Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Learning Log -- early January

We've had some nice, unseasonable weather recently, so we've taken walks and played at playgrounds and gone to playdates. Lots of socializing. We had one great day at a mall playground last week. Suzanne (4 1/2 yo) had fun running around with a few other girls. She even had a suitor -- some cute little boy that she taunted into a frenzy. Reminds me of meeting her dad so long ago. Poor boys, they have no idea what they're in for...

Suzanne has been showing an interest in writing. It began a few weeks ago when she wanted to write words on the computer. I told her she could look in a word book (Usborne's First Thousand Words) and copy words if she wanted (I think she had started asking me to spell words for her). She spent quite a while consulting the book and typing words. We have several pages printed with words like amusement, merry go round, sandwich, and toilet.

The other day, she was writing on her MagnaDoodle and showed me that she could write the letters H, I, L, M and O. This is huge progress for her and it thrilled me to see that she would get there when she was ready, that its okay that I'm not sitting her down and telling her to practice. Today, she found the workbooks that are all around and was doodling in them. Sometimes she holds the pen correctly, sometimes not. I credit her Paternal Grandmother on the interest in writing, one gift she received from her was a board game that involves tracing letters and she recently played it with her dad.

Gabrielle (2 1/4 yo) is jabbering all the time. She is mainly saying words, but will come out with a short, simple sentence now and then. Its a bit frustrating to ask her a question because she doesn't answer but will repeat the words of the question. I remember Suzanne going through this, its all part of learning. It might be annoying not to get the answer, but it is fun to watch her learn.

She's also learning the alphabet. She received LeapFrog Fridge Phonics. Its a set of magnets with a player. You select a letter magnet, put it in the player and push. It plays a little song about the letter's name and the sound(s) it makes. She's played with it at other people's houses -- kids seem to really like this toy.

My husband enjoys working with her -- he'll go through the alphabet, one letter at a time and she'll repeat back the letter. She can say nearly all of them, W is a bit of a challenge, sometimes she just says 'double.' Maybe she's just not a Bush fan (ha ha).

So, we're having fun around here. Lots of playing pretend and dress-up and listening to music and story CDs. They learn when they want and I'm so happy to be able to watch and help when they want it.

DISCLAIMER: these Learning Logs encapsule about 15 minutes or less of each day. While our home life is fairly pleasant, it isn't all sunniness. I'm no paragon of patience, but it does get easier when I hold myself back a bit and just watch. I lose my temper sometimes and yell. These posts are to remind me that they are learning and to encourage others who may want to try homeschooling but who are worried. I don't think my kids are better than your kids ;-)


Anne Zelenka said...

Laura has the LeapFrog Fridge Farm; she likes it a lot. Maybe I'll get the Fridge Fonics (isn't it confusing to introduce "ph" at this age?) and she'll learn the alphabet before Anna figures it out. Anna's still having trouble with the "l-m-n-o-p" part.

Remember when Suzanne sang, "Ella go pee" for that?

Marjorie said...

I had forgotten, that was pretty funny! Thanks for sharing the memory. Its frightening how quickly time passes and how easy it is to forget. Thats one reason I blog.

I didn't know about the Fridge Farm, sounds cute. We have some Tomy Gearation magnets on the fridge too, so there isn't much room left. Of course, I can always bring out the cookie sheets for magnet play. House-hunting frustrates me because remodeled kitchens tend to have non-magnetic refrigerators. I have all kinds of stuff on my fridge. A barren fridge door strikes me as empty -- maybe I'll write a bad poem about it!