Archive for Lenz Family

Childish misconceptions

Have you ever wished you could know what a baby was thinking? After they’ve begun to develop language, we get to peek inside their toddler minds. As children grow, they make continual refinements to their model of the world. Along the way, they come up with some pretty funny misconceptions. I think this is part of the process of learning in general. Misconceptions are essential stepping stones to learning.

realsid on TwitterLast year is when I dropped the bombshell. I told Lucas (3) that Sid from Ice Age was not actually real. I then proceeded—cold-hearted father that I am—to show him an interview with John Leguizamo on YouTube. Lucas had a sort of stunned look on his face as his brain scrambled to make sense of what he was witnessing. “That’s clearly Sid’s voice…but that’s not Sid…” It took him a few minutes of follow-up questions and explanations before he finally accepted that Sid was a fictional character. I felt mean, but I also liked that he had this newfound realization. The next thing he asked, looking to me for reassurance, was “But Diego—he’s real, right?” I think I may have (or at least should have) waited until the next day to introduce him to Denis Leary. You can only take so much world-shaking in a day.

A misconception I had when growing up had to do with chewing gum in bed. My mom told me that I mustn’t go to bed with gum in my mouth, because it might end up in my hair. I always wondered at this mysterious process—how the gum would work its way deeper into my mouth, up through my head, out through my skull, and into my hair. In any case, I didn’t want to test it out.

And then there are the verbal idioms we pick up without having any idea what their origin is. This is fine except when we don’t get it quite right. Oftentimes, these don’t surface until we write them on paper. My mom used the phrase “for all intents and purposes” quite a bit. So did I. Except that I always said, “for all intensive purposes.” It pretty much sounds the same when you say it out loud. The fun thing with Google is that you can find other people making the same mistake you made. I didn’t realize my mistake until college, but Google reassures me that there are about 406,000 other people making the same mistake, so I don’t feel so dumb.

Misconceptions are a part of life and learning. They can be funny sometimes. Do you have any favorite misconceptions or delusions you’ve labored under for some part of your life? Or stories about how your kids have made humorous conclusions about what’s true or how things work?

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Childish misconceptions

Have you ever wished you could know what a baby was thinking? After they’ve begun to develop language, we get to peek inside their toddler minds. As children grow, they make continual refinements to their model of the world. Along the way, they come up with some pretty funny misconceptions. I think this is part of the process of learning in general. Misconceptions are essential stepping stones to learning.

realsid on TwitterLast year is when I dropped the bombshell. I told Lucas (3) that Sid from Ice Age was not actually real. I then proceeded—cold-hearted father that I am—to show him an interview with John Leguizamo on YouTube. Lucas had a sort of stunned look on his face as his brain scrambled to make sense of what he was witnessing. “That’s clearly Sid’s voice…but that’s not Sid…” It took him a few minutes of follow-up questions and explanations before he finally accepted that Sid was a fictional character. I felt mean, but I also liked that he had this newfound realization. The next thing he asked, looking to me for reassurance, was “But Diego—he’s real, right?” I think I may have (or at least should have) waited until the next day to introduce him to Denis Leary. You can only take so much world-shaking in a day.

A misconception I had when growing up had to do with chewing gum in bed. My mom told me that I mustn’t go to bed with gum in my mouth, because it might end up in my hair. I always wondered at this mysterious process—how the gum would work its way deeper into my mouth, up through my head, out through my skull, and into my hair. In any case, I didn’t want to test it out.

And then there are the verbal idioms we pick up without having any idea what their origin is. This is fine except when we don’t get it quite right. Oftentimes, these don’t surface until we write them on paper. My mom used the phrase “for all intents and purposes” quite a bit. So did I. Except that I always said, “for all intensive purposes.” It pretty much sounds the same when you say it out loud. The fun thing with Google is that you can find other people making the same mistake you made. I didn’t realize my mistake until college, but Google reassures me that there are about 406,000 other people making the same mistake, so I don’t feel so dumb.

Misconceptions are a part of life and learning. They can be funny sometimes. Do you have any favorite misconceptions or delusions you’ve labored under for some part of your life? Or stories about how your kids have made humorous conclusions about what’s true or how things work?

