# Listen and Learn

I’ve shared with you before how unaudio my Cinder is (“How am I supposed to learn to type with that #\$@#\$#@\$ cow screaming at me?”). Yesterday, I had an illustration of how audio–and despite her love of drawing and art, un-visual in certain ways!–my Flora is. She was playing on Mathletics and doing pattern exercises. And whenever she’s done them before, I’ve heard her muttering to herself, “Blue circle, yellow circle, green circle–next one is a… blue circle.” She’s quite adapt at this, so I was taken aback by sudden shouts and frustration and “I just can’t do this!” And I look over, and the game’s changed a bit–she’s presented with a pattern, and instead of completing it, she has to pick the odd one out, the one that doesn’t belong. “All I see are the colours, and they’re so pretty, and the pattern looks just fine, look, the squares next to the triangles and circles, and how am I supposed to figure out what doesn’t belong?”

The one that doesn’t belong jumps out at me immediately, and I try to explain to Flora what to look for… it’s not working. I see her frustration mounting. And then, flash of insight: “Say the pattern,” I suggested. “Blue circle, green square, yellow star, blue cirle, green square, yellow star, yellow star, green square…”

“I got it, I got it!” she hollers. And talks herself through all the patterns.

Cinder, meanwhile, is doing something else on the computer with the sound muted and headphones on to muffle out the noise that is his family, so he can concentrate…

# Ears? Who Needs Ears?

Every once in a while, we need an “obvious as a smack upside the head” reminder of the obvious. I’ve know for a long time Cinder’s not a strong audio-learner. In case I forgot it, the universe reminded me of it today. The kids wanted to do some “proper typing” learning and I pulled up the BBC Dancing Mat Typing programme for them. Flora loved it. Cinder? He spent three minutes with it before shouting out in frustration, “How the heck am I supposed to learn to type with this Frickin’ Cow talking at me constantly!”

Turned off the sound on the computer… whole different ballgame. (Final review of the Dancing Cow: Flora still uses it. Cinder wants me to find him something with no frackin’ cartoon animals.)

Test drive the Cow yourself here