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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just starting more formal HSing with my 4 y.o. dd this year to work on speech tx (articulation), beginning reading & some five in a row activities. I'm meeting some resistance with her with the grammar & speech & I don't know how to handle it.<br><br>
Example: she says, "I like this one. It tastes gooder." And I'll say, "It does? It tastes better?" Even though I'm trying to mirror rather than correct (most of the time), she knows what I'm doing. And her response is, "I can say it however I want to."<br><br>
This is difficult for me because (1) I know grammar is important and (2) I am to be her teacher now so this is my job and (3) technically, she's right.<br><br>
I need some good responses for this. I start out with, "Well, if you want people to respect you and you want the same opportunities...." and all I hear in my head from a 4 y.o. level is blah, blah, blah.<br><br>
When I look at it realistically, it's not just the grammar. It's also Spanish translations (she's sitting here right now insisting that "adios" means "hello" in Spanish & she can say it that way if she wants) and sometimes math (no -- 2 + 3 is 6, Mommy) & telling time. It seems like more of an issue of teacher/student authority? Respect? Something?<br><br>
We don't have major discipline issues. In general, she's easy-going, "obedient," follows rules. She just seems to have her own ideas & be adamant about them.<br><br>
Any ideas? Or maybe my perspective is off? Is this an issue we should be working on when we start more formally? Like many, our starting day is tomorrow so it's on the forefront now!
 

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The more attention you give it, the more she will cling to words like "gooder". My DS still says "gooder" once in awhile. Sometimes he'll say it and a bit later he'll say "better" as he knows that is correct but sometimes gooder comes out.<br><br>
I wouldn't overdo it with the mirroring either since as you say she knows what you're doing and seems to resent it. I don't mean to never do it, just don't feel you need to do it every time, especially at times she's not in the best of moods (tired, hungry, etc.) She's only 4 so as long as you're saying it correctly she'll say it eventually.<br><br>
In your place, I would drop any speech activities she's resisting. Are there ones that are more like games that she'd do willingly? I think pushing activities she doesn't like will only backfire on you. I definitely agree that the mini-lectures about the importance of speaking well will be totally lost on her. You're right about the "blah, blah, blah", she'll tune you right out. I don't say this to criticize, just to let you know that I think your mama instinct about that is spot on.<br><br>
Is your DD bilingual, btw?
 

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I agree that ignoring it is probably the best strategy. If she's surrounded by people using proper grammar, she can't help but pick it up eventually. She won't have any choice.<br><br>
How is she feeling about the start of formal HS'ing? By sabotaging your efforts (ie. 2 + 3 = 6), she might be trying to tell you that she's not ready for formal learning. At the very least, I'd try to keep it light and game-based for a while.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Ask her to show you. "Oh, 2+3=6? Teach me. I don't understand"<br>
Acknowledge "It does sound like it should be 'gooder', doesn't it? It would make a lot more sense!"<br><br><br>
For a 4yo, the most I would get into is "I don't get it. Do you mean.....?" when bad grammar is used.<br>
The point of grammar is not to be respected, but to communicate easily. The grammar will come when there is a need to communicate - and if there are frequent misunderstandings, the need for grammar is intensified.<br>
Right now she's still at the linguistic stage where tried and true rules are being applied. Since English is a very screwed up language in this respect, it takes a while to learn all the nuances and special rules. Once she learns how to read, the written word will reinforce the spoken word and many of these issues will fall away.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alivia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9073615"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It seems like more of an issue of teacher/student authority? Respect? Something?</div>
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Her age.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Or maybe my perspective is off?</td>
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As annoying as it probably is, let it go. The more you try to force her to do it right, the more she'll insist on doing it her way. When my kids tell me facts that are not true, I usually just say something along the lines of "oh." Usually I can tell whether my correction would be well-received, such as the other day when Ramona announced, "Momma! 4 and 3 more is 8!" I said, "Well, it's actually 7." She said, "No, see, you have 4, and then 5, 6, 7 (as she counted on her fingers) ... oh, yeah, it's 7!" And then it suddenly "clicked" for her and she understood that you can add 2 to 20 and get 22, 4 to 80 and get 84, etc.<br><br>
Other times, if I try to correct her on something she already knows and is just saying wrong for her own reasons, she gets angry and argues. In a situation like that, I generally don't worry about correcting her and just rely on the aforementioned, "Oh."<br><br>
dm
 

