My Top Favorite 6 Early Education Blogs (Post #2- 2016)

blogI love reading blogs! Back when I was a teenager I joined a website called teenopendiary.com. I really didn’t write all that often. But what I did do was save my list of favorites and go check on them everyday to see what was going on in their lives.

Then I got busy with college and work, and well teenopendiary.com just didn’t seem like a place for an 18 year old college student.

Then I got pregnant with Wes. I was 19 years old and while I had a good job and knew I could support us, my friends were all in a different place in life. I felt alone.

That is when I started writing on OpenDiary.com, the parent site of TeenOpenDiary.com. There I was able to meet people who were the same age or close to that were going through the same thing as I was. It was a real community. To this day, even though OpenDiary.com is no more, I am still close friends with many of the women I meet on this site. We become mothers together, we were there for eachother during pregnancy losses, divorces, marriages, custody battles, and the joys and trials of raising our children.

This was my early introduction to blogging.

A few years after Wes was born I started reading some stand alone blogs. And in 2010 I decided I wanted to start my own stand alone blog and share what I had learned over the years. I started my blog Doman, ABA, Homeschooling Momma.

In late October 2014, I decided to purchase my own domain and webhosting services. But I realized that Doman, ABA, and Afterschooling Momma(switched to Afterschooling in 2012) just didn’t roll off the tongue, and there were too many spelling variations for Momma. So that’s when EarlyLearningMom.com was born.

Even though I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now about parenting, autism, homeschooling, and afterschooling, I am NO MEANS an expert. There are regular blogs I read for ideas, and all sorts of information on how to raise my boys.

Here are my TOP 6 Educational Blogs I Follow:

planetsmarty

Planet Smart Pants

Planet Smarty Pants– Natalie from Planet Smarty Pants blogs about her adventures raising her only child. Her daughter is only one year younger than Wes, so while I was a working mom I read her blog quite closely, picking up tips on how to afterschool my child while keeping up the demands of being a mom who works out of the home.

Natalie also host link ups for other blogs to share what they have been doing to afterschool their children.

1+1+1=1

1+1+1=1

1+1+1=1 – If you’re looking for ways to teach your toddler, preschooler,or kindergartener this is the site to visit. There are so many resources that Carisa as created for her own children available for free right at your fingertips. She also has an online store where she has a membership only powerpoints, and several bundles of more educational materials. The prices are very affordable.

I have printed out plenty of her printouts when Wes was younger and in more recent years have started using some of her ideas with Little Z.

domanmom

Doman Mom

DomanMom : Liz from DomanMom is someone I have looked up to in the early learning movement since I embarked on my journey. Her two boys are just a bit older than my two boys. So I’ve been watching her blog very carefully over the years. Be sure to also check out her YouTube Channel, which is filled with awesome educational videos for your little ones.

 

 

marta

Early Learning with Marta, Eaton and Nathaniel

Early Learning with Marta, Eaton and Nathaniel: I love Marta’s blog, I can’t say that enough!! Her youngest is just a bit older then my Little Z, so I’m often snooping around her blog looking for ideas. The stuff her boys are able to do at such a young age blows my mind.

If I had to describe her style of teaching her boys, I would describe it as very montessori.

 

 

larrysanger

Larry Sanger

larrysanger.org: Larry’s blog is not strictly a early learning parenting blog. However he written a 140 page Essay on how he taught his young son to read at a young age. Trust me, the 140 page essay is worth your time to read. We are lucky he has decided to share it for free instead of turning it into a book for purchase.  He is also the creator of the FREE online reading program Reading Bear.

 

 

figur8

Figur8

Figur8: If you are looking for early learning information this is the blog to go to. I have been reading it for years and I keep finding new info I missed. Whether you are looking for brain training, child development, early learning ideas, etc. You will find it here.

 

 

 

Who do you regularly follow? I’m always looking for new learning blogs to check out.

 

 

 

Early Learning Mom Top 10 Blog Post Of 2015

Wow! How is it already the end of 2015. I feel like I was just writing my 2014 10 Top Blog Post a few months ago. In reality, it has been 12 months!!

Reflecting back to 2015, I want to take the time to thank all my readers for continuing to come around and read about my adventures with Little Z and Wes. I know I’m not always consistent with my updates, but I am so grateful for your patiences.

Here are this years Top 5 Post!

