Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cute Quirks & Baby School updates

I LOVE this age.  Xander's personality is starting to show.  His smile makes me smile still, every time.  He squeals and giggles a lot.  Lately, he babbles all the time.  Even when he is upset.  He cries less than he "complains."  I can't understand what he is saying, but from the tone and facial expressions you know he is telling you just how unhappy he is about whatever it is.  He still makes his baby raptor noises, but has also started doing this little shriek.  At first it sounds unhappy, but you take a look at his face and he has this huge grin!  He loves trying out his vocal cords.

He also has some funny little habits.  For example, in order to suck his thumb, he first sticks two to three fingers and his thumb in his mouth.  Then he twists his hand until only the thumb is left.  He has also started reaching up behind his head, to either scratch the top of his head or just sit there and hold it.  It just looks funny since just lifting his arm straight up would get his hand to the same spot more comfortably.  Of course, I have tried to get a picture of it, but he quits whenever I try.

This kid also wants to walk so badly!  He wants to stand while I am holding him, not sit.  He also enjoys standing while I just hold under his hands to balance him.  Then he leans forward trying to GO.  Unfortunately, he has quite a while.  He also has no interest in crawling.  I've read that mastering crawling is important for balance and coordination, so I don't want him to skip it, but he just does not want to be on his tummy.  Regardless, I think I am in trouble when he finally is mobile.  I don't think he will ever stop moving.

Baby School

We've made some slight modifications to his early learning curriculum.

He still watches YBCR every day.  We are on disc three.  He loves it!  In fact, when he got hurt the other day, all he wanted to do all night was watch it, back to back.  Our set only came with the first three, and I was debating not getting the fourth.  Well, I think I am going to have to now.  Although, I still think I will skip the 5th, since it is supposedly only a review of the first four.

We still do Little Reader twice a day, 5-7 days a week.  I am hoping to be able to customize it more once he gets a bit older and has more experience with things, and once I get some photo software.

We have started doing word flash cards daily now.  We have two sets of 5 words each that we show three times a day.  We add one word and subtract one word from each set every day.  I've chosen words that he has already seen through LR.  At first he wasn't too interested, but lately he has been enjoying these super quick word sessions.  Since each session only takes about 10 seconds, I'm hoping to eventually move this up to three sets a day.

He still gets three sessions of 10 Doman style dot cards.  We retire two and add two every day.  Right now we are on 47-56.  He really enjoys them, usually squealing and "talking" the whole time.  As much as he enjoys them, it will be nice when they are done. I made them on 11x11 sheets of poster board, so they are hard to take along with us on outings.

We also do two Little Math sessions a day, usually 6-7 days a week.  He seems to like it better than reading.  Maybe I've got a little engineer on my hands?

Since he is too young to do any of his own shape sorting or puzzles, I hold him while I do some sort of spacial activity.  We don't have too many yet (like I said, he is too young), but he does like watching me put the rings on his rainbow stacker, do his simple geometric shapes puzzle, or do his beginner pattern blocks.  It isn't something we do every single day, but it is something entertaining for him.

He has had some exposure to colors through LR.  I made big 11x11 flashcards of the colors that I have been showing him three times a day.  Additionally, I wrote the colors onto corresponding sheets of foam, both in capital and lower case letters.  I show him these and he likes to look at them, grab them, and of course, chew on them.

We haven't started doing that much with music yet.  I do try to have Pandora going often.  I play a wide variety of music for him, so he hears everything from Beethoven to Barney.  He adores music (and dancing).  I sing to him all the time (although any adult would probably cringe at my singing voice).  He also has a mini tambourine, bells, maracas, and a mini rain stick, most of which were found cleaning out my mom's basement closet.  Once we move, I hope to have the piano in a more convenient location so that we can play on that too (it is currently in the storage room in the basement).

Wow, when it is all written out like that, it looks like a lot.  It doesn't seem like it, because most of the "lessons" take less than a minute.  Also, I look at it as a way of entertaining him.  That kid doesn't know what overstimulation is.  He wants to be looking at something or doing something constantly!  I'm sure we could do more each day and he would love it.  I'm the one who can't keep up with him.

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