Comments off

Childish misconceptions

Have you ever wished you could know what a baby was thinking? After they’ve begun to develop language, we get to peek inside their toddler minds. As children grow, they make continual refinements to their model of the world. Along the way, they come up with some pretty funny misconceptions. I think this is part of the process of learning in general. Misconceptions are essential stepping stones to learning.

realsid on TwitterLast year is when I dropped the bombshell. I told Lucas (3) that Sid from Ice Age was not actually real. I then proceeded—cold-hearted father that I am—to show him an interview with John Leguizamo on YouTube. Lucas had a sort of stunned look on his face as his brain scrambled to make sense of what he was witnessing. “That’s clearly Sid’s voice…but that’s not Sid…” It took him a few minutes of follow-up questions and explanations before he finally accepted that Sid was a fictional character. I felt mean, but I also liked that he had this newfound realization. The next thing he asked, looking to me for reassurance, was “But Diego—he’s real, right?” I think I may have (or at least should have) waited until the next day to introduce him to Denis Leary. You can only take so much world-shaking in a day.

A misconception I had when growing up had to do with chewing gum in bed. My mom told me that I mustn’t go to bed with gum in my mouth, because it might end up in my hair. I always wondered at this mysterious process—how the gum would work its way deeper into my mouth, up through my head, out through my skull, and into my hair. In any case, I didn’t want to test it out.

And then there are the verbal idioms we pick up without having any idea what their origin is. This is fine except when we don’t get it quite right. Oftentimes, these don’t surface until we write them on paper. My mom used the phrase “for all intents and purposes” quite a bit. So did I. Except that I always said, “for all intensive purposes.” It pretty much sounds the same when you say it out loud. The fun thing with Google is that you can find other people making the same mistake you made. I didn’t realize my mistake until college, but Google reassures me that there are about 406,000 other people making the same mistake, so I don’t feel so dumb.

Misconceptions are a part of life and learning. They can be funny sometimes. Do you have any favorite misconceptions or delusions you’ve labored under for some part of your life? Or stories about how your kids have made humorous conclusions about what’s true or how things work?

Comments off

Childish misconceptions

Have you ever wished you could know what a baby was thinking? After they’ve begun to develop language, we get to peek inside their toddler minds. As children grow, they make continual refinements to their model of the world. Along the way, they come up with some pretty funny misconceptions. I think this is part of the process of learning in general. Misconceptions are essential stepping stones to learning.

realsid on TwitterLast year is when I dropped the bombshell. I told Lucas (3) that Sid from Ice Age was not actually real. I then proceeded—cold-hearted father that I am—to show him an interview with John Leguizamo on YouTube. Lucas had a sort of stunned look on his face as his brain scrambled to make sense of what he was witnessing. “That’s clearly Sid’s voice…but that’s not Sid…” It took him a few minutes of follow-up questions and explanations before he finally accepted that Sid was a fictional character. I felt mean, but I also liked that he had this newfound realization. The next thing he asked, looking to me for reassurance, was “But Diego—he’s real, right?” I think I may have (or at least should have) waited until the next day to introduce him to Denis Leary. You can only take so much world-shaking in a day.

A misconception I had when growing up had to do with chewing gum in bed. My mom told me that I mustn’t go to bed with gum in my mouth, because it might end up in my hair. I always wondered at this mysterious process—how the gum would work its way deeper into my mouth, up through my head, out through my skull, and into my hair. In any case, I didn’t want to test it out.

And then there are the verbal idioms we pick up without having any idea what their origin is. This is fine except when we don’t get it quite right. Oftentimes, these don’t surface until we write them on paper. My mom used the phrase “for all intents and purposes” quite a bit. So did I. Except that I always said, “for all intensive purposes.” It pretty much sounds the same when you say it out loud. The fun thing with Google is that you can find other people making the same mistake you made. I didn’t realize my mistake until college, but Google reassures me that there are about 406,000 other people making the same mistake, so I don’t feel so dumb.

Misconceptions are a part of life and learning. They can be funny sometimes. Do you have any favorite misconceptions or delusions you’ve labored under for some part of your life? Or stories about how your kids have made humorous conclusions about what’s true or how things work?

Comments off

Playing with books

Do you ever wonder why kids like to be read the same book over and over again? Or play the same game, or watch the same movie, over and over again? I wonder about that. One guess I have is that they want to master the content. Another is that, when you’re young, everything is wonderful, and few things get boring. When you find something you enjoy, you want to keep enjoying it. It takes a while before it loses its novelty.

The Very Bumpy Bus RideMy 3-year-old son Lucas has a favorite book that we read almost every night: The Very Bumpy Bus Ride. He also likes it when Sammy (9) reads it to him. But one night—I can’t remember how this started—we started being silly about how we read the words. Oh yes, I remember that, after Sammy had read it to him for several nights, when I came back, he thought it was funny how I said “Mrs. Fitzwizzle.” All I had to do was say that once and he would crack up. So I tried saying it several times in a row, and he cracked up even more. I can still get him to laugh, just by saying that name.