Light-Blue-Sky-with-Flat-Bells

#5 Preschool Prodigies eBook And Bells Review : This was such an awesome experience for Z and I. We had the chance to review Mr Rob’s music program. Little Z and I received a set of musical desk bells and since then we have been learning music and having fun!

pail-bucket-md

#4 New Years Goals/Bucket List : Well in my 2016 Bucket List Post, I confess that I did not do very well on this list in 2015. I managed to complete 8/52 challenges. However I have learned from my mistakes, and I have not given up. This year I have created a binder, which includes the list printed out, as well as charts to help me stay on track. 2016 is a whole new year and I plan on nailing it this year.

2014-10-21-2B19.13.38

#3 Toddler Tula Vs Ergo Carrier. My Experience with My Favorite Baby Carriers. : This post is actually a late 2014 post, but it still made the 2015 list due to popularity. I love babywearing! Babywearing kept me sane for the first 3 years of Little Z’s life. It’s how I was able to run my daycare, host birthday parties, and get through the newborn/infant/toddler stage. Sadly this year Z has decided he no long wants to be worn. So that is a stage in our life that is over now. While I did sell the ergo, I have both the Cuddly Wrap and the Tula, no babies are planned in the near future, however I’m not ready to give them up.

NACD Logo-Letters Only

#2 NACD With My Nine Year Old. Helping Your Child with Reading Comprehension. I wanted to cry the day my oldest said he “Hates reading.” As an avid reader, I could not comprehend how someone could actually hate to read. However, if you are not not understanding what you are reading, of course it is not going to be enjoyable. Currently we are on vacation from the NACD due to the awful Canadian dollar, however we still incorporate some of their programs into our day.

And my number 1 post of 2015 is:

TSI and TLP

#1 NACD Early Learning at 32 Months Old : This post received over two times the amount of views my #2 post received. I found the NACD really got me on the path to teaching my son in ways I had never thought of. While we are on vacation, I am still using a lot of strategies they have provided me. Rereading this post reminds me of a few others that I should be still working on. I am so excited to be able to get back on board with them again.

 

*Video Fixed*Homemade Glenn Doman Inspired Books and Flashcards

I know it’s been awhile since my last post. I do apologize. I have been active on Instagram and Youtube. I’ve had a reader or two request I not completely switch over to Vlogging. I’ve been dying to get on here and blog, but since Little Z has decided he’s too cool for naps it’s been hard. Hopefully once Little Z is in full day ABA I will be able to really get back to blogging. For now I hope the sporadic post, and the more regular instagram and Youtube post will be acceptable.

In the past I have talked about our Learning Binders. But I do have to say in the last month or so we have really picked it up with these binders. Z is really responsive to Glenn Doman style learning. I also realized if I’m going to get him to take that next step to reading books on his own, I have to create more homemade books for him to read. So that’s what I’ve been doing. If you’d like to see what they look like, watch the video above. I show you what I have in the binders and what my homemade books look like.

One thing I did not mention in the video is font size. The few that I made from scratch I now realized I have to adjust the print size and reprint. I just notice the larger print keeps his attention much longer. SO even at 3.5 years old, large print is still important.

So to break this down a bit more we have:

1) Learning Binders to present Encyclopedic Knowledge, poems and work on couplets, sentences and skip counting.

2) Story Duotangs to present homemade books. I was able to speak to the IAHP via Facebook messenger. What we are doing after confirming with them is presenting one books a day, reading it 2-3 times, and retiring it to an place where Z can retrieve it himself and read when he wants. I’m sure once the books become longer, we might be reading them less times in a day, but for now this seems to be working. The rep from IAHP also told me if he seems to be bored with a certain book, retire it sooner.

3) I’m currently creating 100s of word flashcards. I’m going to create a binder that breaks down words based on different topics, and another binder with the current words we are working on. We will flip through this binder to introduce new vocabulary. I was hoping to start today, but I did not want to start till we have at least 200 flash cards ready to go. My printer died at 76 last night. I will make a video showing this in more detail when it’s ready. However I think this method, binder style, will help keep all the flashcards organized and simple post its  on each divider will allow me to know when to retire words.

So the learning binders will be less strict. I’m not interested in running a traditional Glenn Doman Encyclopedic Knowledge program. But when it comes to reading, since Z is responding well, I want to encourage it.

One thing I think is worth mentioning is this. If your child is not labeling items during the day, and by this I mean is not pointing out and labeling dogs, squirrels, bulldozers, naming items like forks, or describing actions etc. You might want to included pictures with your words. While Glenn Doman does not worry about comprehension, other programs like the NACD do. Z is able to label 1000s of items, but with my oldest this was not the case. At the end of the day, he can read and decode at a high level but sometimes still struggles with comprehension. I also believe not introducing Doman Style books to him affected things as well with my oldest.

