Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Progress on Words in the Middle of a Hot Week

You'll all be happy to know that the heat wave hasn't hit us yet (according to the morning news). It's only supposed to be 103 degrees this afternoon. The real heat wave, which is supposed to drive things up to 110 is set to hit on Friday. Two more days of "cool" weather.

We've really had a lot of time to spend reading with all this time indoors. I may start sounding like an infomercial for the Your Baby Can Read Program, but I have to tell my proud mom of the week story. Yesterday I was getting Sadie ready to go into town for Mass and I asked her where her arm is. She crouched down on the ground and started looking around on the floor. I repeated the word arm several times, thinking that she hadn't understood, but she ignored me and crawled over to a pile of toys. After unearthing a book from one of the toys she looked at the cover (it was the Your Baby Can Read Slider Book) and pointed at the baby's arm. Then she flipped the book open to the first page (where the word arm is next to a picture of a boys arm) and pointed straight to the word "arm." I think it was the first time Paul had seen her actually point out a word and everyone was very excited, including Sadie.

Still, I will be relieved when the heat wave passes (they're predicting nineties by the first week of August) and we can actually go outside and play again. Right now there are too many mosquitoes in the morning and by the time the mosquitoes disappear it's just too hot for a baby to be out toddling around.

I just started reading the Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. So far I really like it (although I wonder if I am going to be completely sold on every single homeschool program that I read about over the course of the next few years). I'm still in the kindergarden through fourth grade section, but it talks about the importance of teaching facts at this age. It says that so much emphasis has been put on creativity in schools these days, to the harm of basic skills that are really necessary for future creativity, like reading and writing. I probably agree with this so strongly because I proof read a lot of papers for quite a few friends in college and I was surprised by the fact that many were barely literate. It was really shocking. The theory for the first few years seems to be to put as much information in front of you child as possible and let them soak it up. If they want to be creative support that endeavor, but make sure to read lots of stories and learn, learn, learn rather than just expressing how they feel. And of course, there will be tons of time to run around and play because I think that's a hugely important part of childhood that has been largely lost with video games and TV taking it's place.

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