Little Z Update. Nov 2015

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.

*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.

What Is Early Learning To Me?

This is a topic that everyone seems to have a different option.

What is Early Learning?

All kids start learning at a very early age. Even before they are born, fetuses are learning the sound of their mother’s voice. Infants start learning their native tongue. Toddlers learn how to walk, talk, etc.

Well yes all that is learning, I don’t consider that “Early Learning” though.

To me Early Learning is a parent creating an environment for a child to learn something that is not typically taught at that age.

While no one will bat an eyelash at the thought of teaching a little one there ABCs or to count to 10. As soon as your start teaching your little one letter sounds, sight words, days of the week, addition, etc, you MUST be pressuring them.

Early Learning is not hot housing little babies. Its not strapping them down and drilling math problems. Those types of techniques would not work on a baby or a toddler.

But when you present information to a child in a fun, gentle, calm way, your child will WANT to learn. When I do flashcards with my child or for us we use Learning Binders Little Z gets so excited. While we were with the NACD, they did not want us doing this program, so I put the binders away. Well one day I found that he broke into my room and found them in the closet and was using them himself. So trust me this is a gentle process.

What does Early Learning Look Like?

Early Learning when it comes to reading might be a mom sitting down with her child at 6 months following the flashcard program designed in Glenn Doman’s How to Teach your Baby to Read book.

Wesley GraduationTo another family Early Learning Reading might look like it did for Wes and I when he was two. In the morning I would play Your Baby Can Read(YBCR) DVDs while he ate his breakfast. Then I would buckle him in the car to go to daycare and flash through a few index cards with words handwritten on them. We would arrive at daycare and we would go through them again. He would get dropped off at daycare and I would go to work. In the evening he would watch another video of YBCR. Then after supper and playtime, it would be bath and bed. We would read a book or two together, flash though some flashcards and off to bed he went. When he was three we finished the YBCR DVDs and started using BrillKids Little Reader(2 sessions) before bed.

SAM_0965To another family Early Learning Reading might look like what happened with Z. He was a second child to an Early Learning family. We started some of Glenn Doman’s “How Smart is Your Baby program early on. We also started him on Sparkabilities DVD’s at a week old. Then when he was 3 months old we started  BK Little Reader. It took me a little longer then I would have liked to start him on the other BrillKids programs because my laptop broke and took me a few months to replace, But during that time I was so grateful to have the iPad. When he was 12 months we started doing apps like Hooked On Phonics and Teach Me among others.

I think that the environment is the key. I think at the end of the day to be considered an Early Learning parent, your child must be in the early learning window of 0-5 years old. These parents go beyond the usual ABC’s and 123’s.

What is Early Learning to your family?

Teach your Toddler with TouchMath

TouchMath is an awesome, hands on way to teach children Pre-K(4 years old) to 3rd grade math in a way they can truly understand. It can also be used for older children who do not have a good grasp on math as a remedial. Its also great for students with special needs.

I used this program with my oldest Wes when he was 5 years old. We started with the kindergarten program and worked our way up to the Upper Grades. It is honestly a quality program. We had tried several other math program, and before we found TouchMath we both shed a lot of tears. 

So then my Little Z came along and he loved numbers and letters right from infancy. Z learned to count, skip count, and understand some basic math concepts before he even turned two. I bought him a Giant Abacus, we did some apps on the iPad. But over the last few months I have been scratching my head. Ok, its great he can do all this early math, this is what kids usually start learning in preschool or kindergarten. Z is only 2, and when I look at the Preschool World Book Typical Course of Study he has most of those math skills masters. Then went I look at the Kindergarten level, he has many of those mastered, and many he is starting to learn. 

So what do I do? Obviously he loves numbers, counts and plays math apps at his own free will. I feel like I should be gently exposing him to more math to help him learn the rest of the kindergarten concepts. Problem is there are no really curriculums designed for situations like this. 

Then I thought, “Could I modify TouchMath in a way Z could learn?” So I contacted them, told them about my son, and my idea and we got the ball rolling on another TouchMath Review.

I picked TouchMath because it is so user friendly. It requires very little modification of the actual material, more so a modification of my teaching technique.

I decided that Z’s math knowledge was mostly beyond that of TouchMath’s Pre-K program. Plus if there was anything we may of missed, I felt the Kindergarten Curriculum would easily be able to fill in those gaps. 

So I purchased:
Unit A: Counting, Adding, and Subtracting Within 5
Unit B: Adding and Subtracting Within 9
Unit C: Understanding Numbers 1–20

(I already owned Unit D from a previous review
3D Numerals (as pictured to the left)
TouchPoint Posters

The first thing I started doing over the last few weeks was introducing Z to the 3D Numerals. We would sit down with the box and go through at least 5 of them. I take his hand and guided him to touch the Touchpoints as we count. 

Make sure you count them in the right order. They have a proper pattern to follow to ensure Touchpoints are not missed, especially when your counting the larger numbers. As well all the worksheets and the CD roms also follow that pattern too. So its just easier to teach them the right away now, instead of trying to reteach them later. 

The next thing I did what print out the Vocabulary list. I took 8.5″x11″ cardstock, cut them into threes and created flashcards. 

Why flashcards? 


If you’ve been reading me for a while you will know that I use a modified Glenn Doman reading program (along with other programs) to teach my babies, toddlers and preschoolers to read. Why not teach them to read the vocabulary words so when they hear the word during a lesson another brain connection will be made. Plus not only are you teaching your little one math, but your mixing in a bit of reading lessons too. 

