Thus far, I have purposely avoided teaching Henry shapes, colors, numbers, animal noises and letters in a formal way. For a few reasons, but the main one is that I think he has his entire life to be in a "school" environment. For now, I just want him to experiment, experience and have fun without any curriculum to follow. I also want to avoid him just memorizing things without really understanding them.
There is also a school of thought that you can't really "teach" a child anything; they will learn things when they are ready and just by being exposed to different things. Of course, you have days where you doubt your methods but I think everyone just does what they think is right for their child.
He has done a few things lately that have freaked me out. It is amazing to see his little mind absorbing and learning.
1) He isn't exposed to many animals other than dogs. I have purposely avoided teaching him all of the animal noises because what does it really mean to him? If he has never seen a cow, what does it really help him to know that they say "moo?" However, he picked up entirely on his own that a dog says "ruff ruff."
2) He always carries multiple pacifiers. When he has two, he tells me without prompting that he has "two!" He saw two dogs recently and I said "Henry, do you see the dogs?" He looked at them and shouted "two!" Today I asked him how many playdough cookies he had on his plate and he knew that there were two.
3) I started playing the ABC song (without singing the words) on his little piano today and he started singing "Twinkle Twinkle" unprompted (It is the same tune)
4) I asked him if he was going to sing to me for my birthday and he started singing "Row your boat." That one isn't amazing, just funny!
5) He saw us loading a new bottle of olive oil into the grocery cart on Saturday, knew what it was and told us (without us asking)
6) He knows we bake in the mixer, toast in the toaster, make smoothies with the immersion blender, coffee in the coffee maker...He knows to smell vanilla but not drink it, that flour doesn't taste good but sugar does, how to crack an egg, that you need a pot holder for the oven and the microwave...
This kid just kills me!