Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some Proof

So, today I was honestly in too much pain to clean, so I thought I'd do some extra reading time. And then I got the grand idea to create a video of Mason reading for my mother in law, She really gets a kick out of the whole thing. So, I am going to share this video with you all, to give you some incentive to read more and play reading with your little geniuses-in-the-making.

(sorry it is so dark, it was sort of spontaneous)

Mason turned 3 September 18th and there he is, reading. It is not fake nor prompted. He can do it anytime he sees these words, as well as quite a few others. However, I will add that if he doesn't feel like reading, he is a typica 3 year old and you cannot make him, hahah. I used all the games and methods here to teach him. I have the "your baby can read" program, and i do like it. we use the flash cards and stuff, but we don't really watch the videos. They are boring and honestly, we don't watch much tv. We prefer to do crafts, do art, read, run around, jump on the jumpoline, and just play games and trains legos and stuff.

Try this game with your little ones: Write on a piece of paper 3 body part names, for example, Ear, Foot, and arm. Point to a word,then the body part, and do a little dance. then point to a different word, the body part it corresponds with, and a different little dance. The idea is to then try to convince your little one to do the ear dance, pulling his ears, pointing to them, or touching his feet for the foot dance. Then, try to get him to do the right dance when you just point to the word without saying what it is. I did this with clap, sit, and down, and it really was fun and worked great.

A little reminder: When your kiddo is trying but gets the wrong answer, it is nice to say good try to encourage him or her. Don't be harsh when they are wrong, it only makes them feel defeated.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's been too long, but your baby CAN read!

I have been busy spending my time with the kids as usual, and I got the "Your baby can read" program as well. It's actually a fantastic program! The boys love the videos, books and cards. We are strictly only playing with the stuff for the program right now, while I try to decide what is the best time of day to set aside time to actually work on it a little. Despite that it has only been play, within one week, Zander has learned to read and recognize 2 of the words from the starter set and Mason varies. He can do at least "hi", "clap" and "eyes" from the starter set, as well as the words he already knows. Sometimes, he can remember a few more, and occasionally, isn't interested in reading at all. That is typical, toddlers are like the weathe rin New England, unpredictable.

So, Since not everyone wants to pay the somewhat extravagant price for books and cards and dvds to teach a toddler to read, I will make some suggestions.

Flashcards with the word on the front, and the picture on the back. Bring them out instead of watching tv, when your little one is settled down, not running amok and burning off energy. I find my boys do great before bedtime, but not every kid is the same. Make it a game. I know I will hit a brick wall in progress when I attempt to set aside a specific learning time, but I am determined. Unless you are on some deadline, don't copy me on that. I am not going to force my kids to learn, and neither should you. Because you cannot, it doesn't work. But make it fun- I am not beyond bribing Mason a little to give a little extra effort, though I keep the bribes sort of relevant. We have a book that has a word, and then you slide it to the side to see the picture. If he gets the word, he gets to slide it. If not, I slide it, and make it seem liek the most fun thing I have EVER done, lol.

You can make cards liek this, first cut out the flash cards. Then, cut out paper that is twice the size, and tape it over the card to create a sleeve. Write the word on the sleeve, and put a picture (keep it basic so to avoid confusion) on the card inside. When your kid tries really hard, or even gets it, let them slide the sleeve off. When they lose focus, get distracted, or doesn't get it....slide it off yourself and make it look like so much fun!

Some good words to start with are words that are common and easily illustrated, such as cat and dog, wors that they can do the action if they forget how to say it, such as jump or wave, and words that they use often, such as food, mommy, and play. If you feel super creative, you can print pictures of daily life and use those to illustrate the words, for example, for the word hi, have a friend waving hello for a picture, and point out that they are saying hi. Use pictures of their favorite food and make fluffy the cat be your model so it's even easier to recognize the cat. You could even cut pictures from magazines, but rememebr that the more there is in the picture, the harder it is for a tot to decipher.