From there we started messing with the other words. Doing baby talk or talking like a ventriloquist or flipping the sounds around, as in “The Bery Vumpy Rus Bide.” (This spoonerism approach in particular cracks Sammy up.) Now Lucas contributes to the word massacre by mixing his sounds around and being silly about it. He practically has the whole book memorized, so he’s getting pretty good at saying the sentences while flipping the sounds around, saying nonsense words that rhyme with the originals.

In the past, I might have had some concerns about this game, fearing that he’s learning the words the wrong way. But now I laugh at the thought. He clearly knows the words, and adding this layer of processing complexity (starting with the original and coming up with a non-sensical rhyming word) does two positive things, as far as I can tell. It reinforces his knowledge of the words by engaging with them in new ways. And it makes him want to continue by keeping things fresh and fun.

Another thing I like about reading the same book over and over again is that kids start making some pretty astute observations. I imagine that the earliest tendency of most kids, when being read to, is to associate the words they hear with the pictures they see. The letter symbols, to them, are just extra clutter on the page. This was also evident with Lucas when he would ask me to “read” particular things he saw in the picture. And I’d tell him, “It doesn’t say anything about that. The only words are these ones down here.” Once he started to realize that, he made the observation. “Daddy, isn’t it funny that on the big-picture pages, there aren’t very many words, but there are lots of words on the small-picture pages?” That’s when I taught him how to spell “counter-intuitive.” 😉

If you want to hear more stories about the diverse ways in which kids engage words and eventually learn to read, I highly recommend Peter Gray’s recent article about this topic: “Children Teach Themselves to Read” .

Comments off

Playing with books

Do you ever wonder why kids like to be read the same book over and over again? Or play the same game, or watch the same movie, over and over again? I wonder about that. One guess I have is that they want to master the content. Another is that, when you’re young, everything is wonderful, and few things get boring. When you find something you enjoy, you want to keep enjoying it. It takes a while before it loses its novelty.

The Very Bumpy Bus RideMy 3-year-old son Lucas has a favorite book that we read almost every night: The Very Bumpy Bus Ride. He also likes it when Sammy (9) reads it to him. But one night—I can’t remember how this started—we started being silly about how we read the words. Oh yes, I remember that, after Sammy had read it to him for several nights, when I came back, he thought it was funny how I said “Mrs. Fitzwizzle.” All I had to do was say that once and he would crack up. So I tried saying it several times in a row, and he cracked up even more. I can still get him to laugh, just by saying that name.

From there we started messing with the other words. Doing baby talk or talking like a ventriloquist or flipping the sounds around, as in “The Bery Vumpy Rus Bide.” (This spoonerism approach in particular cracks Sammy up.) Now Lucas contributes to the word massacre by mixing his sounds around and being silly about it. He practically has the whole book memorized, so he’s getting pretty good at saying the sentences while flipping the sounds around, saying nonsense words that rhyme with the originals.

In the past, I might have had some concerns about this game, fearing that he’s learning the words the wrong way. But now I laugh at the thought. He clearly knows the words, and adding this layer of processing complexity (starting with the original and coming up with a non-sensical rhyming word) does two positive things, as far as I can tell. It reinforces his knowledge of the words by engaging with them in new ways. And it makes him want to continue by keeping things fresh and fun.

Another thing I like about reading the same book over and over again is that kids start making some pretty astute observations. I imagine that the earliest tendency of most kids, when being read to, is to associate the words they hear with the pictures they see. The letter symbols, to them, are just extra clutter on the page. This was also evident with Lucas when he would ask me to “read” particular things he saw in the picture. And I’d tell him, “It doesn’t say anything about that. The only words are these ones down here.” Once he started to realize that, he made the observation. “Daddy, isn’t it funny that on the big-picture pages, there aren’t very many words, but there are lots of words on the small-picture pages?” That’s when I taught him how to spell “counter-intuitive.” 😉

If you want to hear more stories about the diverse ways in which kids engage words and eventually learn to read, I highly recommend Peter Gray’s recent article about this topic: “Children Teach Themselves to Read” .

Comments off

Playing with books

Do you ever wonder why kids like to be read the same book over and over again? Or play the same game, or watch the same movie, over and over again? I wonder about that. One guess I have is that they want to master the content. Another is that, when you’re young, everything is wonderful, and few things get boring. When you find something you enjoy, you want to keep enjoying it. It takes a while before it loses its novelty.

The Very Bumpy Bus RideMy 3-year-old son Lucas has a favorite book that we read almost every night: The Very Bumpy Bus Ride. He also likes it when Sammy (9) reads it to him. But one night—I can’t remember how this started—we started being silly about how we read the words. Oh yes, I remember that, after Sammy had read it to him for several nights, when I came back, he thought it was funny how I said “Mrs. Fitzwizzle.” All I had to do was say that once and he would crack up. So I tried saying it several times in a row, and he cracked up even more. I can still get him to laugh, just by saying that name.

