Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A little musing

Hello readers,

I was speaking with a friend the other day who was talking to me about the philosophy of raising her children "As long as their happy, they don't have to have to be the top of their class...and I can't remember what she said after that but it got me thinking...

We all want our children to be happy in life, to have a wonderful childhood, full of laughter and love but when does happiness become an excuse for mediocrity?

Does as long as their happy mean not trying? Does as long as their happy mean because 'maths does not make them happy that they don't have to apply themselves ? They don't have to push through the tough times when it is not always easy or it doesn't make you happy. Some of the best moments in my life have been when I pushed through what was deemed to be tough at the time. When I pushed through I came out on the other side a happier stronger person because I learnt not to give up, I learnt to put my head down and my bum up and I built character and strength even though I wanted to give up. I learnt to stick to something and see-it-through and that has made me happy as a person to something to the end.

The question is is when do we teach discipline and to sometimes put our feelings aside and say 'okay its time to suck it up and get this done even though while I'm doing it it doesn't make me happy" I sometimes wonder if we use 'their happiness' as an excuse not to do what is really needed to get done to help them succeed as adults and to function in the real world.

Just thinking....


Monday, February 20, 2012

Just Something a little funny

Hello Readers,

Well I was all set up ready to go with a little spelling/writing activity for my eldest. Little bit of flour and a pastry dish for Miss S to practice her writing in. I put it down about to start explaining to her what we are going to do and the phone rings. I say to Miss S "just wait for Mummy to come back and then we can start I just have to get this call" "Okay Mum " she says

 I get off the phone and this is what I find.......

Miss S has covered Miss A in all the flour.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the mess. No lesson happened that day.......:). Just goes to show that Early learning activities do not always go to plan.

Have a nice day


Saturday, February 18, 2012

A stab at teaching geography update!

Hello readers,

We certainly are having fun doing this little project. I will add some more photos for you to have look at. Thanks for following.

Putting Uruguay on the map

Cutting out the flag and a few flora and fauna

Gluing it on

All put together

Colouring in the legend to match the country.

Next on the list is Paraguay and that will complete the bottom half of South America.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A stab at teaching Geography!

Hello Readers,

I am the first to admit that I am a geographical moron. I can't follow a map if I tried, I get lost without landmarks and I struggle to find any country on a map except for my own country and a few of the other big ones. But put me in a shopping centre in any place and I can find my way around so go figure...

So I decided I would try very hard not to impart this geographical nonsense onto my daughters and take a giant leap at teaching (my eldest) some geography. So I decided I would start with a map of South America and have it blown up to quite a large size (the size A0) this was quite cheap to do. My husband found a black and White picture of a map with all the border outline of all the countries. I kept one in tact and I cut the other one up into its individual countries to colour in and then stick on the map like a giant jigsaw puzzle. By making it one giant jigsaw puzzle it has allowed Miss S to find where each country goes on the map. I hope by doing this it will cement it in her brain

I also allow Miss S to pick the country we work on. I then print off the countries flag and some pictures of  Flora and Fauna which is native to that particular country (with names if I can find it). I then get her to cut the pictures out and glue them on to the country we are working on. Miss S has enjoyed this because she loves animals and plants and it helps teach a little about each country's uniqueness even though it is on the same continent.

This has also been a great exercise not only in in geography but it has also allowed me to teach Miss S what a legend is and how to read a legend. I am slowly getting Miss S to colour each country in a different colour we then colour the box on the legend the same colour. This is a great opportunity to then explain that by colouring the box next to the name of the country we help other people be able to find things on a map to.

Below are some photos of our project. Miss S completing Brazil. We have since then completed Bolivia and Argentina.
The Map

Coloring in the first country Brazil

We took turns colouring in

Gluing the flag
Cutting out the flag

Cutting out native flora and fauna

Sticking the native flora and fauna on

Brazil all done

Sticking Brazil on the map

Colouring in the legend to match the colour of the country

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Progress with little Miss A

Hello Readers,

Well since deciding that it was best to take an Early Learning break with Miss S it has allowed me to spend more time with Miss A who is absolutely thriving at the moment with all of her Early Learning.

Miss A has finally gotten in to DVDs and is happy to watch Your Baby Can Read and is thriving. A is picking up so many new words and really enjoying the whole YBCR process she giggles and smiles when it I put it on and s doing the actions to the words to. It is great to see her thriving the way she is. A has been consistently doing LR most days of the week since she was about 5 months old. I have not tested her at all and I was beginning to wonder if it was working at all.but with the recent introduction of YBCR she has just flourished she is also really enjoying baby signing time as well.

I have also introduced home made flashcards which she doesn't enjoy as much as the DVDs but that is okay her sister is enjoyng them (Its the only thing Miss S will do)  So by default Miss A sees them to. I am just amazed by Miss A's progress she has had her ups and Downs and throughout her first year of life she was not 100% health wise I am so pleased to see her doing so well.

Happy Teaching


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The importance of reading to your children if you want them to be great writers

Hello readers,

I recently purchased the Primary Arts of Language K-2 programme for writing which came with a lecture by Andrew Pudewa about the 4 languages of Arts which is listening, speaking reading and writing. The lecture is very, very interesting and well worth listening to.

The first thing that stands out to me the most in this lecture is the importance of reading to your children which I always new would help in when it came to teaching your children to read but I did not correlate it to helping them to become excellent writers and communicators. The one thing through this lecture that is repeated over and over again is the importance of reading aloud to children above their reading level and reading to them until they are in at least in high school or refuse to have you read to them anymore.

So why read to children above their reading level? Pudewa suggest that even if the child does not understand what is being read it allows the child to hear new language, new ways of writing sentences and paragraphs, syntax and grammar. It also ables the parent and the child to discuss what is gong on in the book. It also stretches the child as a reader and does not allow them to get stuck at one Reading level for the rest of their life.  I also love the idea of reading to my children and having the words of a beautiful book wash over them and just have a trickle down effect over my child.

Pudewa also believed that reading aloud to your children also helps in the development of good listening skills. A skill sadly today majority of us lack even as adults. Pudewa blamed the busyness of life as the enemy to poor listening skills because we no longer have the time to devote to reading aloud anymore. Listening is one of the fundamentals of becoming an excellent communicator because without decent listening skills you can not form a decent argument or debate

So how do you help your child to become a great communicator/writer
  • Read, read, read to your child as much as you possibly can
  • Read classic books and build your children up to longer texts here is a list
  • Don't just read books read articles from well written and respected magazines and journals.

Hope this inspires you to get reading with your kids.

Happy Learning