"If Psalm 1 is to be believed, we must not allow our children to stand, sit or walk with those who deny biblical truth and morality. Instead, we must place them in situations that will aid them in meditating on the law of the Lord 'day and night.' Surely this involves how and where they are to be educated." — Voddie T. Baucham Jr.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I love stickers

I got My Big Book of Stickers for Janelle yesterday at the thrift store for $1. I looked it up on Amazon and it was originally $11. It has 600 stickers of all kinds of things like farm animals, dinosaurs, jobs people do, and places around the world. I really like it for a number of reasons.

1) Since Janelle is a visual learner she befits from pictures. Each picture is labeled as to what it is so you are learning about all kinds of things, not just putting the sticker wherever you want to.

2) She has to use her hands to peel the stickers from the sticker page being careful not to tear them, and then place them in the correct place. This is a great exercise in dexterity and hand eye coordination which she will need for writing among many other things.

3) She can't do this by herself. Each sticker is numbered and has a certain place. So she needs me to read the numbers for her and show her which page and place to put them. Which lends itself to a bonding experiences and increases her chances of academic success.(See below)

4) It makes her happy. She loves stickers and has since yesterday begged me to do sticker book with her several times.

Not bad for $1.


Read here for more info on the benefits of bonding.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Find


I just found this at the Thrift Store for $2. I plan to use it for Janelle's math program.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rolling Over

So I started reading How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb last week and realized I hadn't been giving James enough tummy time. According to the book he is "behind" in his physical development and was in need of a lot more opportunity to gain strength in his legs and upper body.
Now, I'm not one to keep their baby lying on their back all day, or strapped into some other baby confiner. James is usually being held or is propped up on the couch or bed. I would occasionally lay him on his stomach for a few minutes a day to make sure he was getting tummy time, but the book recommends a minimum of four hours a day. I was no where near that. So I started changing some habits. Whenever I would put him down on the bed, I put him on his stomach. I got a small blanket to put on the floor down stairs (we have hardwood floors) to put him on while I make dinner instead of his bouncy seat. I've tried to be consistent everyday. Not sure if I'm up to four hours yet, but he's defiantly getting more than he used to.
So the third day of more tummy time, he did something for the first time. Something Janelle didn't do until she was 7 or 8 month old. He rolled over. Now, I read that he should be able to do this at 2-3 months. So it's not super amazing. But I don't thinks its a coincidence that it happened when he started to get more opportunity.
Anyways, I'm proud of him, and I intend to keep up the program and see what he'll do next.



James is 4 months and 4 weeks old

Friday, August 26, 2011

A little project

I got this little table and chair set at a yard sale for $5. One of the chairs has a crack in it. The owner said that an adult sat in it and it broke. He had repaired it and reinforced it underneath with a 2x4. It seemed pretty stable, at least for the kids to sit on.
So my plan is to cover the seat part of the chairs with some pretty scrap-booking paper, and then with clear contact paper. I may also add some to the back of the chairs because they seem a little worn.
I'll keep the table in the kitchen for snack time and projects where I would prefer a cleanable surface beneath. I'll also use for learning how to set a table and other Montessori type skills.
Now that I've made this post I have to get it done. My husband can tell you that I am notorious for starting and not finishing projects. :) But I now the public is waiting, so the pressure is on.


Update: See the finished project here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I get it, or I think I do

So I was reading in How to Teach Your Baby to be Physically Superb last night, and somewhere between then and this morning it hit me. I had been reading it wrong. The name of Glenn Doman's school in Philadelphia is The Institutes for the Advancement of Human Potential. And I had always understood that to mean that we are teaching our kids so that they can achieve their human potential. But thats not it at all. At least thats not my new understanding, which is this, we teach our kids so that their potential can be advanced. The more I stimulate the brain development in a certain area of my birth to six year old, the greater his/her future potential in that area will be. Not to say that any child over six can't develop new skills and abilities. But they will do so with greater effort and have to expend more energy in doing so than if they had developed these areas before six. I get it now. I'm not trying to raise little geniuses who can rattle off random bits of encyclopedic knowledge. (my best friend put it well here). But what I AM doing is advancing, or you could say enlarging, their potential to be able to store and recall facts about anything that they would wish or need to in the future. Which would make learning new things a little easier for them. And I think that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reading

Here is a video I made of Janelle sight reading at 14 months. I had been using Little Reader, (which I got for $60 before they raised the price), and made some flashcards of the words she had learned. She gets one wrong, but you can tell by her expression that she realizes her mistake. I just wish I had been more diligent, who knows what she would be reading today. ----sigh---- Oh well, looking forward to the future.