From there we started messing with the other words. Doing baby talk or talking like a ventriloquist or flipping the sounds around, as in “The Bery Vumpy Rus Bide.” (This spoonerism approach in particular cracks Sammy up.) Now Lucas contributes to the word massacre by mixing his sounds around and being silly about it. He practically has the whole book memorized, so he’s getting pretty good at saying the sentences while flipping the sounds around, saying nonsense words that rhyme with the originals.

In the past, I might have had some concerns about this game, fearing that he’s learning the words the wrong way. But now I laugh at the thought. He clearly knows the words, and adding this layer of processing complexity (starting with the original and coming up with a non-sensical rhyming word) does two positive things, as far as I can tell. It reinforces his knowledge of the words by engaging with them in new ways. And it makes him want to continue by keeping things fresh and fun.

Another thing I like about reading the same book over and over again is that kids start making some pretty astute observations. I imagine that the earliest tendency of most kids, when being read to, is to associate the words they hear with the pictures they see. The letter symbols, to them, are just extra clutter on the page. This was also evident with Lucas when he would ask me to “read” particular things he saw in the picture. And I’d tell him, “It doesn’t say anything about that. The only words are these ones down here.” Once he started to realize that, he made the observation. “Daddy, isn’t it funny that on the big-picture pages, there aren’t very many words, but there are lots of words on the small-picture pages?” That’s when I taught him how to spell “counter-intuitive.” 😉

If you want to hear more stories about the diverse ways in which kids engage words and eventually learn to read, I highly recommend Peter Gray’s recent article about this topic: “Children Teach Themselves to Read” .

Comments off

Playing with books

Do you ever wonder why kids like to be read the same book over and over again? Or play the same game, or watch the same movie, over and over again? I wonder about that. One guess I have is that they want to master the content. Another is that, when you’re young, everything is wonderful, and few things get boring. When you find something you enjoy, you want to keep enjoying it. It takes a while before it loses its novelty.

The Very Bumpy Bus RideMy 3-year-old son Lucas has a favorite book that we read almost every night: The Very Bumpy Bus Ride. He also likes it when Sammy (9) reads it to him. But one night—I can’t remember how this started—we started being silly about how we read the words. Oh yes, I remember that, after Sammy had read it to him for several nights, when I came back, he thought it was funny how I said “Mrs. Fitzwizzle.” All I had to do was say that once and he would crack up. So I tried saying it several times in a row, and he cracked up even more. I can still get him to laugh, just by saying that name.

From there we started messing with the other words. Doing baby talk or talking like a ventriloquist or flipping the sounds around, as in “The Bery Vumpy Rus Bide.” (This spoonerism approach in particular cracks Sammy up.) Now Lucas contributes to the word massacre by mixing his sounds around and being silly about it. He practically has the whole book memorized, so he’s getting pretty good at saying the sentences while flipping the sounds around, saying nonsense words that rhyme with the originals.

In the past, I might have had some concerns about this game, fearing that he’s learning the words the wrong way. But now I laugh at the thought. He clearly knows the words, and adding this layer of processing complexity (starting with the original and coming up with a non-sensical rhyming word) does two positive things, as far as I can tell. It reinforces his knowledge of the words by engaging with them in new ways. And it makes him want to continue by keeping things fresh and fun.

Another thing I like about reading the same book over and over again is that kids start making some pretty astute observations. I imagine that the earliest tendency of most kids, when being read to, is to associate the words they hear with the pictures they see. The letter symbols, to them, are just extra clutter on the page. This was also evident with Lucas when he would ask me to “read” particular things he saw in the picture. And I’d tell him, “It doesn’t say anything about that. The only words are these ones down here.” Once he started to realize that, he made the observation. “Daddy, isn’t it funny that on the big-picture pages, there aren’t very many words, but there are lots of words on the small-picture pages?” That’s when I taught him how to spell “counter-intuitive.” 😉

If you want to hear more stories about the diverse ways in which kids engage words and eventually learn to read, I highly recommend Peter Gray’s recent article about this topic: “Children Teach Themselves to Read” .

Comments off

Playing with books

Do you ever wonder why kids like to be read the same book over and over again? Or play the same game, or watch the same movie, over and over again? I wonder about that. One guess I have is that they want to master the content. Another is that, when you’re young, everything is wonderful, and few things get boring. When you find something you enjoy, you want to keep enjoying it. It takes a while before it loses its novelty.