If you’re trying to figure out how you can afford to print out all these flashcards and books check out my friend Liz’s(otherwise know as DomanMom) post. She was able to help me pick an awesome printer. While the ink cartridges from Amazon have caused me nothing but trouble, I have been able to purchase some from the local ink shop for a lot cheaper than my old HP, and they allow me to print out so many more pages for that cheaper price.

Week #1 Bucket list/Goals for 2015 Update

On January 1st, 2015 I wrote about my Goals/Bucket List for 2015.

Well I’m happy to say I can officially check off my first item!

28) Get 200 Twitter followers (Jan 7th/15)

This morning I work up to this:

200+ followers on Twitter

 

I was so surprised how quickly a following on Twitter and grow when you put in the effort. When I made this goal, I have about 35 followers. I guess I should have made my goal 500 maybe.

I’m still very new to Twitter and learning the ropes, so if you have any tips for me I would greatly appreciate it!

If you are on Twitter, but don’t follow me yet, please do HERE.

Also if you are on Facebook, please help me reach my goal of 150 likes. You can so so HERE.

Thank you for all your support!

New Years Goals/Bucket List

I do well when I set goals with powerful start dates. I’m not talking New Years Resolutions. I’m talking about solid written down goals or a bucket list.                                                                           I also don’t do well when my house is disorganized. After Christmas, my house was Chaos. I was nearly having anxiety attacks over it. So when you see goals that involve organizing my house, its because it is really important to my mental health. This is why they are on my list.

52 week check list. No particular order. Basically pick whatever I feel like doing that week.

I don’t want to let 2015 slip away. Hopefully with this I will get 52 projects or experiences done with my family. Wish me luck!

1) Clean and organize my bedroom closet and drawers.

2) Clean front entry closet and Linen Closet

3) Clean and organize all the kitchen cupboards

4) Create a clutter free kitchen.

5) Clean and organize laundry room and basement bathroom

6) Read 12 books. Children’s chapter books with my son does not count.

7) Clean out garage so we can park both cars in.

8) Donate 30 garbage bags worth of items to the Canadian Diabetes Clothesline.

9) Throw out or recycle 50 grocery bags worth of junk. (Day to day kitchen and bathroom waste do not count)

10) Organize all my bills and paperwork into binders

11) Finish my shutterfly photo book for 2014 and create as many books necessary to organize 2012 and 2013.

12) 52 week money challenge.

13) Banana island for one week.

14) Pay off $5000 on my line of credit

15) Get back on the Dave Ramsey Budget

16) Take my kids camping or to a cabin

17) Potty Train Z

18) Pay off and cancel my Sears Mastercard, after cashing out the points.

19) Crazy glue the tracks to the train table downstairs in my daycare area to an elaborate town.

20) Clear all the NAET autism kit for both boys.

21) Exercise 160 time in 2015 for 20-30mins.

22) Lose 20lbs

23) Take an online course about blogging. (Started Jan 6th)

24) Blog 160 times in 2015

25) Create 100 YouTube Videos.

26) Read 12 Chapter books WITH Wesley.

27) Get 150 Facebook Likes on Early Learning Mom Page

28) Get 200 Twitter followers

29) Give up fast food for 6 months. (Hopefully forever) Subway and Pita Pit are OK.

30) Try the one photo a day challenge

31) Get Wesley back on the allowance system and teach him how to handle money.

32) Make it out to Hawaii to visit my Online Bestie.

33) Learn to cook 20 new dishes.

34) Babysit one night for my local Bestie so her and her hubby can go out.

35) Organize and clean out the laundry room.

36) Attend the Hi Neighbor Parade and check out the strip.

37) Take the kids Strawberry Picking

38) Visit Penners Pumpkins and Scarecrow Forest

39) Take a ride on the Steam Train at Assiniboine Park

40) Learn how to make my own blog banners

41) Take the kids to the Snake Pits

42) Visit the Steinbach Aquatic Centre

43) Take the kids bowling

44) Visit the Farmers Market at Birds Hill

45) Set up the window bird box

46) Donate Blood

47) Help the kids create Christmas Shoeboxes for the needy

48) Get a Family Photo taken

49) Take Wes to Skyzone

50) Take Wes to do Archery

51) Take Wes for Ice Cream for the first time at Dairy Queen

52) Visit the International Peace Garden

What is on your 2015 bucket list?

Watch for blog updates on how I’m doing!

 

EarlyLearningMom.com Top 10 Posts of 2014

2014 has almost come to an end. For my family it was a great year. But I’m excited to see what 2015 will bring us. I thought I’d look back this year and see what the top 10 most popular post on Early Learning Mom were.

10) Toddler Tula Vs Ergo Carrier. My Experience with My Favorite Baby Carriers.

