures to become so much clearer in the process. Every family member loves to hear the first story coming from the youngest member of the family and then watch out - it just keeps coming!
In today's world, I think children can sometimes miss out on great storytelling elements.  The world is full of visuals everywhere, besides old-fashioned TV, new technology Hi-def TV, DVDs, games from PSP to Cubes to iPads and things I probably don't yet know about!!  Don't get me wrong - I love technology - the good and bad, but I also like technology in moderation for our children.  Do I want children to get to know technology?  Absolutely!  Do I want them to get to know technology on their own or at school?  No!  Really, I don't! By all means, keep learning at school, but begin with family at home.
Years ago, the way I learned a story, was by word of mouth or reading.  As I got older, movies and television, but you know what? I did it with my family, or a family member.  When my mom was growing up, stories came by word of mouth and books.  My grandmother, mostly word of mouth, because she didn't get to go to school until much later.
But now, wow!  Stories are right here at our fingertips - live it with your child. If they are going to do a video - do it with them.  When they are going to sleep at night - iPad stories with mommy and daddy and/or big sister and/or granddad.  Somethings should never change!
The finer elements of language are shared - the learned vocabulary that is ever growing is shared - the nuances of language are shared and learned there. We are the best examples for our children, they can't learn the best items of language on the video or computer, they are going to learn the best joke from their brother, the best new word from mom, and the best fairy tale from the grandparents.  Can't you just hear it!!!  or see it!!!
Friends telling the story - 'The Mitten' by Jan Brett

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