So, I am writing while my 3 under 3 sleep, and I think it's time for me to join them in dreamland. Have fun helping your little one read, I will be back very very soon with some games to play. Feel free to ask questions, too..I will be here much more often now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Learning to read through play- games for birth- toddler.....

Games are a fun way to bond with your baby, and your baby can totally learn all sorts of things from the games you play. I want to focus on a few games that will help with reading specifically. It is my opinion that reading is the foundation of education, because it is what helps teachers convey the lessons. A child who can read well will often tend to do better in school than a child who does not.
I know some children have learning disabilities that slow down their reading capabilities, and other learning facets. This journal entry does not exclude them. A learning disability does not mean a kid can't learn, nor does it mean they aren't bright. It means they need to work a little harder, or perhaps learn a different way. Games are even better for those children than children without those disabilities‘, because it takes the focus off of learning, a nice relief for kids who have to work hard at it.
You can read the word "Alphabet". Now, imagine you had no idea what that word was, or what it could possibly mean. It does you no good at all to have read it if you can't figure out what it is. A newborn baby or an infant has no idea what anything is, so clearly they cannot learn to read words (or at least, not just any words) at this time. So here comes my favorite game. Give it any name you like, but it boils down to
You have heard this a hundred times, read it a million more, and it never ceases to lose its importance. Labeling the world for your baby is how you begin the foundation for reading. Reading the word Cat suddenly takes on new meaning when you see what a cat looks like, feels like, and sounds like.
So let's talk about how labeling can be fun for your baby. I like to label groups of things that are similar. I leek to hope they will connect in baby's brain in the near future.
"Okay baby! Time to make a bottle. This is your bottle! It's Pink! Pink is Pretty! Pretty Pink Bottle!"
"This is a cup. This is what Mommy/Daddy drinks from. This cup is clear. That means you can see through it ((peek at baby through it)) See how fun! The clear cup is fun!"
"Here is a spoon. It is round. You can eat with it, Use it for a drumstick ((demonstrate spoon drumstick)) or even stick it on your nose ((you know what to do))" This spoon is my favorite, because I can see you in it (let baby see reflection where possible)."
Yes, this totally works. Babies love being spoken to and the older your baby gets the more fun it gets. I label this way with my 2.5 yo, my 18 mo old AND my 5 mo old, and all 3 love it!
6 months+
Let's kick it up a notch!
"This is a bowl. It's for holding food. It's a circle ((show the top, circular part to baby)) It is like a wheel ((demonstrate wheel)) or it can be a hat!” (If you demonstrate a hat while there is food in it, you get an extra bonus as a parent))
“This is broccoli! Can you say Broccoli? Broccoli is green, and looks like a tiny tree. Tiny Trees are yummy yummy! Watch me eat it….YYYUUMMM! YAY Tiny Tree is good for me!”
As your child gets older, try to get more descriptive, but with simple words. The color, the texture, the smell (smells nice, stinky, fresh, clean, yucky, or bad are some good examples) and this is how you open up the world of adjectives to your baby. Not only will your child know what a cat is, but your child will be able to eventually read and understand with one simple word that a cat is small, soft, and cuddly. Imagine when you play with your child by labeling things that you take a simple spoon and turn it into a familiar object that is useful and fun at the same time. They will read spoon and the gears in their tiny brains will turn and remember all the things a spoon can do…and the gear that turns to remember what fun you had with a spoon will also turn out some imagination. YAY for imagination!
Do you feel stupid talking to your baby like this? You would feel even dumber if you realized one day you don't talk to your sweet tiny #1 fan at all, right? And anyone judging a Mommy or Daddy for talking to a baby is not someone you should be listening to at all.
So, I know labeling isn’t as much a “game” as it is a language. So, what about games? Bring on the games!
Game #1 is for toddlers that can talk at least a little. So, I’d say about 15 months and up. I don’t have a name for this game, so feel free to make a suggestion, ok?
What you need: A toddler in a good mood and a silly mood yourself. For added fun, a digital camera with a screen and some healthy (but yummy!) snacks. I highly recommend those little stars you can get in the toddler food aisle at your local store, because for some reason kids love those veggie ones.
Tell your little tyke you are going to play a game. Get them excited. Say you are going on a hunt. If you have the camera, say you are going to take pictures of what you are hunting.
“Okay little darling, Let’s play a game! You want to play with mommy/daddy right? Well, We need to find things that start with A and put them on the couch. If you can put something like that on the couch, You win, and you get a prize! You like prizes? YAY! Okay, we can take pictures of the things that start with the letter “A”, too! Won’t that be neat-o? Okay, let’s start. What sound doe s”A” make (wait about 5 seconds) AHHHHor AAAA, right? What starts with those sounds..hmm….
“Apple? Yes! YAY! Let’s put that on the couch..we did it!”
“Pillow? Nooo..that’s silly, pillow doesn’t sound like that….”
“This picture is of Aunty..hey, aunty sounds like “a” so let’s put it on the couch! YAY! We did it! Let’s have a treat, and do another letter. “
Taking pictures of your tyke holding the items can be fun, or if you are brave (or rich) let your tyke take the picture his/herself. This gets my kiddo really going, he will go through everything in the house to find as many things that start with A as possible. You can also save the pictures, and later put them on a slideshow on your computer and ask your kiddo to name the things you took pictures of. If your little one took the pictures, they will be thrilled to see it on the screen. Voila! We love playing a game linking letters to their sounds.
Younger toddlers may not last long with this game, nor will they understand linking the letter/sound/object right away. But that is what this is about…teaching them to link it….so do what you need to, get excited, jump around, crawl about, and be silly to keep the interested and you will find a couple times after you have played the game, they will catch on and at least try to bring you things. Even if it’s the wrong thing, that will teach what sound the letter does NOT make, just always remember to say good try, because trying is just as important as being correct when learning by playing.
Okay, so I feel like it was hard to explain this game, but I play it a lot with my 18 month old and 2.5 year old, so if you have questions, ask away by comment or personal message and I will answer as fast as I can. Also, if you take pictures in this game, feel free to share them, because I will show them to my kiddos and get them to tell me what letter….and you can do the same. I will share a picture from the next time we play (probably tomorrow after my dr appointment.)
It’s hard to find real games to play with an infant. However, I got one that is awesome. I don’t recall where the original concept came from but I swear I am not taking credit for the original idea, ok? Just letting you all know what game I play with my little girl.
“Buzzy A, B, C’s” Is more about sounds than anything, but is again, another step besides labeling that links the world to words.
Lay your baby on his/her back. Make a bzzzzz noise and wave your hand at a medium pace where baby can see you, like it’s a bumble bee. Say buzzzzzy A! and give baby a tiny tummy tickle. Do it again, and say Bzzzzzz-y buzz-y “b” and take longer to buzz the baby’s tummy than you did with A. repeat with “C”. Now start over, making the phonetic sound for the letter…BZZZZy “ahhh” Bzzzzy “AAA” Bzzzzy buh” “Bzzzzzy kuh” bzzzy sah” you get the idea. Babis love games that involve a little anticipation, which means the more you play this game, the more they like it, because they rememebr it and learn to anticipate it. Like pee-a-boo. I play this game while changing a diaper, because then I get to bare belly, and Isabella loves it, she even belly laughs for me now.
I have more games, but not so much more time right now. I am too busy playing these games with my kids. SOOOO I will come back and post many more games, so stay tuned, ok?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Busy Busy Update....

I have been so busy! I have been caught up in trying to resolve some serious health problems, (it's going well as can be expected) and get the kids out of the house. I am not able to drive right now so I have to rely on help from my sister. She rocks, though, so at least once a week she takes me and the 3 younger kids out to playgroup or something.

