Logan Can Read!

I recently (beginning of May) started Logan and Lila on the ever-popular Ladybird Readers.
Logan had never shown much interest in learning to read before, though I tried various methods with both of them. I eventually dropped it and waited a year or so before I bought the first 3 books.
From the beginning, Logan picked it up rapidly, remembering the words with ease and picking up new ones with no problem. I’m shocked at how fast he has learned to read these books! He has completed 1a and 1b and is working on reading 2a and I’m helping him with the writing assignments in 1c. He can’t yet write on his own but he did learn to write the alphabet with help in school last year, so I figure the extra practice can’t hurt.
Lila is going slower. She is still learning the words for 1a and doesn’t quite have them down yet. She has tried reading the book but so far has only succeeded in memorizing what is on the pages and doesn’t actually recognize more than 5 words, so when I would try a new page with the same words, she couldn’t read them. But 5 words is something and I’m sure she’ll have the rest of them down soon.

This series mainly depends on sight reading and doesn’t seem to have much on phonics (though I think Ladybird does have phonics readers), so to balance it out, I am using this phonics website which they all love. Logan is on the readers and Lila is working through the alphabet. Scarlett likes to join us and last time she was repeating all the sounds as she heard them. She may be my earliest reader if this continues.

Which reminds me, I’d better do some with them right now.

Books for Moms

If you are a reader like me, than you know the delight a new book can bring. Finding time to read a whole book, however, is not so easy. No matter what, it seems interruptions happen just as soon as I sit to do something for myself. (I’m surprised not one of my kids has bothered me since I started this post.)

I don’t get a lot of time to read, but when I do, I enjoy the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and especially their books for moms. They are easy to read as they are full of short stories, so you don’t have to read the book through, nor do you have to start at the beginning. There are stories from mothers who come from all walks of life, and who have been through all sorts of situations. Some are famous, most are not, but all share their story from their heart and bring to life the true meaning of motherhood. Here are a few of my favorites.

Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul – This was the first book of the series I ever bought and it has become a special favorite. I got it when my first two kids were just toddlers and I have read it through several times. It will make you laugh and cry. If you have preschoolers or soon-to-be preschoolers, I highly recommend this one.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms – This book comes from the perspective of stay-at-home and work-from-home moms. Since I am a SAHM, I found a lot in this book that made me think about how I can empower my life and be more than just “mom”. My favorite section is about mothers who became entrepreneurs and started their own from-home businesses, all the while managing home and family.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: On Being a Parent – Like the title says, it is on parenthood and is great for both mothers and fathers. I read this one and the previous one when I was in the hospital after my last delivery. Some of the stories are so funny that I had to skip them as laughing made my stitches hurt.

I recently bought a new book called Life Lessons for Busy Moms and as soon as I have a chance to read it, I’ll talk about it here. It is by the same authors for the Chicken Soup books so I’m sure it will be just as good.

While I have only bought books on motherhood up until now, my desire would be to have every book in the series, but I think I would need an extra large library for that as there are hundreds of them.

Do you enjoy reading? What is your favorite book or series? Who is your favorite author?

Early Learning – It Does Work!

Early education – this is something I’ve had in mind to post about for some time now but since it is a huge topic I’ve kept putting it off. Today I got inspired to write it because of something that happened with Logan. I won’t go into a long dissertation on the benefits of early education; there is way too much to say on the topic. I’m just going to give you the proof that it works.

When Logan was 7 months old, I decided I needed to start him on the joys of learning. I know from everything that I’ve studied on the topic (thousands of pages over the past 15 years or so) that there is no better time than babyhood for a child to learn things simply. I pulled out the flashcards, math dots, picture facts  and I went to work.

The basic idea of early learning is that you give the child input, even if you think they aren’t capable of learning it yet. Glenn Doman was a pioneer in this area of early learning, working first with brain-injured children and later with well children. You can learn more here.

Ok, we all know that a baby’s brain is the greatest computer ever built and that the more information you give it, the more space is available on that “hard drive” to store even more stuff, unlike conventional computers that have limited space, even if it is 100 or so GB. Once it’s full, that’s it, won’t hold more. But a baby’s brain will expand to hold everything you put into it. How cool is that?

I’ve taught many children from young ages, but somehow it is different when you have your own child. As much as I wanted to pour so much into him, I was being held back by, “I need to do one more thing, wash one more load of laundry, clean one more thing” so that by the time I was ready to give him attention, he was ready to sleep and the opportunity was missed.

About one month ago I was discouraged with my lack of being able to give him the input I know I am capable of giving him, so I made a plan for how to go about it. I typed out exactly what I want to do with him, made sure the materials were all together in one place, and then committed to giving him at least ½ hr. of focused time every day.

I would sit with him and show him all the flashcards, math dots and picture facts, plus things like reading a baby book together or watching a video.

Then the magic began to take place.

Today we were going over the words he has been doing for the past week. I decided for fun to see if he knew them by holding up two and asking him to pick the right one. Guess what? HE GOT THEM ALL RIGHT! I’m not joking. After doing this week’s words, I took last week’s words which he hasn’t reviewed all week and checked him on them and he also got those right. He can read about 20 words now.
Then I checked him on the math dots using the same method. He can identify any number up to 60 (that’s as far as he’s done) and HE CAN ADD! I’ve been doing addition with him for the past two weeks and he gets right every problem I ask him. He just grabs the card with the correct answer every time.

He also has a great time when I show him the alphabet and phonics flashcards. He has just begun those, but I feel that these will help him with learning to read faster.

He likes to see picture facts on a variety of topics, will watch a Baby Einstein or Kiddie Viddie video all the way through, and is now watching videos in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Hindi in order to be ground in the basics of these languages.

Seeing him learn these things has me so excited. He is just too smart for only being 9 months, but then again, any baby can be as smart if they receive the same input. On the physical side, he can now clap his hands on his own. When he gets excited he waves his arms around and makes all the noise he can. He is the most adorable person around and I can’t get enough of him.

Mr. Smartypants

Watching a spanish Baby Einstein on food.

This is from our trip that I talked about in my last post. He fell asleep on daddy’s shoulder while waiting for the bus.

Logan and his best friend, Eric.

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