October 19, 2007

Suh-Weeet. Modern Design Alphabet By Blue Ant Studio


This is so great. Joel created it for his daughter Isabella. Though I could get nitpicky about why G is for Gehry when K is for Konstantin, the truth is, I don't know how to pronounce Grcic, either.

And as long as Z is not for Zaha, we're three little Fonzies on this one.

update: now it's a poster, vertical instead of horizontal, and just $35.
Modern Classics Alphabet [blueantstudio via mocoloco]
Previously from Blue Ant's DIY Parenting Studio: the sweet, modern stair safety gate


Lovely artwork, but there is one issue. Every preschool I looked at for my daughter teaches lowercase letters first. It was one of the first interview questions... "Does she know her alphabet? I mean, lowercase?" And even then, they teach a phonetic alphabet which includes letter combinations like "th" and "er."

The teachers have no idea why virtually every retail toddler product pushes capital letters because all of the teaching supplies they see are lowercase, or a combination of both.

[wow, we need to step up our preschool game. we never hear 'boo' or BOO about alphabet. But it's also a really good point. -ed.]

Why do preschoolers need to know the alphabet at all, much less in both lower-case and upper-case? We're stunting our children's brains by forcing them into standard educational models when they're too young. So sad. I have a doctorate in English, and I didn't learn to read until well into first grade. Nowadays, I'd be stuck in the "slow" reading group and be labeled as too far behind.

That's one educational theory. My daughter wants to learn to read so she can read to her sibling who will be born next year. If her friends are any measure, she'll be reading by the baby's first birthday. She learns many different ways and has extensive free play. In a Montessori setting she chooses books. She also chooses to grab a sponge and clean tables. She chooses a lot of things. I'm not going to stifle her thirst for knowledge or desire for rote tasks. On the contrary, I think I'd be harming her to shield her from her interests.

[all good, of course, but different than preschools asking if she knows her lowercase letters yet, which does seem like a reach. -ed.]

im with catherine, and its a little off-topic, but does the same argument extend to teaching baby sign language? I've read too much Lacan (and listened to too much Bright Eyes), but all the language-as-law-of-the-father stuff made me think it was too much to impose any sort of organized language on an infant, but then our babysitter taught her the 'more' sign and she used it all the time, and i have to admit it was convenient. now that shes got a bunch of words i realise how nice communication is. but still, why rush it? i mean seriously, is there a reason why?

[note to self: look up Lacan and language as law of the father stuff on wikipedia -ed.]

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