Mothers make the very best mothers

Mothers were deeply concerned about the collapse of the school system so evident on every hand...
They decided they would be professional mothers. And it was about this time that their gentle revolution discovered the other Gentle Revolution.
The results have been truly incredible.
When this new kind of mother discovered that she could not only teach her baby to read, but to teach him better and easier at two years of age than the school system was doing at seven, she got the bit firmly between her teeth - and a new and delightful world opened up.
A world of mothers, fathers and children.
It has within it the potential to change the world in a very short time and almost infinitely for the better.
Young, bright and eager mothers taught their babies to read in English and sometimes in two or three other languages.
They taught them to do math at a rate that left them in delighted disbelief.
They taught their one-, two- and three year olds to absorb encyclopedic knowledge of birds, flowers, insects, trees, presidents, flags, nations, geography and a host of other things.
They taught them to do gymnastic routines on the balance beams, to swim and to play the violin.
In short they found that they could teach their tiny children absolutely anything which they could present to them in an honest and factual way.
Most interesting of all, they found by doing so they had multiplied their baby's intelligence.
Most important of all, they found for them and their babies, the most delightful experience they had ever enjoyed together.
Their love for each other and perhaps more important, their respect for each other multiplied.
How were these mothers different from the mothers who had always been?
Not only is it true that mothering is the oldest profession but it is also true that they were the first teachers and they remain the best teachers that have ever existed.


Taken from How To Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence by Glenn Doman

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mommy, teach me to read

So my daughter Janelle is begging me to teach her to read. Mainly because she wants to be able to read the stories in her new picture Bible. I had taught her to read some words using Little Reader which is based on the Doman method, but I wasn't consistent. And now the program has lost some of it's novelty, and isn't very exciting to her. So I created a video using iMovie, which after the first viewing she was asking for more. (a very good sign).
What I did was took the words from one of the stories in her Bible (The Story of Moses) and made slides for only six of the words. Doman says to start with five but I thought she could handle learning six at a time. I tried to find a font that was closest to the one in the book and made them large. I added a picture of the book which I got from Google images, and added her picture at the end to make it personal. The music I got from iMovie which I thought was pretty relaxing and the applause adds some excitement.
I'll show this set of words for a few days, unless she shows that she is learning them faster. At which time I'll switch out one of the words and replace it with a different word from the story. I start with nouns and work through to articles, and I'll show the video three times a day. You could make something similar using Power Point or Windows Movie Maker. Or you could just write the words on index cards. Whatever works for your child and is something you know you can be consistent in doing. The key is to make it fun and enjoyable. You can find free Power Point presentations here.

This just in.....


I just got this in the mail today. I can't wait to start reading and implementing the program. I'll update as I go along.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Math dots

I started Janelle and James on Glenn Doman's math program. The premise behind the method is to teach quantity before the symbles. For example showing the child ten dots instead of the number "10". I have been successful at not teaching her the numerals. Although I think she has learned some of them from book and videos.

I have been wanting to start Janelle for a while and just haven't done it. I've tried to show her the dots on the computer and she never seemed to pay attention. So I thought she may do better with physical cards and I was right. She showed much more interest in the cards than she did the slides on the computer. She even ask to do math now.

But the only problem lies in my consistency. We started a little over a month ago and we're only on day 15 of the program. Part of the problem is that I've only made cards up to 30, and we're at 29! I haven't made the rest of the cards, so I can't go any further. Secondly, I don't have a scheduled time to show the cards. So I end up just grabbing them when I think about it, which obviously isn't every day.Two problems that are easily remedied. I need to make all of the dot cards so I don't run in to this problem again, and set a time for each day that will be dot time. My goal is to have this done by Sunday night. Then, I can start next week on the right foot. I can do it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Things I Love

I love watching my little man sleep.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Focus

So here is my focus list for the first semester. I was thinking way too big to start out with. My husband helped me to simplify my list and to take it slow. Its better to have something small done well than to have big dreams that never get accomplished. This is something I need to muse on until I really get it. So here is ALL I'm starting out with.

1. Bible - The first seven days of creation
2. Math - Doman Math, quantity recognition, simple addition and subtraction
3. Writing - Learning to write her name and common words
4. Reading - Doman Method (since she is a visual learner)
5. Creativity - Art, music, dance and whatever else she finds interesting

Thats it. If I can be consistent the first semester with that, then I'll build and branch. I am going to do some life skills Montessori style. I'm not sure what all of this will look like in a lesson plan, but I do need a focus. I haven't forgotten all of my big dreams. They'll just have to wait.

Learning styles

So I recently found out that Janelle is a visual learner. How I found out is that we were at her gym class and I overheard her teacher telling someone that Janelle is a visual learner so you should show her want you want her to do. Well I thought about this on the way home and some things started to make sense. Like when Janelle is singing she always asks me to "look" at her instead of asking me to listen to her. She also did very well with sight reading, but just couldn't get the hang of phonics. She could say all the sounds of the letters but couldn't put them together. But knowing how her brain prefers to receive information will make a huge difference in the way I teach her. It will also cut down frustration and disappointment. The number of learning styles varies depending on who you ask. But the three main preferred ways of receiving info are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles by Carol Barnier could give you more info. You can also take a quiz online to see what your child's learning style is.