Monday, March 26, 2007

Learning to read & type with The Sims

Lyddie has just discovered The Sims, big time! If you're familiar with the game, you'll know it's quite complex from a four year-old's viewpoint, involving creating and naming characters, a fair amount of reading and some money issues.

She can load up the game and start creating a new family, no problem. Then we get onto what this family is going to be called.

The first thing to insert is the 'family name', which led to a "What's that then?" kind of discussion. Then, how to spell and type the name she chose for her family. At first (she's been playing for a few days now) we used the Letterland people as pointers. I'd say their names and she'd find the corresponding letter on her keyboard. I'd say the letter too. Now, though, she can find most of them when I only say the letter.

Also - a new development today - she's starting to say the sounds and guess at the letters, breaking the word down into letter sounds. This has come about because I was talking with one of the other children, couldn't stop to help her straight away and she was too impatient to wait. If I get too impatient and reach over to type the letters for her, she gets annoyed and I stop, so she's completely in charge of the process.

We go through the whole process again for the first name of each character in the family.

Then in playing the game, some reading is required. She knows you have to use the phone in order to employ service staff, but unless I'm just there to help, she can only look at the words on the menu to try to work out which one she needs. This morning she got a nanny instead of a maid, so went back to the phone and worked out which one 'maid' should be out of a choice of about six jobs in the list.

This continues on from her learning of numbers, by being determined to make phone calls independently so having to learn to recognise them on the keypad. And the writing she still does on her pictures, in birthday cards, on shopping lists and any other reason that comes up. (Has to be a reason, though. She never just asks to do it.) She's absolutely determined to become a fully-participating, functioning family member, like the rest of us. The difficulty - if I wanted to - would be in stopping her from learning this stuff, not making her do it!

Hmm.. we have a dilemma now though. Her Lyddie-sim has homework to do. I wonder if she'll do it?


Blogger Ruth said...

That's great Gill:)

8:23 pm, March 26, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

I have yet to play Sims myself, we need more computers!!

10:04 pm, March 26, 2007  
Blogger Allie said...

That's interesting to read. I bet Sims is more fun than most of the 'educational' software.

10:24 am, March 27, 2007  
Blogger Unshelled said...

Unfortunately The Sims is totally addicitive lol...... the only drawback for me, is only one of our comps can cope with it and that's the one we all want to use lol.

2:44 pm, March 28, 2007  

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