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.

10 Steps/Tip to Jump Start Your Child’s Early Education.

So you want to teach your child to read, count, etc. Here are 10 tips to help you on your way.

1) Read Glenn Doman’s books “How To Teach Your Baby to Read” and “How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence.”

Glenn Doman has several books out there and feel free to read all of them. However I found they could be very repetitive. So if you’re a busy parent who doesn’t have too much extra time, I feel you will get the most bang for your buck with these two.

How to Teach Your Baby To Read, will give you different steps on how to teach your little one to read. Reading is the most important program to work on in my opinion, because if a child can read, the can teach themselves where else they want to learn.

2) Join the BrillKids forum.

Sometimes it can be lonely when you’re trying to teach your young child and the people around you are not very supportive. You start hearing things like, “Let them just be a kid!” “Stop pressuring them…” Then you start to doubt yourself. Visit my post for the 4 Reasons WHY You Should Teach Your Baby To Read, then go join the BrillKids forum and start connecting with like minded parents.

3) Read Little Miss: a father, his daughter & rocket science. Nathan Meikle, has documented his journey teaching his daughter how to read. It is awesome to read a first hand account of what they did and how his daughter reacted.

4) Don’t try and do everything at once. Pick one or two things you want to teach your child and start working on them. Remember 10-15mins a day is better than not doing it at all.

Start with one program and do it at a set time. I find mealtimes are a good time for lessons. Especially Breakfast and Lunch. Also bedtime is another good time to sneak in a lesson.

As tempting as it is to start all sorts of great program at once, contain yourself! You will burn out and your child with feel bombarded. Start by adding things one or two at a time. Allow your child to get use to them and allow them to become part of your routine before you add another thing. This way you can watch to see how your child reacts to that one program to make sure its the right one for your child.

read for 20 mins a day

This chart keeps reminding me why reading to my children is so important.

5) Children learn to be readers in the laps of their parents. Spend a few mins a day reading with your child.

Look up reading list online and put a bunch of books on hold at your local library. Hit up the local thrift store and garage sales to find affordable new books for your child and you to read together.

Make sure you are not just teaching them how to read words, but spending time enjoying books together. If your child learns that reading is a fun thing to do, they will want you to teach them how to read.

You can also find fun age appropriate books on topics you might be working on. Like counting, shapes, manners, etc.

6) Utilize smartphone apps and/or tablets.

Now while I don’t think that tablets will replace books anytime soon, using apps to help teach a concept is super motivating for most children and super easy for a parent to use. Check out my post: Teaching My Toddler: What Apps Are We Using.

7)Youtube is full of good quality materials. Plus its FREE.

8) Utilize otherwise wasted time during the day to learn.

Educational songs in the car.

Read in the car while waiting for daycare to open.

So a quick 1 min round of flashcards at diaper changes, in and out of the carseat, etc…

Counting how many cheerios on their plate.

9) Start early

It is never too early to read to your baby, sing them the ABC songs, and talk to them about everything. Check out my post: Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!

10) Avoid spending too much time planning. Spend that time with your child learning.

Its easy to get caught up researching, preparing and creating beautiful materials for your child to learn with. But if that is going to eat up your time, or you never finish it, or your child uses it for a day or two and masters it, is that time really well spent? Your child doesn’t care if the edges are cut perfect on your flashcards, or if they are on the back of old cereal boxes, special pretty paper. So don’t waste time or money on that.

 

What tips do you think are helpful that I may have missed?

TouchMath with Toddlers~~ Vlog

I’ve blogged about this in the past, but for my visual readers, I decided to vlog about how I use TouchMath with my 2.5year old son.

Honestly when it comes to math programs, TouchMath helped my oldest son sooooo much. He hated math, but after using there program, he is now in school doing VERY well in math. He loves it.

Full disclosure: I did receive a discount when I purchased these items in exchange for an honest review. But please know this did not sway me. This review is 100% honest.

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. 

Back to Afterschool

Well Wes has been back to school for a little over a week and its going great! He has really matured over the summer months and is doing amazing in school.

