Monday, January 31, 2011

Some days are diamonds and some days are just HARD WORK!

I have days where I seriously can pull my hair out with my dd1 lately she has become the most argumentative, willful child I have known. I know in the long run that a child who is not exactly compliant is good it means that they are developing a mind of their own and are questioning your authority but when you are sleep deprived with a little one it takes all of your energy not to turn a blind eye and stay on top of their behaviour.

There are days where I wish I didn't have to be the ogre dishing out the punishment or threatening the punishment or saying "pick that up" or "put that down" "leave your sister alone" "stop whinging" and etc etc. I feel bad when she is having one of those days and I am on her back all day long. I often sit down at night and reflect on my day and think to myself "not once today did I praise her for something good she has done" Did I find any good in her today?" Then I feel really guilty and vow to do a better job the next day.

There are days though where I envy my husband, he comes home from work at night and it is nothing but love and good behaviour from my dd1. She is so happy to see him it is like the Knight in shining armour has returned home to rescue her from her evil Mummy who has told her off all day and reminded her on up teen occasions to say please and thank you. It would be nice to have that excitement towards me. I know it sounds like I'm whinging and complaining but I would like to have a day where we play and I don't have to tell her off.

Now don't get me wrong, I love being a Mum more than anything in the world, but there are days where you sit down on the couch at night and think "I have worked harder today than I have done in any of my paid work." I sit back and often wonder how single parents do it.

This aside, the diamond days when they are sweet and loving and well behaved, make the above days a distant memory. When they come up to you and wrap there little chubby arms around you and say "I love you Mummy." Or when they crawl into your lap for a hug, or you go out somewhere and they remember to say please and thank you without you prompting them. You are also repaid a thousand times over when someone comes up to you and says your child's manners are beautiful and it makes the days where you have been on their backs all day worth it.

So much of parenting at times feels like you are balancing love on one hand and guilt on another. Disciplining is hard work and not something that is particularly nice to do, but has to be done if you want them to grow up and be able to function in society and be liked by others. Disciplining can make you feel very guilty, I know it does me at times I often wonder if I am expecting too much of her and am I being overly hard on her? but I know in the long run it is what is best for her.

So to all the parents out there pat yourself on the back and know that we are all doing the best we can!!!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Right brain education the future or quackery? part 1

Hi Everyone,

I have recently undertaken the right brain kids Tweedle Wink over view course on Right Brain Education. When I first heard of right brain education I honestly thought that it was just a 'marketing gimmick' hatched to make parents feel guilty about not doing enough early education with their children. Even though this was my initial thought I was intrigued to find out more and if there was any validity to what they were claiming.

Right brain Education was first taught in Japan by a man named Makato Shichida who combined Tony Buzan Accelerated learning techniques with the Glenn Doman method and modified the method for children. He discovered that children were amazing learners and in the right loving environment were able to excel in areas which we thought were only reserved for the truly gifted.  He discovered that children were able to learn things like perfect pitch, attain multiple languages, have photographic memory, speed read and have incredible ability to calculate math.

So I tried googling the Shichida method schools on you tube video but there are none I later found out that they have strict secrecy rules around their method, but I stumbled across a forum on early childhood education where I came across right brain kids and there product for 0-6 children called Tweedlewink, a right brain education DVD set with course  I have had the DVD set for awhile but I waited to do the course until now and I can certainly see the benefits of right brain education and how it can help my daughters achieve the above abilities.

I have just finished the first module of this course and I have already learnt so much. The human brain is an absolutely amazing organ and it at its most plastic in the years of zero to six. Pamela Hicken (the lady who put together the tweddlewink programme) says you can teach these concepts in 10 minutes a day.

What is Right Brain Education?