Then I created a new section in our Learning Binder for TouchMath. 

Our Learning Binder is a binder that we keep several of our lessons all in one place. We sit down with it once a day and flip through. Once a week I retire some of the pages and replace them with fresh new materials. 

So for our TouchMath sheets, I flip through and talk about how I would work out the problem. I take his hand and use it to point to each thing I am talking about. 

Right now you have to remember, this is ALL ABOUT INPUT! If your child pipes up and offers to share what he or she has learned, great! If they stop sharing, you take over and keep talking. Do not pressure them to keep telling you what they know. They will not share voluntarily again if they feel they are under pressure. Remember they are still little, this is suppose to be gentle.  

Right now I’m keeping it super simple. But when your working with little children, less is more. 

As Z gets older, I will start:
– introducing dry-erase markers
– will teach how to place the TouchPoints with this product
– and eventually start just handing him a worksheet to complete on his own. 

Does your baby, toddler, or preschooler like counting, sorting, adding, or anything math related? If so share what you and your little ones like to do to learn math skills in the comments. 

Disclaimer: Full disclosure, while I did purchase this curriculum, TouchMath did provide me with a discount, in exchange for my honest review of the items. 

Long over due update. 23 months and starting to read

Well its been a long time since I last updated. I just felt pulled away from the blogging world and needed to step back for a little while. But this afternoon I felt like I needed to update and maybe start blogging a bit. 

Well Baby Z is now 23 months. Hmmmm…. I should maybe start calling him Little Z instead because he is hardly a baby anymore. Oh how he is growing. He loves to count, sing, dance, climb, jump, and play with cars. Oh I can not forget his LOVE with the piano. He is a very active and busy little boy, but the piano is one time where he will sit still and play the keys. I did something crazy last night and I signed him up for piano lessons in September. Totally for exposure. I don’t expect him to be playing any time soon. But if he can spend 10 mins a week with a teacher who can help me use proper terminology, and get the chance to play on a grand piano I think it will help. 

Last month we introduced Sign Language. Back when he was younger I tried to incorporate Signing Time, but he had no interest. Well I threw it on one day when I notice it was on Netflix. Ever since then he’s been singing the intro song and throwing in a few signs here and there. It seems to also have help his ability to label things. Snow, trees, wind, carrot, etc.


Of course we are still working through Little Reader, Little Chinese, Little Math, and Little Musician. We review Suzy Piano, YBCR and MonkiSee periodically. Now that Zakari is chatting a lot more, I notice he is labeling things and I think it is because of the materials he has seen in all of these programs. I also notice he his singing letters, and Do Re Mi’s. They seem very random as of yet, but I know from other children (TmT) this is the first step to perfect pitch. Little Champion Reader is also a daily part of our schedule.


We have been using Teach Me Kindergarden as an input of knowledge, and when he feels like it he sometimes will show me output. He’s really good at letting me guide his fingers over the tracing of letters and numbers. Wes has gotten in some awful habits when it comes to forming letters and numbers. So I’m hoping to avoid the constant corrections by introducing this skill at a younger age.

ABCmouse.com has been a big part of our lesson time as well. I don’t want to miss any of the preschool basics and leave Z unbalanced in his education, and this seems to fill the gaps. Now that it is available on the ipad, Z can navigate the site easily, as he is not ready for a mouse. There is a lot of busy work, like colouring the random pictures in a Paint like activity, but we just quickly color it and move on.

We were doing Hooked On Phonics on the iPad, but they only have 4 levels available, and we have done those several times. Z loves them. I called the company back in September and they told me level 5 would be out in October. Sadly it never came out. I have a feeling I’m going to have to carry on with HOP in binder form.

Speaking of binder, I created a flash card binder for Z. We quickly flip through it once a day or so. So far it includes:
– Follow that dot flashcards
– Backwards counting 10-0, skip counting by 2’s and 3’s
– First Language Lessons(modified for toddlers)
– EK flashcards (right now we are doing organs)
– Prepositions
– Music Notes from the IAHP course
– Telling time (Hours)

We have been working on things like shape sorters, puzzles, etc. But he’s still pretty busy for these activities. I’m looking at getting the Learning Resources food color sorter. It looks like something that we can use to start classifying things. Not only colors, but veggies vs fruits, etc. We also play with the abacus, counting.

Z is reading some single words, knows his letters and letter sounds. Counts forwards to 18, and backwards from 10-5 so far. Also recognizes written numbers 0-10(atleast).  Sings several nursery rhymes. Knows most of his farm animals and their sounds. Working on labeling zoo animals(does know several of them already). He knows about 8 shapes. Also last week he started skip counting by 2s.

We had a breakthrough with colors this last month. I was getting so frustrated and was convinced he was color blind. He’s knows letters, shapes, numbers, etc for months and could not grasp colors. But finally he master Preschool Preps Colors app.  

Another crazy thing I did was add in Classical Conversations to his routine. They now have an app available, so we have been using that as another source of input. I also downloaded an app called Little Solver on the recommendation of another EL mom. Its all about logic and problem solving skills. While I planned on using it as another input resource, he did start attempting to answer some of the problems himself, and doing pretty good at it.

Little Z is now starting to read more and more words that are labeled on his flashcards, also out in public. It is so amazing to watch the lightbulbs click in his head.