Early Learning Window of Opportunity
Window of Learning Opportunity: What is it?
The window of early learning opportunity is between 0-5 or 0-6 years old, depends on who you are talking to. I feel under so much pressure these last few weeks, and I guess its because Wesley’s fifth birthday is quickly approaching. He is still learning info at a crazy speeds so I’m going to keep exposing him to things like Little Reader and Tweedlewinks. I guess I just feel with the big 5 coming, its kind of now or never, and I know soon enough that window is going to be closed.
Wes had his preschool graduation yesterday. Even though he left his daycare last month they still called me and invited him. Sadly I could not go because I had already taken Monday morning off for an MRI, I could not ask my daycare parents to move their schedules again. So my parents took him. How can he be kindergarten age already! I’m 25 years old but I feel years and years older now that I have a 5 year old.
Hands On Activities. Homeschooling Doesn’t Always Involve Textbooks.
Wesley helped my boyfriend and step daughter plant a garden in the back a few weekends ago. We thought with the crazy rains and flash floods it was going to be ruined, but when the water went away our garden was ok and actually growing better!!
Honestly there is no better way to science then diving right into it.
What Are We Doing to Take Advantage of the Window of Learning Opportunity
(Not everything is done everyday, but at least a few times a week)
This is a hands on math program that uses colorful blocks to teach children math. (UPDATE Nov 2018: This program landed up not being a fit for Wesley. We landed up switching to TouchMath, and he just blossomed. However, I don’t want to turn you off this program just because it was not a fit for us. I know several families that use and love Math U See. )
Hooked on Phonics(HOP). When I think of this company, I think of the infomercials from the early 1990’s. My dad actually called the 1-800 number back then, but the price was OUTRAGEOUS. However in 1994 HOP was forced into bankruptcy due to several lawsuits regarding misrepresenting their product. However in the 2000’s HOP was acquired by the same company as the people who run Sylvan Learning. In 2006 they introduced much more affordable products. A while back my mom found the whole K-Grade 2 set for Wesley at Zellers for $40, and we have just loved it!! Wesley has solidified his knowledge in phonics and has become and even stronger reader because of it.
(UPDATE Nov 2018: The set my mom bought years ago has been a great investment. Zakari is now using the the program. We started him off with their Hooked On Phonics App. While Zakari learned to read mostly using the Doman Program and BrillKids, this helped make sure there were no gaps in his reading skills.
This was another Zellers special my mom found on clearance. It was a great introduction to writing for Wesley. It is very colorful and kid friendly.
(Update November 2018. This was a great program for Wesley to practice his penmanship before we started Handwriting Without Tears. I wish I had the hindsight to have bought 2 of these back in the day. But the one book is reuseable and Zakari has gotten a lot of practice using it.)
Want to start introducing your young child to vocabulary in different languages? Little Pim is a sweet way to start that process. (UPDATE Nov 2018: These videos are now available on Amazon Prime Video)
TweedleWink is a program designed to maximize your child’s natural sponge-like learning state, beginning from birth. Your child can easily absorb information in less than ten minutes a day — quickly, joyfully, without any stress.
I can honestly say this has been a favourite with Wesley. I’m impressed with the quality of the information his is being exposed to. (UPDATE Nov 2018: These are still a family favourite. Zakari has gone through the whole series several times. I have also had many daycare kids who have been in my care enjoy them.)
This is a wonderful program that will help your child recognize different composers and pieces of music. The CD plays a part of the piece twice. The first time it is just the music. The second time it is the music with lyrics. The thing is the lyrics help the child learn who the composer is and what the piece is called.
(UPDATE Nov 2018: To this day every time I hear Vivaldi’s Spring From the Four Season, the lyrics from this CD are stuck in my head. This has been a timeless program that has been used with all my children and many daycare kiddos.)
This is a classic for Wesley. He often request it. Be sure to check out my review about this DVD! Trebellina and Friends DVD Review/
Walking every day
At least once a day I load my daycare babies in a stroller and we go for a walk. There is several great parks near by that we frequent. We also walk to one of two groceries stores within walking distance to get fresh fruit for lunch.
Trying to crawl & creep everyday
According to Glenn Doman, crawling and creeping are important steps to a child’s development. If they skip one of these milestone, don’t do it long enough or if they don’t doing it properly this can severely impact their development. So I have purchased several of these Puzzle Exercise Mat and I create a path for Wesley and my daycare kids to crawl and creep around on.
UPDATE Nov 2018: Sadly we were never as religious about this as I would have like with Wesley. But after attending the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child course in 2016, we started doing creeping with Zakari. I was unable to get Zakari to crawl on his belly though. However at our Evaluation visit at the IAHP/Doman International in 2017 we were able to teach him how to crawl on his belly using the Crawling Track.
Little Reader is the cornerstone of Wesley’s reading program. It is a easy to use computer program that has helped him learn to read before he was old enough to suppose to be able to read. The multisensory approach help babies, toddlers and young children learn to read with comprehension and fluency.
UPDATED November 2018: 8 years later I cannot express how instrumental this program has been in teaching both of my boys to read. You can read more about our journey in the post below:
And of course trying to read LOTS.
We try to make this interesting but keeping track of all the books we read. We are using a sticker chart right now and it is going very well!
What do you do to take advantage of the Early Learning Window of Opportunity?
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