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[1. Reading without Being Taught]
[2. Reading - Your Child Progresses]
[3. Teaching Babies to Read]
[4. Teaching the Five Senses]
[5. Reading to Your Child]
[6. The Beauty of Words]
[7. Integrate Learning]
[8. Physical Education]
[9. Poetry and Your Child]
[10. Emotional Growth]
[11. Teaching Science to your child]
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6. The Beauty of Words

by Aruna Raghavan

Every language is rich because man is constantly amazed by what he sees around him. It is a hard task to coin words to match the beauty in front. Yet, has man found words. And those words are the adjectives. To teach a child to see the wonder is not enough. It is equally important that we give him the words to express himself. So, we talk to him about adjectives.

We feed him the noun-adjective friends. For the one year olds : beautiful flower, round moon, sweet sugar, naughty doggy, quick squirrel... For the two year olds a little more complex and large words. By complex words, I mean complex in sounds. Gigantic, enormous, wonderful, amazing may sound difficult for the two year old. He has to get his 'r's and 's' right. So, first, he has to hear it often enough to be able to say it. But any two year old would love to say 'gigantic dinosaur',  'enormous elephant', 'wonderful waves' or 'amazing sunflower'. A three year old loves similes and metaphors. So he has eyes that shine like stars, a nose that flows like a river, hands that are helpful as maps, a shirt as black as night. The simile would be an introduction to new ideas or objects. A four and five year old will use all these words in new and correct contexts and later, in school the language and essays will be rich.

Here are small books you could make for your two plus baby. Take A4 sheets. Write large and use only one colour marker pen preferably bright red or black.  Or, you could print  font size 36, Times New Roman. Write only on one side. You could stick blank papers at the back so that  the written impression is not seen. On another sheet, draw a picture and stick it so that  it is facing the correct sentence one sentence on each page :

I have a square face ; Two round eyes ; One triangular nose ; A rectangular mouth ;

One straight hair ;  I am not a girl ; I am not a boy ; I am a little robot.


Obviously, your baby should be taught shapes- you could use the materials at home. You could also draw the shapes over and over again as your baby is watching you. Or you could cut out card boards of different shapes.

Here's a book for three and four year olds:

Page 1: I love colours.

Page 2: I love the red sunrise

Page 3: the soft red hibiscus flower

Page 4: and the juicy red water melon.

Page 5: I love the infinite blue sea

Page 6: infinite blue sky

Page 7: and the still blue kingfisher.

Page 8: I love the green fields

Page 9 : the long green grass and

Page 10: the tiny green leaves.

Page 11: How wonderful

Page 12 :that we can see colours.

Page  13: Thank God! Thank God!


Do you have to tell the meanings? Absolutely not! Just show  pictures that you stick on the opposite page. Your baby will infer. Use the words in as many occasions and contexts as you can. Show objects in your house that are red, blue, green. Each sentence can be taught as part of general knowledge too. Through this small book, your baby can be taught a vocabulary of about 30 words. Read the book as often as your baby wants, as often as you wish. Discuss the picture. Ask him to count  stars, water in a cup to make him understand the meaning of infinite. When your baby knows the book very well, you could make flash cards of the 30 words. Choose 3 sets of 5 cards each. Show your child the 3 sets very very quickly at the rate of one second a card. Do this 3 times a day (it should not take more a minute on the whole)! On the eighth day, retire a card that he knows very well and introduce a new word. From that day on, retire a known card from each set and introduce a new word.  In three weeks, your baby will be able to read 30 words. Do not attempt to teach the spelling first. That can wait.

And why should we Thank God because we can see colours? Because there are beings who can't. Imagine if we could see only in black and white.

Aruna Raghavan can be contacted at:

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