Right Brain Education is a misnomer it really should be called whole brain education because if we only educate one side of the brain then we would end up really lop sided. The point of educating the right brain is so when the bridging effect occurs around the age of 6 the child's brain will be able to work as a whole (not having left or right brain dominance) and the child could bring together the mental imaging of the right brain and use the left brain to bring the image into life. It can also help with learning techniques such as speed reading, great creativity, rapid math calculation and perfect pitch.
It is not about making your child a genius but giving your child enough information to find the genius within.
Right brain education is a very gentle approach compared to what we are used to from our school years. There is no testing, no rote memorisation, just a fun, loving approach to education where you give the information through a fast flash card technique and you walk away and let the child show you. (This has been a very very hard concept for me to grasp because I want to know where my daughter is at and I am constantly asking her questions) but I am starting to let it go and I am learning to just give her the information and not asking for it back.

Right Brain Education should also only be presented by you if you are in a relaxed state no point trying to do a lesson when the kids a screaming, the dog chewed your favourite pair of shoes and you are trying to cook tea. You must be relaxed and in a loving state with your children to do a lesson.

I hope this blog on right brain education has intrigued you to do some more research into it. I will continue part 2 very soon.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Massage your baby/toddler why it is important.

Hi Everyone,

Today I thought I would focus on some of the things I have been doing with My DD2 on these early months between sleeps.

Smart Start is a book I purchased through Gymbaroo a program on how physical development helps develop brain function in tots. The founder Margaret Sasse used to work with children who had learning difficulties and after much research into their early childhood she discovered that many of the children missed critical stages of their physical development. She developed this programme to help young children to go through each stage of development and therefore not be hindered academically when they go to school.

Anyhoo I have taken Sophia through this program and now I will be taking Anneliese through it to but I have been using this book to help me get a head start to her physical program.

One of the things I have been doing a lot of is massage and talking to Anneliese about her body. Massage helps with the strengthening of nervous system and aids neurological development it speeds up mylenation of the nerves also helps strengthen the muscles. Any way back to what I do. When I massage her I talk to he about each part of her body. I start by saying Mummy is now massaging your shoulders and your chest and now im massaging your tummy. Always in a gentle and calm voice. Once I finish massaging her tummy I go back to her shoulder and work my way down her arm. I always say which arm I am massaging. "Mummy is massaging your left arm, and now your left hand and fingers" and I do the same with her right side as well.

This allows her to get to know her body but also allows her to get an understanding of where she starts and where she ends.

Massaging also is a great way to bond with your child. It allows the both of you to have some special time at the end of the day and for you and your baby to relax together.

Here is a link to a great website about baby massage

Thanks for reading

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Turning crap gifts/toys into something educational.

I don't know about you but as a parent I see my child given upteen amounts of stuff that I can only label as crap! and Im sorry to be so honest here but it is one of those things that really gets on my nerves.I know I should be more grateful and its the thought that counts but at times I wish people would pick up the phone and ask "I would like to buy your child a gift is there something that they need or you would like for them". So I thought I would write a post on how to get a bit creative with these toys/gifts and see if you can use them educationally before you quietly put them in the bin before the well meaning family member finds out.

My DD1 recently received a gift which was called a dog tube which was filled with many different types of dog figurines. The dog figurines are not particularly big so it is an issue to have them around my DD2 as she grows and gets moving and starts putting them in her mouth. Also my DD1 is not really into dogs as she tends to like African animals and Sea animals. So it does not get played with very often. I bring them out every now and then but only if she wants to play with them and no really young children are around.

So onto how I turned it into an educational toy and something fun to play with every now and then.

I went through the dog figurines and worked out what each breed was and then I put the breeds into a word document printed it out and laminated it, and then cut them out and made it into a game to play called "Find my name." I laid the words out where she could see them, picked up a figurine and in my best Scooby Doo voice started saying "I am a Boxer where's my word? I'm very sad without my word". My dd1 thought this was hilarious and would search for the word 'Boxer' and match it up with the figurine I gave her. We did this as long as she wanted to. I think we did about 6 different breeds and there are 13 in the tube and every now and then she brings it out and we play with it. Even though she is not that interested in it now she may be in the near future.

So before you chuck the next so called gift out just ask yourself "Is there a way I can turn this into an educational fun thing to play with?" and if you can, do it but if you can't don't let another toy clutter up the precious space you have in your house.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Using craft projects to teach about shapes.