Today my least favorite episode of Mickey Mouse clubhouse is on during breakfast, so I am sneaking away to blog. (the episode is "Handy Helpers" and I hate it because the helpers break, and so cannot open the door for Mickey. Mickey says 'If the handy helpers don't open the door, my friends can't get int hte clubhouse' And I really feel like Mickey is so lazy to not do these things for himself. Mason and Zander are not yet in danger of being sloppy/lazy, since we have fun cleaning up every few days....but the older children have no clue how to pick up anything or do anything without grumbling, lol.

So, Not much has changed. We are holding steady but with no serious progress with reading. I believe it is because we have been stuck inside so much so today i decided to set it aside, have fun for a few days and let it be exciting again, then we will play the games I created just for the boys again.

In further news, Isabella is getting ready to crawl, and is doing some awesome mini-pushups. I have been playing tummy time with her more than the other kids because they hated it, and she lives for it. she prefers to be on her belly all the time. It has made her very strong, I am proud. She can also almost froggy sit! So we are practicing during our one on one time together and it makes me feel so excited for her.

Okay, must go clean the nursery for a game of "fort"! Go play with your little ones today- you have no idea how much they learn from play!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Where did I go? Peek a Boo!

Things have been pretty hectic here. I have continued with the learning-by-playing stuff and Zander has risen to the occasion. I suspect Mason has learned more then he lets on, but he is stubborn about showing it. Maybe that is why 2 year olds don't start school, lol.

Today we are heading out to playgroup, and then my goal is to get them to sit with some books at playtime. We will also be painting, so I will paint a couple letters and encourage them to make the sounds.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend or "ball"room blitz!

So, We played a game where I asked Mason to find things that started with a letter again. We did only a through E, but that is ok. We also added "Cow" to our repertoire of words because I found a card that had the word on it. It seemed like a good idea.

I also spent some extra time reading a book with Zander, he really enjoys story time with me. I try to make it fun, and be silly, which is great for my health. I think that being silly is just as important as breathing air and drinking water.

Today, we had a real show of my efforts. It was such a big deal I actually shouted with delight. We have been practicing a few words here and there, though only focusing on "cup" "ball" "daddy" Zander" "drink" and "cow".

So, I set a bucket of cheese balls down for the boys to snack on today. Mason pointed to the words on it and I asked him what it said. He was not really into answering me, and didn't really read it. He did recognize the letters, however, because he turned to look at the same word written on a piece of paper on the door. Just for kicks, I turned to Zander, pointed to the word "Balls" and asked him what it said. He looked at it and after a second said "Balls". I shouted with delight, as I mentioned. I was so proud. He knew what it meant. He could "read" it. He is only 18 months old. Imagine how he will do in a year? 2 years? I am really looking forward to learning with these boys.

I can't recall if I had mentioned something, and wanted to be sure I did. My boys use sign langauge in addition to spoken word. All of the words i am teaching them to read, they either knwo the sign language for or I teach that in addition. I learned about baby sign language when Mason was about 2 months old, but did not put any stock in it. At 13 months old, Mason had a speech delay for no apparent reason. his hearing was tested and was fine. he did not appear to have a learning disorder or behavior problem. At 14 months old, Mason could only truly say one word- Dadda. Many people said I was overreacting. They said he would talk when he was ready. But I wanted to help him. I called early intervention. They showed me how to play with a child in a way that boosts speech learning and development. And they showed me resources to teach him sign language.

It took about 2 weeks to see progress with the sign language at his age. But once he started, he blew me away! He signed more than he could talk, and impressed even early intervention. Soon, his speech started happening. And it never slowed. now, at 2.5, He knows at least 100 signs, and speaks very well. Zander did not have any delay, but I saw no reason not to teach him to sign before his words became clear. Now, he speaks very well for his age group, and knows around 20+ signs.

