Since we have been working on preschool level skills with K., we have been working on colors. I have done all sorts of fun learning activities to do this... we've played beautiful German wooden games, sorted buttons, worked with the color preschool box I made, colored, made crayons, and read dozens of books about color. All to no avail, unless you count the fact that after all this, K. at least knew the names of the colors so he could randomly guess using the correct names. I am not patient by nature, and this certainly was an exercise in patience. The only bright spot was that he could correctly match colors every time, just couldn't dig the name of the colors out of his little brain.
But through all this, I forgot two important axioms about learning: 1. A person can only learn something new if they can relate the new information to something they already know. 2. Interest plays an enormous role in learning and remembering. I forgot, but J. didn't. In a moment of inspiration, he hit upon a method of helping K. learn his colors... he tied it to the thing K. loves most in the world, the movie, Cars.
Each car in this movie is a different color (helpfully). It was as if a light bulb went off in K.'s head the moment J. helped him figure out that Red the Firetruck was the color red. And since Lightning McQueen and Red are the same color, Lightning McQueen is red! Suddenly colors took on a whole new importance. (Because being able to talk about any aspect of the characters is important.) This morning K. came in looked at a color and announced it was blue, just like The King. And he was right.
I do hope that he eventually grows out of needing to tie everything to his favorite movie. (Which I feel I must add, he's seen a total of four times in the past three years... it's not as though he watches it every day, or every week.) But for now, I'll be grateful for having found the key to helping him learn his colors. And I do wish, just a bit, that I was the one who thought of it.