Yesterday I attended his schools Open House BBQ. I got to meet his new principal who seems very sweet. As well has his classroom teacher. He is the only male teacher in the school, but the dynamics seem to work well for Wes. Plus he is doing amazing! What more could a mom ask for?

However even though he is attending a great public school, I do not leave his education completely in the hands of the government. As much as I would love to homeschool, right now thats not what is best for Wes. He needs the structure of school right now. Maybe in the future, if he would like to accelerate through high school to be able to focus on a trade training, become an entrepreneur, go to university or college early, then we might switch to homeschooling. Right now Afterschooling seems to be cutting it. 

What is Afterschooling?

To my family afterschooling is teaching my child academic activities before and after school, on the weekend or during school holidays. 

These subjects are:
– to help support what he’s learning at school, 
– things that are not being focused on at school (Like spelling and math facts)
– Or to pre-learn math skills so he can succeed in his studies at school. I believe kids are not being challenged enough these days. When you look at what children were being taught in the late 1800s to early 1900s, and whats being taught now… its terrible. 

Oh my gosh! Why don’t you just let him be a kid? 

Trust me. He has lots of time for that. Wes sleeps in each morning till about 1 hour before he needs to leave for the day. He gets up gets ready and comes down for breakfast. While he’s eating his cereal, he does a lesson of Click N’Spell. If he has time he does a few questions on Dreambox Learning. Once he has his jacket, shoes and backpack on I show him and Z a quick 1-2min lesson of Visual Geography. Which he begs for another every day because they are so quick (I stick to one lesson a day to keep him interested). Then he’s off to school for the day. 

My son does not get homework from his teacher. In the next few years when he enters middle school this will all change, and if he has never had do work after school I could see it being a big learning curve. So I have choice to be proactive. 

When he gets home I usually still have an hours and 15mins of daycare left. So by giving him these tasks to do during that time, I am keeping him busy, educating him and he still has from 5-8pm to do activities he might like to do. 

A typical day might look like:
– Get home
– Eat snack while reading for 20mins
– Practice piano
– Sit at the kitchen table while I dictate Saxon 5/4 questions and math facts to him from the stairs. This works on his writing and listening skills. (I sit in the stairs and supervise my daycare kiddos during free play)
– Bit of Dreambox
Once 5-5:15pm rolls around, he is done.

I read a blog a few years back that talked about how 2 hours and 20 mins a week of afterschooling would add 2 extra years to your childs education. I don’t want to copy and paste what she wrote so check out the blog post HERE.

But it goes to show you, that a little parental involvement goes a LONG way. During the summer I’d say Wes was averaging 9-12 hours a week. Do I feel like I robbed him of his summer? No way! He was up for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.
14X7= 98 awake hours
98-12= 86 hours to still be a kid.

Believe it or not his printing is actually improving because he has to
each problem out by hand instead of just filling in the answer.

Since the end of June, he has completed 41% of the grade 4 math curriculum on Dreambox. As for Saxon 5/4(designed for advance 4th graders or average 5th graders) he is 21% completed. 

Overall I believe this little extra bit of learning is great for my son. He does better when kept busy. He also does piano once a week year round, and is starting swimming and Zumba once a week as well for the school year. He was so proud of himself yesterday when he came home and told me, his teacher gave him math problems using letters(adding missing addends) and knew how to do it right away without being told how. 

I love empowering my children with education. Do you afterschool your children? If so how do you do it?

Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!

Babies are smart! Newborns, Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, learn faster and easier than you and I.

What can you do to help your little ones learn right from birth??

#1 Sing to them!

Yes I said sing to them. Sounds so simple, but it really is! But don’t feel you need to stick to the basic Row Row your Boat or Mary Had a Little Lamb. Of course use these fun songs and what ever song your Mom or Dad sung to you as a baby. But lets get creative! Sing the ABCs, count to 100, count backwards from 100, skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

By doing this you are bonding with your child, comforting them, loving them and educating them. My now when Baby Z was an infant, he hated car rides. Our whole family would sing to him, “The A says ahhh, the A says Ahh. Every letter makes a sound, the A says Ahh!” and so forth throughout the whole alphabet. This helped calm him, but it also helped him learning the letter sounds (phonics) at a really early age.