The best part, they both enjoy sign language. they use the signs in every day life without thinking, and enjoy learning new ones. We have the "Baby Einsteins: First Signs" movie and it is still thier favorite...they could watch it 20 times a day, I swear.

I am way too busy to write everything on my mind tonight, so I am going to stop here.

Leave me a comment if you are interested in learning how to boost your baby's first words through play. This can be done even with a newborn!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Your baby can read- experiment....

I have been so busy it's hard to find time to post!
But, I had to update more on my progress with teaching the boys to read.

I will talk about Zander (18 months old) first, since it's simpler- He is memorizing the words well. I am playing games with him to encourage him to find the word, which has been rewarding for both of us, and he doesn't even know he is learning. For example, I will ask Zander to show me where it says "Cup" and he will show me where the word is on the door. If I write the word cup, and show him, asking what word is it? he will say cup. He can do this with a handful of words so far. I am tempted to push it and add more, but I think it's time to teach him the way I am teaching Mason, because he listens to me teaching Mason and copies the sounds we make.

Mason has risen to the experience with a great attitude. He likes letters. We start by singing the alphabet, and then we play a game. I am doing a few different games, so we aren't doing the exact same thing over and over, even though the lessons are the same. Today, we will sing the alphabet, and then pick 2 or 3 letters. we will draw them together and make songs about the sounds. For example, if we pick "B" we will make the "b" sound to the tune of twinkle little star (a favorite of Mason's when he was a baby). For letters that have more than one sound, I improvise. Mason has done well with that, too. Another game we played, as a way of taking a break from "teaching" and "learning" and turn it into more playing, I grabbed my camera and encouraged Mason to find things that started with certain letters, and then we took pictures. Arm, Ball, Cup, Door, and Eeeewwww were photogenic enough to be a funny game that showed Mason that things have names, and names are made up of letters.

So where is Mason at? he knows the entire alphabet and can sound out the majority of the sounds. so a 2 letter word is easy peasy...a 3 letter word is possible with patience.

A quick side note, i myself visited the Dr and am getting my health back in tip top. I am pleased with how it went and am feeling like I am well on my way to being normal again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday is All About ME today....

There is nothing so satisfying as finding the song that was stuck in your head....especially if you couldn't remember what it was. As I blasted "Saliva" "Always" this morning and the boys danced away, I felt like i should get motivated. At least try, right?

Today is my first appointment with a new doctor, who is supposed to help me with my medication, so I can have better days and be a better mommy. I have had such a tough few days, depression stinks. I hate myself when I am like that, and I hate how I just don't reach my own standard as a parent.

Well, my blog is short today because I am not having another day like that. I am off to clean a little and play a lot. Maybe I will come back and write a long one about reading when they sleep.

You say you want a sneak peek? Mason can read 2 words. YES he Can. And he does it by sounding them out (phonics!) And Zander can read 2 from memory!

More on this later, ok?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

American Pride Photo Contest

(This will probably also post to babycenter, so pardon the references)

So, Next week's photo contest is American Pride Photo contest (or any other country.) I love the idea, the board moderators are very involved with the board, which is nice. So Obviously, I want to submit a photo of Isabella for this one.

But WHAT? What will I do? I think today I will pull out the craft box and make soemthing. I am thinking a twirly style skirt and a fold over top. I am also thinking of decorating with ruffles or tulle...and making it from muslin because the lightweight fabric is so soft and flowy for hot summer days.

I am going to add anything else I can think of to show that Isabella and I (and the rest of our family) are very patriotic, we love our country and our president....So this will be a nice way to escape stress today. I will post back again as soon as the outfit is done.

