Little Z is not an easy child to shop for at Christmas time. Before the holidays, my mom had me on the search for some gift ideas. While we were shopping we landed up in the LeapFrog section of the toy store. Little Z had really wanted the My Pal Violet plushie toy to match his My Pal Scout. When were there we noticed this game, LeapFrog Leaping Letters.
Basically this game is like the game Perfection. Except instead of an assortment of shapes, this game requires the player to put the alphabet in order. There is also a second part to the game, level 2 I guess. You instead a card in the indent of the board and start trying to build as many 3 letter words.
I love that the timer is quite long. I mean the game is designed for 3-6 year olds, so I appreciate that they actually have a chance to complete the task. How frustrating would it be for Little Z to never be able to complete the game. However I do love that as they get older you can give them less and less time to complete the game.
I do have to say, keep your receipt when you purchase this game. The first one we got was a dud. We sat down to play it with Z and the board would not click down. We landed up having to take it back to the store to exchange. The second one works great, and we have had no issues. However I wanted to be fully transparent as I would hate to mislead my readers.
I originally thought it was just a great game for fine motor skills and focus. Z already knows his alphabet and his letter sounds. However, this week I realized this game will be a perfect addition to the All About Spelling curriculum I plan to use with Z in the future. One activity that is required is learning how to put the alphabet in order. I think this game is a great start. Parents can talk to their child when they are looking to put the letter in its correct spot, “What comes before Q?” or “What letter comes after V”. It is a great tool to facilitate these types of conversations with with child, without them feeling like they are being tested.
Check out my Youtube video review:
What are your thoughts on this product?
Disclaimer: My son received this game as a gift from my mom. We were not paid or compensated in any way by this company to share our opinion. I just thought what an awesome addition to our homeschooling curriculum and wanted to share it with my readers.
Lately I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest looking for book ideas for my preschooler. When find a good list, I take it and use it to order books from our local library. I have also been reading through the books in our personal library with Little Z as well. I thought that I would start to share what we read each month, in case any of my readers are looking for some book ideas.
Little Z’s attention span towards books is getting longer and longer. This is allowing us to hit up many books that in the past were to long for him. This is super exciting for me, as it allows me to expose him to new vocabulary.
So this is what my 4 year old and I read in June 2016
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but we just celebrated Little Z’s 4th birthday!!! It’s amazing how fast time seems to go by.
A lot has been going on with him the last few months. I wanted to write, but I wanted to get into a good routine so I can really share how Little Z’s new program is working for us.
I found out that we might qualify for a grant through a local charity to attend the IAHP’s course, “What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child”. So I thought what do I have to lose, and I applied. So one way or another I will be attending the Institutes for the Achievements of Human Potential this fall. I am over the moon excited to go. It’s been a dream of mine for the last 9 years. However I just decided that I’m going to make it happen.
Since my plan is to attend the course and learn to run programs using the IAHP’s methods, I decided I should start running more traditional IAHP programs with Z based on the teachings of Glenn Doman’s books. So I went to work and started making materials.
First I started off making single word flashcards. To make it easier on myself I cheated a little. I found several vocabulary lists online (for example Flocabulary’s word list) copied and pasted the list into Google Drive and blew up the font to 130-150. Made sure they all fit one word per page and pressed print. I placed each flashcard into a page protector and put them in alphabetical order in a 3″ binder. Then I go and select 10 words from that binder, place them in a duotang and poof I have a set of IAHP words.
The benefits of using duotangs are:
Flashcards are always right side up and I fumble with them less
I don’t have to worry about Z or the daycare kiddos spilling the pile of cards.
I can write the date we started and the date the set was retired inside the cover. As well as tally makes to show how many times we have seen the set.
Should I choose to have more children (Which I don’t think we will) I will have everything ready to go. Or I can pass on a complete program to another family. Little work required on their side.
Next I needed to create couplet sets.