The Very Bumpy Bus RideMy 3-year-old son Lucas has a favorite book that we read almost every night: The Very Bumpy Bus Ride. He also likes it when Sammy (9) reads it to him. But one night—I can’t remember how this started—we started being silly about how we read the words. Oh yes, I remember that, after Sammy had read it to him for several nights, when I came back, he thought it was funny how I said “Mrs. Fitzwizzle.” All I had to do was say that once and he would crack up. So I tried saying it several times in a row, and he cracked up even more. I can still get him to laugh, just by saying that name.

From there we started messing with the other words. Doing baby talk or talking like a ventriloquist or flipping the sounds around, as in “The Bery Vumpy Rus Bide.” (This spoonerism approach in particular cracks Sammy up.) Now Lucas contributes to the word massacre by mixing his sounds around and being silly about it. He practically has the whole book memorized, so he’s getting pretty good at saying the sentences while flipping the sounds around, saying nonsense words that rhyme with the originals.

In the past, I might have had some concerns about this game, fearing that he’s learning the words the wrong way. But now I laugh at the thought. He clearly knows the words, and adding this layer of processing complexity (starting with the original and coming up with a non-sensical rhyming word) does two positive things, as far as I can tell. It reinforces his knowledge of the words by engaging with them in new ways. And it makes him want to continue by keeping things fresh and fun.

Another thing I like about reading the same book over and over again is that kids start making some pretty astute observations. I imagine that the earliest tendency of most kids, when being read to, is to associate the words they hear with the pictures they see. The letter symbols, to them, are just extra clutter on the page. This was also evident with Lucas when he would ask me to “read” particular things he saw in the picture. And I’d tell him, “It doesn’t say anything about that. The only words are these ones down here.” Once he started to realize that, he made the observation. “Daddy, isn’t it funny that on the big-picture pages, there aren’t very many words, but there are lots of words on the small-picture pages?” That’s when I taught him how to spell “counter-intuitive.” 😉

If you want to hear more stories about the diverse ways in which kids engage words and eventually learn to read, I highly recommend Peter Gray’s recent article about this topic: “Children Teach Themselves to Read” .

Comments off

Playing with books

Do you ever wonder why kids like to be read the same book over and over again? Or play the same game, or watch the same movie, over and over again? I wonder about that. One guess I have is that they want to master the content. Another is that, when you’re young, everything is wonderful, and few things get boring. When you find something you enjoy, you want to keep enjoying it. It takes a while before it loses its novelty.

The Very Bumpy Bus RideMy 3-year-old son Lucas has a favorite book that we read almost every night: The Very Bumpy Bus Ride. He also likes it when Sammy (9) reads it to him. But one night—I can’t remember how this started—we started being silly about how we read the words. Oh yes, I remember that, after Sammy had read it to him for several nights, when I came back, he thought it was funny how I said “Mrs. Fitzwizzle.” All I had to do was say that once and he would crack up. So I tried saying it several times in a row, and he cracked up even more. I can still get him to laugh, just by saying that name.

From there we started messing with the other words. Doing baby talk or talking like a ventriloquist or flipping the sounds around, as in “The Bery Vumpy Rus Bide.” (This spoonerism approach in particular cracks Sammy up.) Now Lucas contributes to the word massacre by mixing his sounds around and being silly about it. He practically has the whole book memorized, so he’s getting pretty good at saying the sentences while flipping the sounds around, saying nonsense words that rhyme with the originals.

In the past, I might have had some concerns about this game, fearing that he’s learning the words the wrong way. But now I laugh at the thought. He clearly knows the words, and adding this layer of processing complexity (starting with the original and coming up with a non-sensical rhyming word) does two positive things, as far as I can tell. It reinforces his knowledge of the words by engaging with them in new ways. And it makes him want to continue by keeping things fresh and fun.

Another thing I like about reading the same book over and over again is that kids start making some pretty astute observations. I imagine that the earliest tendency of most kids, when being read to, is to associate the words they hear with the pictures they see. The letter symbols, to them, are just extra clutter on the page. This was also evident with Lucas when he would ask me to “read” particular things he saw in the picture. And I’d tell him, “It doesn’t say anything about that. The only words are these ones down here.” Once he started to realize that, he made the observation. “Daddy, isn’t it funny that on the big-picture pages, there aren’t very many words, but there are lots of words on the small-picture pages?” That’s when I taught him how to spell “counter-intuitive.” 😉

If you want to hear more stories about the diverse ways in which kids engage words and eventually learn to read, I highly recommend Peter Gray’s recent article about this topic: “Children Teach Themselves to Read” .

Comments off