Are you wanting to do something for your little one? Share with me your thoughts or plans (but not your picture, I will see it in the contest:-) )

Friday, May 29, 2009

A short break from learning meant time to create:

Well, I didn't feel too great today (or yesterday, for that matter) so I left the words up, practiced sounds for all of a few minutes and left them to play today. They are surely thinking TGIF, lol. But, Since I love sewing (Loving it does not mean I am good at it, but hey, whatever works) I decided to throw together some scraps that became the TuTu Shorts. I basically made a pair of shorts from scraps that had skulls on them. I gathered hot pink tulle, and then shorter, black tulle, and stitched them on. Not as easy as it sounds, but by no means difficult at all. anyway, I liked the look and she liked to wear them, until they were wet with spit up, then she liked them not so much.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Experiment, Day 2. (and some other stuff)

I never got back on to post again last night. Fortunatly, it's because I got so busy. I got plenty of cleaning done, and did playtime with the boys and such. Isabella kept my hands full until I put her in the sling on my hip, and washed dishes one handed. It was not the best time of my life, but at least my dishes are done, and all of my laundry, and my living room is looking pretty good. That is a big deal, considering I didn't feel up to anything at all.

And how will I motivate today? I am so tired, I stayed up with Mitchell to watch a show last night and I should have known better, almost as soon as my head hit the pillow Mason started having a rough night. I don't blame him, though. Mason fell asleep in the living room watching tv last night, and As i have previously mentioned, this causes restless sleep. So he woke up and couldn't quite fall back asleep deeply enough. the positive note to it was I had placed the potty chair in the nursery with htem last night and Mason got up and used it, and so was dry this morning.This is not the first night he stayed dry. I am proud of him, I really think he will be dry every night in a few weeks.

Hehe I can see this post is going to take a while to write, since my little ones are needing me.

So, got my coffee and they have thier breakfast, let's add some more.

Last night we ordered oriental food. The place near our house has great food, and reasonable prices. And of course, we got fortune cookies. My fortune cookie said "You will maintain good health and enjoy life". Well, that is terribly presumptuous. how can I maintain good health if I don't have it to maintain? Perhaps it was a nod to the fact that I made an appointment with a new Doctor to sort out my depression, my "seizures" and my back/hip pain. We shall see.

Mitchell's fortune pleased me, it said "You should be able to undertake and complete anything" So immediatly I said we should switch bedrooms with the kids. this has been brewing in my brain for a while, because I think Mason is frightened at night by our inconsiderate neighbors, and the kids can't hear them in our room. Also the nursery has two closets that we use for storage, perhaps we can let them use the big closet in our room for toys and clothes, freeing up more space to play. Mitch gave me a few reasonalbe conditions, and agreed, though not all that happy at the job. he asked that I clean the room and box things up to make the move easy. Fair enough!

So, moving on to the "Your baby can read" experiment. I spent the day trying to get each child to remember what each of the two words were. I was astonished when Zander (18 months old) did better at naming the word than Mason (2.5 years old).

Zander took the word as a shape with a familiar name. I told him a few times that the shapes I pointed at were "Ball" and "Cup" and it was as simple as that for him. There were pictures of a ball and of a cup, which Zander named, but did not really seem to connect with the word until closer to the end of the day. Even still, I don't think he related them the way a person who reads does. I want to use the metaphor Mitchell came up with last night when we discussed the results. Zander sees words as one shape, like a person might see a house as just a house, just a square with a triangle on top. It's just a thing with a name. Once he becomes familiar with the hosue from this aspect, meaning once he learns to remember a few words, I will then teach him how the words have "parts" and each part has a sound (This is the phonetic part) and it will be like learning how a house has studs, beams, trusses, etc. He will be able to understand the relationship between parts of words to sounds, and have the benefit of knowing some words in advance. So he is learning to read BOTH ways, both visually and phonetically. I am still not sure this is the "right" way, but it's an experiment, so we will see what happens.