I have been able to cheat a bit and have found 13 sets of pre made couplets flashcards on a website called Education Toy Planet. Because we are putting 10 words per set and a lot of these sets contain more then 10 words, I have been able to stretch these materials to last me a bit longer.
However I do like have a LARGE stash of premade flashcards ready to go, incase my print dies, we get busy, etc. So now I am going through the word list that I have used to create the single word flashcards and I am creating more couplets.
This is a bit more work, because I feel I also have to find pictures to go with each couplet. I know Glenn Doman does not require this, however I find the pictures insure my son will comprehend what he is reading.
Then came the challenge of finding homemade books. I am not overly creative. I wanted my son to have good quality, interesting books to read. So I hit the library.
I went into the leveled reader section and selected some books that had characters that Little Z loves. I came home, scanned in the pictures and typed out the words on one page and inserted the photos in the next page.
This allowed me to make books that he will be interested in, without having to write original content. I also am able to separate the words from the pictures. As while as change the vocabulary in his books to included more challenging words or expand on an idea.
I know some of you who are familiar with the IAHP reading program are wondering where my phrase and sentence part of the program is. I need to sit down and work on this, asap. But I refuse to stress myself out. We are doing a lot, they are getting phrases and sentences in the homemade books. If I find when the time comes he is not transitioning to phrases and sentences, I will focus on them then, but doing more couplets and adding in an actual phrase stage of the program.
We have also started the IAHP math program. Honestly though, I’m not sure how effective it will be with Little Z as he already knows his numbers. However since I already own the flashcards I figured the 10 second three times a day might be worth it in the off chance he can benefit.
Originally I was showing the cards 15 times each before retiring out 2 and adding 2 more. But I found this was too slow for Z. So now I show them 3 times a day, then I retire 3 cards and add in 3 more cards each day.
In the next few days we will be adding in equations to the mix. When I first started I tried printing out my own cards and arranging them in duotangs. But for this program I feel the big 11X11 cards are a better fit. Especially with all the equations on the back of the cards.
We have also introduce a Encyclopedic Knowledge program to the mix. This I am being more lax on. We have several IAHP EK bits flashcards, so I figured we may as well look at them. I also found a few sets to print out. So while it takes little effort to do, we will continue to include them in our day.
However I feel like once I am required to start to have to make my own, I’m likely going to make them into book form. This just seems like a better use of my time, and we can combined EK and reading together.
So we are going on 2 months on this schedule. I’m also starting a music program with Little Z, but that will get its own review.
Do you follow a IAHP/Doman method to teach your children? If so I’d love to hear about your experience.
My long time readers may remember back when Wes was little I did a review for a DVD program called Wink to Learn English. Wink to Learn English is a 4-DVDs program aims to help your child to recognize more than 500 words and to form proper phrases and sentences using proven flashcard-techniques developed by Dr Glenn Doman and Dr Shichida. Each lesson is based on the flashcard principles of Glenn Doman. Lesson duration is short (less than 5 mins) and captivates your child’s attention using real life photos and videos. It consists a total of 48 topical lessons which systematically help your child to recognise words and to form proper phrases and sentences.
If you would like to read my original review from 2016, you can find it HERE. I also wrote about using this program back in 2012 when Little Z was an infant, you can read that Here. Sadly dealing with the balance of running my home daycare with an infant, I struggled to stay organized and we never finished the program. I could never remember which lesson we were on.
Well now Little Z is 4 years old. He reads 1000s of words. However my next goal has been to provide him more couples, phrases and sentences. He will happily read words, but prefers not to read outloud phrases and sentences. However in true Doman/IAHP style, I am trying to avoid testing him. I also often see him looking at books and his eyes are tracking the words. I believe he is reading in his head.
When looking through our collection of DVDs to add some media to our IAHP flashcard program, I came across this program. Because he is able to read, but we are looking to fine tune his skills, we decided to watch the lessons only once. I presented him two lessons a day and wrote them on the calendar to stay organized. When we got to lessons 5 & 6 we presented them once and at the end played the right brain track that flashes through the phrases and sentences very quickly.