2014-10-21-2B19.13.38

#10 post of the year on Early Learning Mom was my post about babywearing. Which has helped keep me sane during 2012/2013/2014. I’m not sure what I would have done without it.

9) 9 Year old Piano Recital

Ok so post #9 was a little brag on Wes and his performance at the winter concert. This was a tough piece for him, but he did not give up.

8) Teach Your Baby to Read? Why You Should Do It? Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should!

reading

#8 is a post about why you should teach your baby to read.

7) TouchMath for Homeschooler!! A Review

 

 

 

TouchPointPoster

 

Ok #7 is a post from 2013, but it still makes this years list because it was the 7th most popular post in 2014. This one I got to review the new homeschooling version of TouchMath.

 

6) Teach your Toddler with TouchMath

TOUCHMATHBLOG

 

This years #6 post was a fun one for me to write. In this one I shared how to modify the TouchMath kindergarten curriculum to teach your toddler.

5) Can TV Teach Your Young Child? Powerful tool, or Gateway Drug to TV addiction?

tv

 

#5 Post of 2014 was a post about using TV as a tool for teaching your young child.

4) BrillKids Learning System with Baby Z UPDATE

2014-10-18-2B15.46.54

 

#4 post of the year was a post about how we were using BrillKids software at the time.

3)Howie & Skip’s MonkiSee ABC Round Up

monkisee

 

The #3 post on EarlyLearningMom.com was my review on one of Howie & Skip’s Monki See videos.

2)Back to Afterschool

grade 4

 

The #2 most popular post this year was about Wes’s first week of school and our afterschool plans.

1) FarFaria Giveaway

farfaria1This years #1 post was a review/giveaway for an app called FarFaria.

Thank you so much to my readers. The last few months of 2014, I came back to my blog and got serious again, and my readers welcomed me with open arms. I have plenty of goals in place for 2015, so stay tune for a fun pack year at Early Learning Mom.

Have a safe and happy New Years Eve and all the best in 2015.

Family New Year’s Eve Party Ideas with Little Ones

Family New Years

 

I know many of you are still in Christmas mode, and the thought of making New Years Eve plans are on the back burner. Especially once you become a parent. New Years partying is over now that the little ones are in the picture.

Well I’m here to say you can still have a wonderful evening! Kids and all!

On New Years Eve my hubby bartends every year, so its just me and the boys. So I decided to plan ahead and come up with some ideas to do with the kids to make the evening more fun!

1) Movie Night!

I plan on looking for some old classic movies I use to watch as a child. Beethoven, the Original Home Alone, Little Rascals, Camp Nowhere, Halloween Town, Mrs. Doubtfire. I’ll let the kids pick, but I want them to experience some of the movies that were big when I was a child.

2) Buy discounted Christmas candies and bake goods:

So what is movie without awesome yummy movie treats,

Ok so I’m not much of a baker. I’m not going to lie, the kitchen is not really my forte. I land up under cooking, overcooking, or messing up the recipe. Wasting baking supplies, and messing up the kitchen.

So this year, I’m going to the grocery store right after Christmas and buying a bunch of Christmas baked good that are discounted and freeing them. Then in the morning on Dec 31th, I’ll pull them out  of the freezer. Presto! Yummy snacks and a cup of hot chocolate on the side. Perfection!  I mean I guess I could do popcorn and chips, but how is that any different from any other movie night.

3) Drink out plastic wine glasses, use sparklers, &  wear party hats. 

I noticed the local dollar store here sells all sorts of New Years Eve party gear. So I decided to go buy New Year Eve party hats, some glow sticks, sparklers and fun things to ring in the New Year with. I’m also going to look for some “fancy” plastic wine glasses to drink apple juice out of.

4) Balloon Count Down:

So my 9 year old has really enjoyed his chocolate advent calendar this year. This was an annual thing for me as a child. However since up until this year Wes had a dairy and gluten allergy, he was not able to enjoy this tradition until now.

Since he enjoys the countdown so much, I’m planning on setting up balloons from 6pm till midnight. Every hour on the hour we will pop a balloon to celebrate the last hours of 2014. Pausing the movie or whatever we happen to be doing at the time and popping the balloon.

If the sound of popping balloons is too scary for your child, may be set up paper bags with activities to do every hour on the hour. Be creative!

5)  Time Capsule:

This year I’m going to do something new. I’m going to sit down with my 9 year old and we are going to write about our favorite things that happened this year, and some goals for next year. We will then open it up New Years Eve 2015.