For Mason, it was a different story. Mason already knows his alphabet and many phonetic sounds. So, learning to recognize words is pointless. He sees them as seperated by each letter. Furthermore, when he saw the cup, he thought "drink" and so thought the word that followed was "drink" until i gently corrected him. So, I have decided to experiment differently today. I have decided to continue to show him the words 'cup' and 'ball' but to show him how each letter has it's own sound, and get him to repeat teh sounds the letters make. So, in short, teach him the phonetic sounds for those words.

I am going to allow Zander to at least observe me teaching Mason and participate if he wants, to see if he picks up on it.

HEHE Wouldn't you know! While I was typing, Mason decided to 'help'. He said "What words?" and I turned to look and he pointed to "Ball" and said "ball" and then pointed to "cup" and said "cup". Hmmmm.........

I still think I will go about things as planned, but not until the afternoon. I am going to test the boys, so to speak, to see if they remember anything from yesterday. I am curious if Mason will forget and revert to saying 'drink' instead of 'cup'.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Techical stupidity...

SO, sometimes I have repeat posts and such, it is because I am having soem trouble making the blog post to a few places I want it to. I may have to copy and paste at each place, because it doesn't seem to want to cooperate. Boo!

EXPERIMENT; Your Baby Can Read!

Today Mitchell is working until dinner time. Yesterday was unproductive; I didn't get anything done at all. Today probably won't be much different, despite the ever increasing number of things I need to do today. I DO plan on posting twice today, but I also want to fill out our health insurance paperwork, get more laundry done, wash the dishes, and vacuum. We will see what gets done. I have a project I want to try.

I wanted to say a few things about this program called "Your baby can read". Are you wondering if this idea works? Well, it probably does for many kids. But I would think the way your child learns affects whether this would work or not. Check out "".

So, I have decided to work really hard to teach Mason (age 2.5) and Zander (age 1.5) to "read" some words. The two boys learn differently, and have different strengths, phonically. Zander talks well for his age group, and learns from repetition. Mason had a speech delay (though is now caught up to his peers) and learns better from physical/visual examples.

So, today I will post piece of paper on the door (it's in the center of the living room) with two words on it. I will point to the words several times throughout the day and say the words while making good eye contact with each child. I will also show them pictures or the actual objects.

At the end of the day, I will ask Mason what each word is. I will ask Zander to show me what the word is, for example, by placing the object near one of the words.

The idea behind this is that they learn to recognize the shape of the word, because this is how reading begins. They recognize letters, shape of words, etc. until it starts making sense that the word is actually made up of different letters (separating the letters in a big word is too complicated for a child under 3, in my opinion) and every couple of days we will choose a letter to practice the sounds of, so when we are ready to sound out words, they will know what sounds the letters make.

If I make progress, I will also be buying the "your baby can read" system. Why not? I am a firm believer that early reading makes education easier. I was an early reader. I could read before kindergarten and could read better than the majority of my peers. This made school easier for me, and I still enjoy reading (though I mostly like to read junk, lol). The fact that I can read and retain information from reading so well made college a great deal easier, too.

I have chosen to begin with the words "Ball" and "Cup". We will also go over the "b" sounds, since it begins one of our words. I will post about how this goes as much as I can. I have a feeling this will work, because I have experienced teaching Joey (now age 10) to read, and he is in 4th grade, reading at a 7th grade level. He loves to read. We did something very similar to this. He was around 3 years old, and I would pick a sentence out of his favorite book and we would practice it, until he had memorized the whole book. Then I took words form those sentences and made games from them. I will do that, too, but I don't want to overwhelm my toddlers. Let's just see how each kid does with this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday is Monday Mommy

Since yesterday was memorial day, today is techinically my Monday. Mitchell is back at work and the kids and I are alone once again to wage the war of parent vs toddlers and baby.