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This too shall pass ... and at 4, the more you push, the more she will push back. Like a PP said, I would back off on the mirroring (do it occassionally, but not all the time), use proper grammer and pronunciation when you speak to her (like you do already), and let the rest drop. As for speech, I would try to find some games to do with her, but also remember that their attention spans are small and that suddenly going from just "living life" to "formal instruction" is huge at 4 ... I would try to still keep things as light as possible ... almost like "hiding" the formality inside games and every day life things.<br><br>
My six year old still jumbles his grammar. Like LilyGrace said above, English is a very screwed up language. When children learn a rule (for instance the ending "er" like your daughter is playing with), they will overgeneralize its use for a while. Eventually they will learn that not all words get the "er" ending and self-correct as needed. The same happens with the past-tense ending of "ed" and a myriad of other grammar "rules". Allow her the ability to play with language; imo, it is good for them to do so. It allows them to work out the rules on their own time and really get a good feeling for them as they are developmentally ready and able. Pushing her to immediately adopt the correct way of doing things doesn't give her the growth she needs to really internalize it all (again, my opinion).
 

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isn't a typical way to absorb rules and exceptions of a language? DD (5) does a lot of this in both russian (our primary language) and english, and it didn't occur to me to correct it. she is immersed in the language environments, she will process what she needs to process and will end up talking the "correct" way.
 

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<span>I would just <i>let her be</i> - there's no practical reason to correct her. Right now she's only four - a very little child - going through an age when they're asserting themselves in ways similar to how they might in adolescence.<br><br>
Doesn't seem like tomorrow is your starting day - you started long ago. If you mean you plan to <i>call</i> tomorrow this year's "first day of homeschooling," and to start behaving in a more formal way about what you're doing, I have a feeling you're headed toward even more conflict.<br><br>
I'd just keep exposing her to what you'd like her to know, and not worry about the feedback you get - she's going to know all she needs to know by the time any of it matters. For one thing, she'll have ongoing modeling of the language by you - and that's how children learn. If you think of yourself as her mom and inspiration rather than as her teacher, you might have a lot easier time with her. It doesn't mean she won't be learning every bit as much from you, but only that the personal dynamics might be a whole lot more comfortable for her, and, in turn, for you...<br><br>
She sounds like a child who might grow into a remarkable adult - I think you'd be wasting your energy and dulling your relationship if you try to change her into a docile student. Just let her express herself and her zany sense of humor - she won't go off to college trying to tell anyone that 2 + 3 is 6 or saying "gooder," but she might very well have a whole lot of fire - a tendency to think for herself, to question norms and authority. And that's a good thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Lillian</span>
 

