I’ve just returned from a trip to Germany and Denmark. I’m semi-literate in German - I can read the street signs and menus; the newspapers are tough. I’m functionally illiterate in Danish, although knowing the word “ikke” (not - negates the phrase) helps amazingly well when close to a lawn (don’t walk here), or water (don’t drink), or a picture of a bicycle (no riding) ... Paying and counting change in unfamiliar currency is also a challenge. It reminds me how important it is in today’s world to be able to read, write and tabulate.
I’ll be singing at a Teddy Bear Picnic in Corvallis, Ore. tomorrow. It’s a program for mostly preschoolers and their families. We’ll be chanting and counting how many Teddy Bears are jumping on the bed, playing with words as we create new lyrics to “Teddy Bear’s (aka Alligator) Pie,” and for the grown ups, experiencing how to create learning opportunities as we interact with our children.
On our way to the park, beach, or during a walk around the block, summer offers a variety of opportunities to sing, explore, discover and discuss. And by doing this, we create a foundation of knowledge upon which our children can apply their school learning, when September rolls around.