Mason is being quite tempestuous to say the least, one moment fearing the "Puma" from "Go diego, Go" and the next being sweet and pretending to be a butterfly. He also pulled the cord for the living room light, ate the frosting from his brother's cupcake, and crushed graham cracker into the carpet- again! I tried to talk on the phone and Mason screamed in my face in a way that made me think of that painting, you know the one. 2 1/2 years old and already bonkers.
Zander is being better today. He has spent a great deal of every day screaming, crying, and having tantrums. Even though he is now 18 months old, he had only 8 teeth until this past month. The rest are cutting in groups and giving him a heck of a time. As if that isn't bad enough, he gets frequent earaches and will be seeing an ear,nose, and throat doctor soon. A little extra sleep last night went a long way, and some cuddles and a hearty breakfast this morning and he is actually in a good mood. He loves the music playing and of course I will spend some one on one time with him, too. I am hoping to add one more sign ((sign language)) and a new word to his vocabulary.
Isabella is still in her growth spurt. She is still nursing very often, and is grumpy as heck when hungry. So I am going to place her in the sling today so I can nurse her plenty while tending to the boys' needs. I can't wait to find out how much she weighs, and see what the Dr thinks of her growth. She doesn't look like she could have been a preemie, that is for sure. We are doing frequent tummy time, which she loves, and she is so chubby! She was 5 weeks early, weighing only 5 1/2 lbs, yet she weighs more now at almost 4 months than her full term brothers did at the same age.
I have alot to do today, play with the boys, take something out for dinner, clean my bedroom and tidy the kitchen, do laundry and teach Mason to read one word and Zander to speak one. I also need to complete at least one of the several sewing projects I left unfinished.
Today's Solution is a new sticker chart for the boys and a time out chair. I have been fairly inconsistent thus far with discipline because the boys weren't very naughty. But Mason's behavior over the past week has been often unnacceptable. So we will test out this method for a while.
Bedtime deserves honorable mention, since putting a 2.5 and 1.5 year old to bed in the same room is no easy feat. For the past few days I have been sticking to my guns and putting them to bed the same way: wind down time, tuck ins, a short tv show, then music channel until they fall asleep. I do stay in there with them still, though intend to slowly stop that, also. It takes about 1 - 1.5 hours to get both to bed right now. I would love to shorten that but it may be that the amount of time they take is necasary. I find that when they fall asleep in their beds as opposed to being rocked or falling asleep on the couch, they sleep through the night, whereas they otherwise don't, and sleep very restless.
Ferber compares the difference using an example I liked. He says to imagine if you fell asleep, and then someone moved you from your bed. You would wake up, and get back into your bed, right? Well, Now imagine if they locked the door to your room. How easy would it be for you to get back to sleep? This is the comparison to allowing a child fall asleep elsewhere, and then moving them, or rocking htem and then laying them to sleep. Everyone wakes up during the night but typically it is so quick that we don't recall. but when a child wakes and finds themselves in a different place, they wake up more to find out why and then need to duplicate the scenario in which they fell asleep in the first place, meaning, now they must wake up mom or dad for help.
But if they fell asleep in bed on thier own or with minimal interactions, there is little or no changes in the enviroment and so they fall back asleep quickly.
Consistency at bedtime has kept me sane, even though it takes some time, I succeed: they sleep, and that is that. And I know they are going to sleep feeling safe and loved. Actually, Consistency is somethign I employ as much as possible with the kids, because I find that they behave better when I keep everything basicly the same.
So, off to my day, break time is definetly over, Ha Ha.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A tiny bit about me....

I have 5 kids ages 10, 8, 2, 1, and 4 months...and a stepdaughter age 9. They are my life, as kids tend to be.

I am silly, I play pretend, I adore children, and I love art and crafts. I long to be a writer and am writing a book that may never see real print, but who cares. At least I am trying, right?

I am common law married to a great guy, and we will have our ceremony one day. I won't do it until I have sewn my own gown..which I need more time for.

I am a college grad, I have a degree in Medical Science. I earned it while pregnant twice, breastfeeding throughout and took my finals while nursing a newborn. So don't tell me getting a degree is too hard.

I could write a lot about me, but I will save it for future posts.