6) Board games:

What a perfect time to pull out those new board games your children might have gotten for Christmas and try them out. If they didn’t get any, pull out an old favorite. Young children love playing board games with mom and dad.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

These are just some fun ideas I plan to do with my kids this year. Remember its suppose to be fun, so keep it that way. If your little one cannot stay up till midnight, plan to celebrate at a different time. Set up your count down till 10pm instead(or as early as you need to.) Sometimes you can PVR fireworks from other time zones, or find some on youtube.

What are your ideas for a child friendly New Years Eve 2014.


Blogging Vs Vlogging. Am I Quitting Traditional Blogging???

CommentsI received a comment from long time readers yesterday:

Dear Monique,

I’ve read your blog for about 5 years now, and I loved seeing your kids grow under your guidance and seeing how their educations are being directed. I especially loved reading about how therapies did (or occassionally didn’t) work with Wes, and I loved reading your product reviews.

Because I have been a long term reader, I have to tell you the truth: I don’t like VLOGs. There is nothing wrong with your VLOGs, I’m sure, but I don’t–as a rule–enjoy them nearly as much as I do a blog. I don’t know why.

I hope that you don’t change this site into mostly just a VLOG. I like READING your story, reading is easier and more convinient for me–I can quickly revisit a paragraph, re-read a section as often as I need to, perform a search to find keywords, etc..

I do not watch VLOGs. They are too distracting and a little annoying. I understand that times are changing, but as you move forward and grow your audience, I sincerely hope that you will continue to share things in a traditional blog and not ALWAYS do VLOGs.

Either way, I have loved watching your family grow and your children learn. I will continue to support you using affiliate links and the such when I can, because I believe that you deserve it and your blogs have served a valuable purpose to me for several years now. But, all of that aside, I do hope that this won’t become 50% (or even more) VLOG. Please continue to do traditional posts and upload only the occasional VLOG.

–One persons opinions.
A.

I thought that I would share what I replied for my readers that might not have seen the comment and my reply. And I might be able to go into even a little more detail.

Hello A,

Thank you for your opinion. Right now I am just experimenting with Vlogs. With the busy Christmas season I’m finding Vlogs are a bit easier to do, instead of leaving my blog vacant during that time and risking another long hiatus. Right now, I’m in a phase that I’m really enjoying other bloggers who are using this format. However, after the holiday season, I’m hoping to include a vlog in my entries, as well as write what the content is in the traditional blog method. So readers will have the choice to either watch my vlog, or read the content. Instead of 50% blog and 50% vlog, I’m shooting for 100%blog and 100% vlog…If that makes any sense LOL.

Youtube is a way to attract new readers, and I am starting a series about my experience with autism in more details to help as many families as I can. I’m hoping by using my blog and Youtube I can reach more families.

I really appreciate readers like you. Especially the ones that have time to let me know what they like and what they don’t. I will be sure to keep to my roots while exploring new methods to get my message out.

Thank you!
Monique

I hope this clears things up for all my regular readers. My blog is not turning into a Vlog. I’m working to get my message out that Autism is not a death sentence and why early learning is so important. So I’m trying to use different parts of the internet to do just that.

My blog goal for 2015 is:
– Traditional Blog entries Monday, Wednesday and Friday (May or May Not include a vlog, but readers can skip it if they want and still get the same content)
– Vlogs 5 days a week.
– Start my autism series
– Finish my ebook which has been in the works for 3 years and get it up on my blog.
– Monthly updates about how the boys are doing.

I focus on my blog Monday through Friday, and the weekend I use as family time. Well except for today, when I read this comment I felt it deserved a Sunday blog entry 🙂

Let me know what you think!! If you are reading my blog and have a opinion like A. did, PLEASE share it. I will not know unless you tell me.

Thank you everyone for your support.

Monique

“Doman, ABA, and Afterschool Momma” is now “Early Learning Mom”

welcome

Hello Everyone!!!

I hope people that are still using my old domain are being redirected here. Welcome!

I know you probably have noticed that I kind of disappeared for a while when Little Z was born, only updating periodically. Well over the last few months I have made a commitment to myself to get back to writing on my blog. I’ve been pretty good at it. I have decided it was time to take this blog to the next level and upgrade from my old blogger to my very own domain.

After 4 years of blogging under the title Doman, ABA and Afterschooling Momma(one point it was homeschooling instead of Afterschooling). I decided it was time to pick a name that rolls of the tongue a bit better and something I love.

Please bare with me through growing pains. I have a friend helping me on a new cover and hope to spruce the place up a bit.

I also want to send a shoutout to Liz from DomanMom.com for taking the time to chat with me about this process and offer me some wonderful advice. Please check out her site, she has great articles and printables. Her boys are each a year younger then my boys, so I know I always note what she is doing.