Six years after my first review what are my thoughts?
Organized lessons that allow busy parents to present awesome lessons to their little ones.
Clearly printed words on a plain background, separate from the pictures.
Real photos were used, not cartoons.
Follows the Doman method, words, couplets and phrases.
Strong accents. However since my boys live in an all English environment, I’m less worried about this.
Little Z wasn’t crazy about the videos after each lesson. They sort of bored him. So we skipped them. My oldest liked them, so this may just be personal preferences and all children have different reinforcers.
Overall I’m very happy that we used this as a review to fine tune Little Z’s current skills. I would suggest parents write what lesson they are on on a calendar or make a checklist on an index card to store in the DVD case.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this program 6 years ago in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion of the program.
I 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:
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 – 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 : 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.
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.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: 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.
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!
#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!
#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.
#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.
#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:
#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.
I wrote a few entries ago about the amazing changes happening with Zakari. Honestly they are just breathtaking to me.
He suddenly comes out of bubble and we get to see his true personality. We were playing in the daycare area(which is my basement) and he picked up one of his baby dolls and started kissing it. He then turned to me, bright eyed, looked me right in the eyes and started blowing me kisses yelling “Kiss! I kiss!” Then he started slapping my lips with his hand to get me to blow kisses his way. His eyes! They were so full of life and emotion.
The boys finished their Making Waves swimming lessons for this term on the 21st. If you have a Making Waves club in your area I strongly suggest checking into it. I have never met such an amazing group of people. The boys each get one on one swimming instruction once a week. It is so affordable, it only cost us $20 per term, per boy. That works out to $2 a lesson each.
Wes can now swim underwater, and is pretty good at it too. Right now he’s working at getting his confidents to swim in the deep end.
Z can now touch the bottom of the shallow end of the pool. So now he is doing even better in his lessons. Trick is to make sure he does not fall asleep before his lesson. Otherwise he’s a grump.
In the past I have written about how we use the iPad with Little Z. I am so happy to report all this has paid off. Recently our old iPad kicked the bucket. We are still trying to decide if we are going to repair it, or buy another iPad Mini. So for now I loaded Teach Me Kindergarten on Wes’s iPad. I sad down with it and Little Z was able to answer a majority of the questions with little to no help. I was so excited to see the hand over hand time we had spent the last year and a half or so was paying off. To sit there and watch my 3 year old fill in the letters to missing words and working through very basic math problems.
This evening we went for a drive to look at the Christmas lights. We stopped at Tim Hortons for coffee and to grab the kids TimBits. Hubby passed my step daughter her hot chocolate, then he went to pass her the kids TimBits to share, but she was still trying to get her drink in the cup holder. Z started fussing like he usually does when he’s impatient. But then he stopped and said “Hurry up!”. We were shocked! He actually stopped the whining and used his words! Maybe he was being a bit rude, but I will let that slide this time.
We drove to a part of town where the neighbors get together and decorate the whole street. Z loved it! He lasted through Candy Cane Lane and Polar Bear Lane, but by the time we got to Nutcracker Lane he was snoring away. We came home, put him in his Pjs and he didn’t wake up. Hard night looking at lights.
Little Z loves his tutors and they are just so kind to him. I’m so happy with our awesome team. Everyone has come into our home with their A game on.
Yesterday one of the tutors knocked on my bedroom door. (I always hide in my room during the afternoon, daycare kids are napping downstairs and Z and his tutors have the run of the upper floor.) Little Z had taken one of each of their boots and was walking around with them. They thought it was so cute they had to share with me. I’m so happy he’s allowed to learn and just be a kid and have find at the same time.
He’s mastered a few programs and now he has a maintenance program. Basically what this is is the tutor occasionally asks Z to do a program he’s already master periodically to insurance he maintained that skill. It’s awesome we are only 6 weeks in and he’s already running maintenance.
