September 27, 2009

"Reading"

I have been avoiding my blog because I feel pressure for it to be interesting, have pictures etc.  I have decided I am just going to blog for me and not worry about what I am saying or if it is a "good" blog.

Everly is simply blossoming and I am realizing that I really have to start talking to her and treating her differently.  She seems to understand SO much and I think I have been underestimating her.

We dropped the doing a theme for each week and I have just been really mindful of using language that will help her learn.  For example I try to constantly mention colours, how things work, what season it is etc.  This approach is working beautifully.  The week we did the letter A and the colour green she learned orange, and purple, and started recognizing several letters that did not include A.  Thus the end to any sort of structured approach.

During that week I noticed that she is able to match letters with ease.  So I thought I would just see if she could match words.  I wrote Mommy, Daddy, Everly and Nanny (her grandma) each on 2 pieces of paper.  I told her what they said and she matched them with ease.  Of course I was really proud and she seemed to enjoy it so we played word matching with other words.  The next time we did it, she didn't want to match... she wanted to "read" all the words to me.  I couldn't believe that she could remember all the words!!  She doesn't even recognize all the letters of the alphabet.  She does have a harder time deciphering words that start with the same letter but she can do it with a bit of thought.

For my own record she can now recognize:
  1. Nanny
  2. Mommy
  3. Daddy
  4. Everly
  5. Amelia
  6. Siri
  7. Kathy
  8. Faraz
  9. Grampy
  10. Nanny
  11. Batman
  12. Bum Bum (sometimes)
  13. Ballet (sometimes)
  14. Baby (sometimes)
  15. Madelyn
She now brings me blank cue cards and asks me to write words on them.  I write whatever she wants (that is where Bum Bum) came from. :P  Then we decorate them with stickers and she writes on them and finally she will cut them all up. 

I guess for now I will just keep writing words on cue cards for her if she wants, and I also thought she might benefit from my pointing out environmental text, like STOP on stop signs etc.

I found a leap frog Fridge Phonics and Word Whammer for $20 on craigslist.  I am going to pick them up tomorrow.  I thought it might help her learn the sounds of the letters, in a way that is fun.

This has also renewed my interest in Starfall which I think I will let her do a few times a week.

I don't want to be some pushy mom, but at the same time I want to make sure I am creating a rich environment for her.  I know I always mention this but it is something I am always worrying about.


OPPS! I uploaded the wrong video.. and after waiting 15 minutes it is going to stay right here. 
Here she is dancing.  She is totally obsessed.

video

September 4, 2009

Books

I was reading through some of the older blog posts on Chasing Cheerios the other day, and she mentioned reading 30-40 books to "O" everyday.  Here I was pleased that I read to Pooks everyday, and sometimes 10+ books.  Anyways it got me inspired to really up the amount of books I read to Pookers daily.  It has been a week and it was REALLY renewed her interest in books.  She is asking me to read to her more and when we do read she wants MORE! 

Yesterday we did about 25.  Some of the stories were quite long and others were short and sweet.  I am trying to make a goal of sitting down and reading 5 at a time.  I am really enjoying the calmness that comes from reading with her.  There are a lot of frustrations when you are two and this really gives us a chance to just chill out and spend quality time together.

Here are some of the books we like reading:

All the Frog and Toad books
Angelina Ballerina (I don't care for them but she loves them)
Grumpy Bird
Kids research books on animals - right now Alligators.
Bill & Pete Books
Guess How Much I Love You
Anything by Sandra Boynton
Beatrix Potter books
Nursery Rhymes

Now we are reading so much more we are going to have to get more books from the library or I will go crazy with all the repetition.  We got a great fable book from the library and she has really enjoyed that. 

Speak of the devil... Pookers is calling.

September 3, 2009

Best Friends

 Something that can't be measured or compared, is social confidence (for lack of a better term).  This is really on my radar because I was a fairly shy kid, who became a horribly shy and anxious pre-teen.  I always knew I wanted to do everything I could to enable my children to be as outgoing as they could be and have the confidence to be who they really are.

I just love watching Everly now when we go out and about.  She is incredibly outgoing and charismatic (she takes after her Dad!).  She seems to be able to win adults and children over in minutes.   We have a 4 year old who lives across the path from us.  We live in a townhouse where all the cars are parked underground.  Everly and A have become best friends.  When I watch them play and interact together it just amazes me how much Everly keeps up with her friend.  Not in terms of what she knows, but in terms of how to interact with another person.  

She might not be able to recite her ABC's and 123's, or know all her colours... but watching her with other people reminds me that there is so much more to learn  than just "school skills".    

September 2, 2009

Natural Consequences


I have recently seen too great examples of how natural consequences work.
video
1./  Everly was painting.  Which turned into Everly painting her hands.  I decided to tidy up the kitchen and had my back to her.  When I turned around there she was COVERED in paint all over her face.  Honestly I didn't really care that much.  At the same time it isn't something I want to encourage.  I grabbed my camera, filmed and took a couple pictures and fairly calmly took her upstairs to hose her down.  She did NOT appreciate having her faced washed.  After we talked about how if you paint your face it will mean having a shower, and getting water all over your face.  Today she tried just painting her nose, and I reminded her about how we would have to clean her face and she stopped.

2./ Everly and a friend got into some cream.  I found them with some on their bodies and faces.  They friend seemed shocked that I didn't get angry.  As I was trying to decide how to deal with the situation, Everly got some cream in her eye.  I was able to point out that that was one reason it is not a good idea to play with cream without a parent around.  They agreed and gave me the jar they had hidden.

The one thing that I am having a hard time with now is when I am around other parents.  Mostly my neighbour who's daughter is 4.  First of all her daughter is older so she does have higher expectations, but she also seems to have many more rules then we do in general.  Their home isn't close to as kid friendly as ours is, so there are a lot of rules to protect furniture and carpets.  The thing is sometimes I start feeling like I am too permissive when I spend a lot of time with them.  I know she is sometimes surprised with the things I don't worry about.  For example I let Everly play with water in her kitchen.  Which usually means water will get on our floor, area rug and even couch.  Not enough to cause alarm or anything.  A few times she seemed shocked that I didn't seem to care. 

I let Everly paint her hands, her rubber frog and a polly pocket.  It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.  If she wants to do that that is fine.  I won't let her paint her cloth dolls obviously.  And when she is painting she has to stay in her chair.  I guess I just have to remind myself I do set boundaries... I just like to give Pooks lots of room to be a creative kid.