#2 Label EVERYTHING

Little Reader, MemoFlix and Wink to Learn English helped expose Baby Z to so many words. But you don’t need to buy DVDs or computer programs to do this if you don’t want to. (Though it does help a lot.) Label your house and do little home tours pointing to all the words as you walk by with your baby.

When your out with your baby talk about what’s happening. “Oh look! Its starting to rain. Do you feel the drops on your head?’

#3 DVD and Computer programs
Technology is not bad. It can be used for the wrong reasons, yes. However I believe it can be a powerful tool to help educate our children. I know what the AAP’s stand is on screen time before 2. Thing is I’m not one to let to government tell me how to raise my children. Yes, I follow car seat safety rules to the tee, but we don’t vaccinate. I choice to educate myself, and make a decision for my family. Not blindly follow like sheep.
My personal experience is, if you choose high quality, educational materials, screen time can be very helpful in educating my children. It’s something you will have to look at for your family. I should also point out I am talking about real educational materials, like Your Baby Can Read, Little Reader, and Monki See just to name a few. 

#4 Tablets
If you have access to a iPad, take advantage of it! Baby Z learned so much from several apps. Even though many of them were WAY beyond his ability, we did them for him and had him watch. Input, input, input! When he got a bit older I took his hand and made his little hand operate the app. (with his cooperation of course.) Then eventually he was able to operate several of them without my help. This is an awesome way to teach your young child colors, shapes, numbers, letters, letter sounds, sight words, etc. 

Stay tune! I am compiling a list of AWESOME IOS apps for babies and toddlers.

#5 Carefully picked toys
  
If you step into the toy section at Walmart or dare to enter Toys R Us, you can easily see there are many, many options for toys for your young child. Not all toys are created equal. But there are certain brands that are usually a pretty safe bet like Leap Frog and Melissa & Doug. But the best places I have found GOOD quality toys are thrift stores and garage sales. With a little soap and water they are good as new and a fraction of the price.

Letter blocks, matching games, stacking cups, etc are all great toys for little hands. These toys are perfect for little hands to explore on their own when you are making dinner or need two seconds to eat the said dinner. Also they a great to play together with your child.

Watch for an entry about great education toys that we love!



#6 Flashcards


 This is where I might get some grief. Yes there is a place for flashcards in an infant, toddler and preschoolers life. My boys LOVE flashcards. But its because I do not drill them with the flashcards. I show them to Zakari the same way as I would show him a book.

A few books with looking into at the library or Amazon would be:
How to Teach Your Baby to Read (The Gentle Revolution Series)

How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop and Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential (The Gentle Revolution Series)

These are good reads too, but I would focus on reading the first two listed. Then read these if you have time.

How to Teach Your Baby Math (The Gentle Revolution Series)


How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge (The Gentle Revolution Series)

Now it should be noted that Doman’s method is a lot of work. I did not follow Doman’s method to the tee. I did make many flashcards. I also used multimedia, little Little Reader, DVDs, etc. 

There is also no need to make the flashcards as large as Doman recommends. Yes bigger is better, but I found 8×11 works well too.  

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

You can teach your baby to read, count, know basic kindergarten knowledge in toddlerhood. I know this from experience! The best part is they love it! Children are little sponges, and the younger they are the easier they learn. Why not teach them to read when they are able to do so with less effort at one or two instead of waiting till they are 6 or 7 years old. 

Oh but I know what some are thinking. Monique just let them be babies. Tiger mom! Why rush them to grow up? Let them be kids! 

My reply to this is, why hold back our children? My two year old loves to read. He gets excited at the grocery store when he can read the words on the wall. He reads what’s in his fruit pouches first to see what flavour he is about to eat. I have by no means forced him to learn. I just enriched his environment. Carefully selected only highly educational programs to expose him to during screen time. Used car time, waiting rooms, potty time, and bedtime to expose him to good quality apps or books with large words.

