I don't assume my birds know any words that I haven't directly taught them. While it may happen, I don't assume they've 'picked up' on vocabulary just through exposure. I want to *know* they know it before I start using it and communicating with them.
Case in point: my own mistake! I occasionally ask Ellie, "Did you see Parker today?" And she'll always say, "YES!" Which can't be true, because he's not here anymore, he's in college! (He's returning next week, she'll be so happy!) I scrunch up my face and laugh, "No you didn't! He's not here!" And she glares at me.
Anyway, Ellie is learning about the five senses, and we've tackled two so far - "see" and "hear." It only just dawned on me - of course she answers this question wrongly. I've never taught her the word "see"! And anything having to do with Parker is definitely a YES in her book!
Teaching the five senses is also interesting because I don't think Ellie or Isabelle recognize themselves in the mirror. (Moonlight may, I'm still testing. I asked her who was in the mirror, and she responded: Moonlight!) To that end--seeing is done with eyes, and hearing is done with ears. What do they know about the sensory input? Do they KNOW that they see through a portion of their body that is nearer the top? And that hear through a body part on both sides of their heads?
And when they don't recognize themselves in the mirror, how do you teach them about their eyes and their ears?
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