Moose has added another category to his knowledge of the United States – he now knows all 50 state flags. Raise your hand if you can identify all 50. . . don’t worry, I didn’t raise my hand either!
We saw our family over the weekend, and they asked, “Why state flags?!?” It is really simple – he asked for it. It started very innocently. To keep Moose entertained in the car, we always play some version of “I Spy.” Indiana is great for this game, because the roads are so long and straight. A few months ago, Moose said, “I see blue rectangles.” I looked around, sure enough, there were those little blue flags utility companies used to mark lines before digging. I explained to him those were actually little blue flags. A few minutes later, we passed by the big red, white and blue flag and I told him that was the United States of America flag. That started it. He would point out the American flag everywhere we went. “That’s a big United States of America flag, that’s a little United States of America flag, how many United States of America flags are there?”
One day we drove by Texas Roadhouse. He said, “There is a United States of America flag, and. . and. . that is NOT a United States of America flag!” I told him that was the Texas state flag. At this point, he already knew all 50 states, so he started asking to see the flags at random times. I was planning on teaching them to him at one point, but I wasn’t ready because I didn’t have any Bits made of US flags. I took Moose to Barnes and Noble that very day and found this great little tidbit – The Nifty Fifty State Flags. He literally ate these up. He knew 10 flags within the first day, and knew all fifty states in less than a week.
Part of me didn’t want to buy this little kit, because I wanted to make pretty, state flag Bits, but then I remembered what so many other mothers from the Institutes told me – Bits don’t always have to be presented in the 11″x11″ format. These 5″x7″ cards were the perfect size for him to see all the detail, and were big enough for me to easily handle.
One of my cousins asked how in the world he was able to learn and retain all this information. I think of Moose’s brain like the game, Hungry Hungry Hippo. The playing field is the world we see everyday, tons of different marbles of knowledge rolling by. Sometimes, he will ask about something, so I will roll a particular marble his way and he will gobble it up. Sometimes he sees or hears something himself and gobbles it up. When I present information to him via the Doman method, its like taking that big world-sized playing field, shrinking it down to an 11″x11″ size (or 5″x7″ in the case of the flags!) and rolling sets of the same colored marbles toward my little hippo at one time. With the smaller playing field, he is able to gobble up information faster and with more efficiency than if we just waited for information to roll by randomly. It usually takes a few tries, but he eventually gets all the marbles I send his way 🙂