What did this do? It helped my son who is now 27 months be able to:

  • read any 3 letter word he is presented
  • know all his colors
  • know all his shapes, including shapes like octagon, oval and 3D shapes like cylinder.  
  • know all his basic farm and zoo animals and their sounds
  • knows all his letters and letter sounds. Even is starting to figure out letters like c and g have two sounds.
  • know how to read more words then I’m able to keep track of. (we were in the hundreds not including 3 letter words a while back, my guess is we are now in the 1000s)
  • understands phonics and can sound out new words he has never seen
  • Counts to 20 by ones forwards and backwards(has gone higher but usually only goes to 20 because he loses interest
  • Counts to 100 by 10s and 5s
  • Counts to 30 by 2s
  • knows his days of the week and months of the year
  • and much much more
I’m not listing this to brag, nor do I think my son is special. He has just grown up in an enriched environment and was exposed to this stuff in a fun way. ALMOST ANY CHILD CAN LEARN THIS STUFF TOO! Even children with special needs.

When people asking me, “Why teach them to read?” I ask “Why not!” It opens a whole new world to them. 


A few weeks ago we were at Shoppers Drugmart, and I was wearing Baby Z on my back in an Ergo carrier. We were waiting in line when he noticed the words over the cooler and started pointing at it and yelling, “Water! Water! Water!” I walked up to pay for my items and gently said “Yes sweetie there is water in the cooler.” The older woman behind me said with her jaw dropped, “No! He’s not pointing at the water in the cooler, he is pointing at the word. I think he just read the word water. Can he read?” I just brushed it off that he knows a few words because I didn’t have time to have a conversation. But if I had time I might have gone into details if the woman was open to it. Who knows maybe she has grandchildren. 

The point of this story is, instead of Baby Z just being able to look into the items around the store and try and figure out what they are that way, we have given him another piece to the puzzle. The ability to read what the words are. 

Preventing the Summer Slide with Dreambox

This summer has been one of our most structured summers when it comes to doing school with Wes. One program I did purchase this year to use was Dreambox Learning.

My long term readers may remember me doing a review on Dreambox Learning back in 2010, you can read it HERE if you’d like to see what I thought about it back then. The site has changed BIG time since then though. For example, back then it was geared towards K-3. Now it is designed for ages K-7! Also students can work through this program on their iPads.

I’m not sure if its that Wes is now more mature now, or the site has improved a lot, but he is doing AMAZING with this program. Before I thought of it as a supplement. Honestly at the end of June when I opened this account I thought “Oh we’ll just use it for the summer then I will cancel the account.” Nope, I am going to purchase a year subscription and use it along side Saxon math.

Math is something Wes is really strong in, however I’m not 100% comfortable with how Math is taught in our schools. I know they use the Manitoba curriculum, and I have read though it. But to me it seems like a lot is left at the discretion of the teacher. Each teacher could be pulling methods from different curriculums to meet the Manitoba Curriculum standard, and the teacher the next year could pull from other curriculums. And with the Common Core influence from the US leaking into Canada, I want my son to handle on Math. So I’m using Dreambox to reinforce and accelerate what he is learning in the school system. Then I am using Saxon math in help him get a good grip on old fashion paper and pencil math.

The combination seems to be doing him wonders. We have two and a half weeks left of summer here in Canada, and Wes has completed 36% of the grade 4 curriculum. I know this will give him a good leg up in school come September. This was done by spending 45mins 3-4 times a week.

I totally recommend Dreambox Learning to anyone interesting in helping their child catch up, or get ahead in math.

While I’m not being compensated directly by Dreambox for this review, if you would like a free month trial, leave your email in the comments box and I will send you one from my account. This will allow me to possibly earn free months for Wes to us this program.

Touch Math Upper Grade Workbook Review

Even though Wes is in public school, there are a few subjects I just cannot leave in the hands of the public school system. I think even though your child is in school you should still play an active part in their education. Especially when it comes to math. Even though your child has a wonderful teacher(like my son does) there is no way they can individualize their curriculum based on their needs with 20+ children in class. There is a curriculum that must be followed and with a timeline to meet. While some children grasp the concept after one assignment, another child may need several. So I have decided to support both my son and his teacher and afterschool him.

