Anecdotal Observations from an Early Learning Experience

When G2 was very little (by that, I mean about 2 years old), we bought a music DVD/CD by They Might Be Giants. It was intended for G1, but G2 was also a beneficiary being the younger brother in tow. It turned out that G2 liked it so much that he would insist on watching it every chance he got. When we were in the car, we would listen to the music on loop until even I knew all the words by heart.

Recently, G2 found the CD in the car and asked to listen to it again. It’s been a while since he last saw the DVD so I didn’t even think he would remember it. While listening to the Blood Mobile, he randomly asked, “What are the black things with the red eyes?”

Me: Huh? What black things with red eyes?
G2: The ones on the video.
Me: Which video?
G2: They Might Be Science. I used to watch when I was little.
Me: Oh. Were they a part of this song?
G2: Yes.
Me: Er… I don’t remember. We’ll have to check it when we get home.

As the song continued playing, he remembered, and said, “Oh, they’re antibodies.”

And so they are… They’re the bacteria being attached to the antibodies so the white blood cells can get rid of them.

When the boys were little, we did a lot of “educational” stuff with them (what’s now popularly referred to as “early learning“). G1 was always very expressive so we often knew what he was picking up from it. G2, on the other hand, was the dark horse. It was difficult to know what he was really taking away from it because I tried hard to adhere to the strict rule of “no testing” and having zero expectations. The aim was merely to have fun with the kids and perhaps learn something along the way. Every now and then, G2 surprises us with glimpses into his mind as he reveals information about things he learned way back when. So I guess we did get more than fun out of all that…

We always want to know what our children are getting out of the experiences we provide them. Is this worth it? Should we be doing something else? Before long, Kiasu-ism kicks in and we’re running around in circles chasing our tails. I guess the lesson is that sometimes you just have to sit back and just enjoy the journey. Forget about the end result – it’ll happen when it happens. Then when it does, it will delight you.


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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