This weekend our herbalist and I tweaked his herbal program. I found that his sleep cycles were all wonky, and his bowel movements were too frequent. So we cut his catnip fennel from 4mls a day to 2mls, and his turmeric from 4 capsules a day to 1. We kept his black walnut at 1 capsule a day.
Our herbalist Carrie also mentioned this Nature’s Sunshine blend/formula she brought in and was having success with 2 other children like Little Z. So we decided what the heck, let’s give it a go. I scraped up $45 and went and picked it up.
Well I’m glad I did! He’s so calm. Well I mean if you didn’t know him, you might think he was still hyper. But if you know where we are coming from then you would see a HUGE improvement.
I am so happy and grateful we are able to combine these two amazing therapies and create such earth shattering results. For the last year and a half I have been a basket case, having to be on my toes every waking minute. Now yes I’m still on my toes, but not much more than any mother of a rambunctious 3 year old.
This morning I was able to hot iron my hair while he played with his bin of bath toys in the floor of the bathroom or sat in the stool chatting to me. I’m so happy and feel so relaxed now. To an parent to a easy going typical child, you might not understand. But if you saw me a few months ago and saw me now you would see a difference. I feel like I’m living again, not just surviving.
Disclaimer: This is not a cookie cutter herbal plan. I am just blogging what we are using here for my records. I would strongly suggest before using a herbal plan with your child you speak with an herbalist. I’m not an herbalist and I am not in a position to offer any advice other then see an herbalist. If you do try what I’m doing with Little Z regarding herbs I am not responsible for any outcomes.
I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year. Little Z is officially 3 and a half years old. So much has been going on his life.
Little Z started ABA therapy at the beginning of September. It’s been a slow start getting staffing in place, but we are almost running at full capacity now.
Z has really started building a relationship with his morning tutor, and looks forward to her coming every morning. His senior tutor is awesome too, she has even more energy than Z has. I’ve only met our afternoon tutor twice, but I think she is going to make a great addition to our team.
Right now we have a few program going to build compliance, a matching program and a waiting program. But mostly we are just trying to make our tutors reinforcing and fun for Z.
Little Z had a visit last week from our Occupational Therapist. She recommended we try having Z wear a Bear Hug periodically to help him calm down and regulate. She said that deep tissue pressure might do him some good.
He originally freaked out there first time we put it on him, but he settled and seem to be calmed by it. But the next time I put it on him, he did not resist at all. He is able to sit down and do activities more with me now when he wears it.
This is the one we are currently borrowing from our OT. You will notice that it comes with straps. Z didn’t seem to like the straps at all. But the good thing is the straps are removeable. We are going to see what we notice in the next month, and then decided if we should order one. But so far I’m leaning towards yes.
We have been also implementing a homeschool/Glenn Doman style learning program.
Usually before ABA arrives, lunch time, sometimes in the evening and then before bed, we work through his learning binders and homemade books.
Little Z has also been playing with his own little Mortensen Block sets. Hopefully with time we will be able to transition to a full math program using this blocks.
Skip counting seems to be Zs favorite thing to practice. We have one skip counting chart per learning binder. However in the picture above my son got ahold of one of the binders full of stuff I have ready to put in the binder when he retires the material that is currently there. I guess he wanted to work on counting by 14s and 15s.
If you want to use these charts with your child, check out Homeschool Creations. Jolanthe has charts from 2-15 posted on her blog.
Before bed every night I’ve been trying to read him one story from this amazing book I found at a local church book sale. So far we have read classics like:
– Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
– Jack and the Beanstalk
– Goldilocks and the Three Bears
To name a few…
We are still logging books in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten log, but seeing as he’s only 3 and already 25% done, I figured we can slow down a bit and work through some classical literature to work on enhancing his vocabulary.
So all and all, I feel like we are on the right path. ABA is hitting on the compliance and left brain skills. At home we are working on the right brain side of things.
What are you doing with your child? I’m always curious to hear, might be something we can incorporate into our day.
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.