My DD1 loves nothing more than doing craft and covering herself with glue and glitter So I thought how can I turn this into teaching her something while still maintaining the fun. So I decided to go and buy the shinyest and preetiest paper I could find and teach her about shapes, or polygons to be exact.

DD1 already had a basic idea of shapes as I had made her a shapes book but it was something she didn't really look at anymore so I had to come up with a more creative way to reinforce what I have already taught her, but I had to remind myself what a polygon was and what was not a polygon as it has been while since I had done any geometry. So for those of you who want to know it is a shape with straight sides which all join up.

So I cut up a whole heap of shapes, trapezoids right angle triangles Isoceles triangles, squares, quadrilatrials, trapezoids, pentagons, hexagons, heptagons and octogons. I have not done nonagons, decagons and dodecagons yet mainly because I need to print some pictures first so I can have an accurate shape :) My cutting skills at times can leave much to be desired. haha.

I wrote on the back what each shape was and as DD1 was putting glue on the back of each shape she picked up I would read and point to the words on the back and then let her glue the shape down and decorate it which ever way she wanted. DD1 really enjoyed it and we made many 'creations' with the shapes and she still asks to do crafts with shapes.I also wrote under each shape what it was and we had a ball making and doing our creation.

  I wanted to write about this so you know that there are many ways to teach different subjects and you as the parent/teacher are not stuck to any 'one way' only the way that suits your child and their needs. Make it fun and your child will continue to love learning for a very long time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Teaching maths my not so favourite subject!!!!

Well it has almost been a month since my last blog. Sorry everyone, Trying to get the toddler and the newborn into a routine has proven a little harder than I originally thought it was going to.

I spent my first day on my own today with the girls and with some organisation (something that is relatively    foreign to me) I was able to get a bit of teaching done with my toddler and some baby exericise done with my newborn when she was awake.

I have just started this new maths programme with dd1 called Jones Genius Math Matrix from the USA and I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first as I have been using mainly computer based programmes and dvds to teach my DD things and this is completely paper based programme. DD1 has taken to it quite well and it is a step by step programme to teach littles from about 2 onwards maths and builds upon teaching them basic maths concepts to very difficult concepts and the ability to do rapid math calculation in their heads. Which to me is a fantastic abilty to have especially when maths can be a boring and difficult subject to learn.

The steps are VERY simple, so simple in fact I sometimes think I could over look them because they seem so trivial but each step is important. Sophia and I count forwards and backwards once a day because she wont do anymore than that and that's fine because early learning is all about fun. It never occured to me to actually count backwards, whenever I count with DD1 I always count forwards not backwards but in the math matrix step guide Dr Jones states that many children have a hard time with subtraction because most people never count backwards with them only forwards which I guess is true.

So far my little miss has enjoyed the first 4 steps of the math matrix program especially the drawing of the numbers with her finger. DD1 cant write yet but one of the steps is to count the dots on each number and trace the number with your finger. This step shows my dd not only does the number of dots increase with each no. showing larger and smaller numbers but she also gets to learn how the numbers are formed as well.

All in all I think this is a great way to introduce math concepts to the very young. I can also do it while im busy with DD2 and make a song of singing the numbers forward and backwards with Sophia while im feeding dd2 and DD2 gets to hear it all and is soaking up the information.

DD2 is going well, I don't do much early learning with her yet as she is still sleeping majority of the time. At the moment I mainly continue to show her black at white images to develop her vision, a load of tummy time when she is awake, massaging after bath where I get my husband to give her a baby massage ans talk to her about each part he is massaging saying I am now massaging your left arm and your left hand and fingers teaching miss DD2 about her body. I also show her herself in the mirror while doin tummy time. I also do vestibular work by doing little song and dance with her while rocking her from side to side and gently turning 3 times in one direction and 3 times in the opposite direction.To help with left and right brain development.

So that is what I have been doing in the last month. While trying to get the girls into a routine. I will update you on DD1 progress with the maths matrix. So far Im enjoying teachin it to which is also very important if you can't teach something joyously as doman says don't teach it at all.

Signing of for tonight.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog