So, we did try out some new site word activities this week in addition to trying to cut down our tv time.  The week started out well.  I gave the boys a choice of three shows to watch Monday morning and we actually only ended up watching two.  And then we had a couple of rough nights, and mommy was tired, and Big Boy was tired.  But if Big Boy takes an actual nap, bedtime doesn’t happen until after 10 or 11!  By the end of the week we were back to too much tv.  I’m talking two hours or more.

I tried to have activities prepared.  We tried the site word/color game in which I labeled three cups with site words or colors and hid a raisin under one.  Big Boy lasted about four rounds before he got bored.  Little Boy lasted a little bit longer, but had eaten enough raisins and was upset when ended the game.  The site word/color parking lot game wasn’t much more successful.

I think one of the toughest parts of being a mom of two has been entertaining them at the same time.  They are far enough apart age-wise that it is hard to find activities that cater to both of their interests.  They also have very different personalities.  Big Boy is my calm reflector and Little Boy is my constant mover dump-it-outer!

I wonder if I’m putting to much emphasis on Big Boy’s learning when I’m planning activities and need to start by catering to Little Boy.  Part of my tendency to cater to Big Boy is my concern that he will be ready for Kindergarten.  I have seen the list of things kids are expected to know by Kindergarten, and it stresses me out!   All I remember about kindergarten is play time!  School is so much more challenging now.  Do I start preparing Big Boy for that? Or do I wait and deal with it when we reach that point?

This week, I think I”m going to try focusing more on shapes and colors versus reading skills.  Maybe Big Boy will stay interested longer if we are doing something he feels more confident about.

Site word tactics

March 4, 2013

I wanted to share a few of the things we’ve been doing to work on site words.  For Big Boy’s third birthday, he received some Do-A-Dots, which are AWESOME if you have not had a chance to use them (http://www.amazon.com/Do-A-Dot-Rainbow-Art-Set/dp/B00004W3Y4).   We used them a lot at Christmas when I found various sites providing free pictures that you could color with the Do-A-Dots, and recently I’ve seen pins suggesting other ways to use them.  Based on a pin using the markers to help children identify and match letters, we used them to identify/match site and color words.

P1050820

It was a short/simple activity and one that he could do somewhat independently (which is often key!).

We also tried this game: http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/2012/06/13/showdown/  using plain pieces of paper.  As long as I emphasized the “1….2….3……SHOW!!!” aspect, Big Boy really enjoyed this, and it also required him to work on small motor, as he wanted to keep all the cards in his hand as one would in Go Fish.

This week I want to try this game: http://sprinklestokindergarten.blogspot.com/2012/01/wheres-bear.html  and perhaps this: http://www.jugglingwithkids.com/2011/10/sight-word-parking-lot.html

I’m hoping to try a color versions of these games with Little Boy.

In other news…

One of my main goals this week is to reduce our tv viewing.  I’ll admit- it is SUCH an easy go to when I want to get something done.  Big Boy has a really hard time playing independently, and that is my fault.  So, my goal this week is to help BOTH little men to become more confident independent players (workers, really).  This is not only for my sake (but def. a big part of it- dinner needs to get made, dishes have to get done), but because I don’t want them to think that they can’t come up with their own ideas for play.  This may take a little more flexibility on my part as far as materials/toys I’m going to be willing to get out, and Husband may have to get used to a little extra mess when he gets home!!!  Trying to talk to Big Boy when he watches TV has become impossible, and that’s why I KNOW we need to kick this habit.  Tomorrow, I’m going to start by letting them choose three programs they want to watch during the day.  That said, I think I’d better post my other goals tomorrow night.  I’ve got some “independent activities” searching to do!  We shall see how this goes.  Maybe I should find my headphones.  There could be some screaming and whining involved!

If anyone who reads this blog has any advice on this, please, advise away.

January-February

March 3, 2013

So…one thing I should work on for March- organize passwords!!!!  That goal speaks for itself 🙂

On helping big boy read, well, we’re coming along.  We’ve got a good start on sight words.  Tomorrow I plan to post some of the activities we’ve tried.  Most of them I found on Pinterest.  He can identify the, and, of and was.  Next I want to work on pronouns.  I’m trying to make sure that I’m not forcing this on him, that I’m being relaxed with the activity and stopping when he seems bored or frustrated.  He does seem proud when he can identify words in various contexts!

Little Boy is more of a hands on learner it seems.  He is my little chef, who is happiest in the kitchen with me or using my pots, pans and cooking utensils!!!  We did try “color boxes”.  Each week I had Big Boy help me fill a box with items (toys) of one color.  To be honest, I think Big Boy enjoyed the activity and silly song I made up to go with it than Little Boy, but that is perfectly fine!  I also began discussing colors in a different way based on the linked article below (i.e. I say “Let’s put the grapes that are green in the pot”.)

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-johnny-name-colors  

Exercise is going well.  I’m doing mixed strength/cardio workouts for about 30 minutes two to three times a week (depending on how often Big Boy goes to school :)).  I’m not feeling a ton of difference as far as energy, but I’m sure it’s not hurting.

Cooking- a work in progress.  It has happened two times a week more weeks than not, but finding something that everyone can/will/should eat in our house is QUITE A task!!!!  I have enlisted the help of my mother-in-law.  Surprisingly, to me, it took a bit of pride swallowing to ask for help with learning to cook.  I’m not quite sure why since most people who know me (mil included) know that one or two years ago we would have eaten sandwiches or eaten out 365 a year if we didn’t have a microwave in our house.  OH- and we got a meat thermometer, which has allowed me to cook meat without constant paranoia that I have just given my family salmonella!!!

And, last but not least….coffee….(hide self in shame).  Let’s just say, it’s not happening.  Or, shall I say, coffee is ALWAYS happening.  And, per usual, it’s not just the coffee.  It’s the sugar.  Delicious, addicting sugar.  Everyone has their poison I guess.  Is this mine?  I guess so, but I NEED to kick this.  The question is, can I kick it just a little, or is this something I have to kick hard, out, for good?   Do I say “It’s just not something I’m ready to give up right now”, and take the easy way out?

Coming tomorrow, Goals for the next month(s).