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Just keep on presenting her with proper grammar, and let it go. She hears you talking, she's reading or being read to from books, etc. She's getting plenty of exposure to proper grammar- so she IS going to learn that. In the meantime, try to avoid making a power struggle out of it.<br><br>
I'd just be careful that she doesn't learn Spanish words incorrectly. If she knows that "adios" means goodbye and she's just testing, then that's fine. But if she actually memorizes it "wrong" then it could set her up for trouble with the language later on. But also, if it's only one word she's doing this to it's no big deal. It's just that if she does this to a LOT of vocabulary words it could screw up her comprehension of the language. (If you're a bilingual family, then she already knows the words and is just testing/playing.)<br><br>
Nobody is going to offer a 4yo a job no matter how well she articulates her thoughts! Take the pressure off of yourself- it's not going to screw up her life if she's not talking "perfectly" for several more years. Your job is to model proper speech and introduce her to new ideas- let her absorb them at her own pace.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chaos_pie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9073656"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She will outgrow it. Do as you do (repeating with correction), and move on.</div>
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I agree, I think this is the best strategy.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LilyGrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9074240"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ask her to show you. "Oh, 2+3=6? Teach me. I don't understand"<br>
Acknowledge "It does sound like it should be 'gooder', doesn't it? It would make a lot more sense!"</div>
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Yes! We do this, and when ds gets to learn/discover things for himself, not only does he not get mad at me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> , but he remembers what he learned.<br><br>
And we've talked frequently about how English and its rules don't always make a lot of sense. We laugh about it, and he tries to change how he says whatever it was that he was saying "wrong" (or right, however you want to look at it). But he still stumbles over that word for awhile, because it really doesn't make sense! By acknowledging the inconsistency of the language, I've avoided the power struggle (because <i>I'm</i> not the one making the rule - we're on the "same side").<br><br>
I need to try to find other areas where I can use this tactic. Maybe I can eliminate some more power struggles, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the perspectives. I had a feeling I might just getting the first-day jitters & it was probably no big deal. I think I'm way more touchy about it than most people to start with & I'll probably have to let that go. My dh has never used correct grammar; yet, I was an English & writing child all the way through college. Ordinarily, I'd rely on the immersion to be fine, but since dh is using words incorrectly & I've alway felt it was so important, I feel like I have to over-compensate. When I said, "I'm to be her teacher now," that comes from my thinking that if she were in school, what the teacher said would be the bottom line & it would never be Mommy's vs. Daddy's speech patterns.<br><br>
Anyway, I never thought about how playing with the language & its rules would make the learning "stick" and how we could be together on the same side with the rules on the other.<br><br>
Quick answers to questions (that can kind of double as a intro since I usually am on the homesteading forum & new to this one):<br><br>
When I say we plan to start formal schooling, I mean 3 days/week, an hour or two a day. I plan to do most of the book stuff sitting on our porch swing or in our rocker together. I am starting a year early because she definitely needs the articulation speech tx & I don't want to hire out for it. Also, I would like to get us and our friends/family used to us being unavailable for school. We go out way too much & when we're home, I'm working. With school planned, I hope I can give her more of my undivided attention.<br><br>
We are not a bilingual family. I was almost fluent in Spanish when I graduated from college and we have a huge Spanish speaking community in our town. In the house, I just use Spanish words interchangeably for English words whenever the Spanish word occurs to me first. She is picking up her Spanish that way.<br><br>
As an intro: she is my only. DH is 100% behind the HSing. We've been planning on it since she was 18 months old. We plan to do a mostly classical education approach. I know I'll learn mostly from trial & error but I still sometimes get caught up in planning. I have not been nervous about it a single day until today.<br><br>
I sooooo needed the different perspectives and I really, really appreciate it. I will remember that just because she sounds so grown up all the time, she's still little & I should never push, but keep it light & fun. I think I will learn a great deal here -- thanks for being welcoming to a newbie!
 

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I would say something like, "I'm just telling you what the rule is for saying it, what is considered the right way to say it. Of course you can say it how you want to." I'd probably even laugh when she says it 'wrong.' Of course, that's me and I don't care if my child says things properly. I consider it my responsibility just to let her know what properly is, kwim?
 

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My first is a wild perfectionist. If she can't do it right the first time, she'll keep thinking about it until she can. So no toddler talk from her at all (okay, except aminal, saying "hikk" intstead of "hijk" in the alphabet and skipping the number 15 consistently when she counted.) She didn't really get talking until 3 at all, then did it correctly.<br><br>
dd2 is a whole different story. She's three and uses the most wonderful invented words and grammer. She has her own language entirely. Thrilling to moms who didn't get any of the cute stuff with the first.<br><br>
But she is insisting on learning to talk the way we do. Even when I correct her to her own language (with a smile).<br><br>
It seems hard to overestimate the power of imitation and warm connection in the little ones.
 
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