Afterschooling is when a child attended school outside the home, but the received supplemental teachings at home, in the evenings, weekends and holidays.

When I was homeschooling my son we struggled to find a math program that didn’t end up with him in tears. I’m telling you I bought several, but TouchMath was what broke the ice for Wes. He just blossomed when he was finally taught the strategies in a way he could understand.

Here are some of my past TouchMath reviews if you’d like to check them out:
http://domanandaba.blogspot.ca/2010/12/touchmath-review-and-giveaway.html

http://domanandaba.blogspot.ca/2011/01/touch-math-review.html

http://domanandaba.blogspot.ca/2011/01/jones-genuises-vs-touchmath.html

http://domanandaba.blogspot.ca/2011/04/touchmath-tutor-first-grade-software.html

Today I am reviewing The Upper Grade Workbooks on Addition and Subtraction . The workbook consists of 56 pages of student activity sheets that features scaffolding problems that help the student work to mastery. Each workbook also includes a answer key for easy correcting for busy parents.

Wes was super excited when he heard these books were coming in the mail. When he got home and found the package in the mail box he was so pumped he actually sat down and completed 15 pages in one sitting. TouchMath has always been a very inviting to him, and is honestly one if his favorite math programs too,

I loved the fact that the scaffolding method helped Wes realize that if he could add and subtract single digits, double digits were not that hard. Then when adding hundreds and thousands were introduced he was able to smoothly transition.

The writing in the books are clean, crisp and free of distraction, while still child friendly. While the downloadable pages you can purchase from TouchMath, I like the ready workbook that requires no planning. After I correct my son’s work and any corrections are made, I circle the page numbers of the pages I want him to do the next day and put it away. The following day when asked to do his TouchMath, he opens his book and knows which pages to do. Sometime he will even circle the number of an extra page or two when he feels like he’s on a roll and completes those too.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!! When Little Z is ready for workbooks, we will be starting with kindergarten level workbooks for sure. Hopefully they will have a Preschool level workbooks by then. TouchMath has been a total blessing for my family. The skills he has learned over the years using this program can easily be transferred to other math programs he is using at school. And at $10 a workbook they are VERY affordable.

One thing about TouchMath back when I first started doing reviews for them what it was not easily accessible for homeschooling or afterschooling parents due to the cost. Back then it was designed for the classroom. But over the last few years they have created products like this and others that are smaller, and designed to be used by parents and one or two children instead of a teacher and 20+ children. They really take suggestions from parents and educators seriously. They want to know how the children who are using their program are doing.

Disclaimer: I received these workbook in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any other way.

Right Brain Window

Well we were suppose to head over to my aunts for my Memere’s birthday last night when Wesley got home from his dad’s house, but he came home not looking so good. Running nose, bloodshot eye, saying he was sick. So I called my aunt and cancelled. I just can’t take him out when he is not feeling well.
This morning he climbed into bed with me, still not 100%. He really wants to see his Mama and Papa. He is so attached to them. I figure its because we lived with them from the time he was 5 months old till he was 14months. From what I read in Brain Rules for Baby, before 8 months children form there greats bonds. If I child cannot bond before this age it can really effect their brains. So it makes sense that he is so attached to him Mama and Papa.
We skipped soccer today and when hubby is back from dropping of my stepdaughter, I’m going to first stop by Wal-Mart with Wesley to get him some winter boots. In the last few days so much snow has fallen there is about a foot of the white stuff in my backyard. Then we are going to go to my parents for dinner. I don’t mind going there when he is not a 100% because he feels at home there, he has his own room and well just being around Mama and Papa makes him feel better.
This morning we took it easy, We watch a few lessons of Wink to Learn-Speak and Read English and Japanese, then an episode of Tweedlewinks. Then we sat down and did a lesson of Singapore Math, and a page of Touch Math. After watching some of the Tweedlewink course, I’m realizing how important right brain programing is to my son. The more together a child’s speech is the more the right and left brain are connected. Wesley is still very behind in the speech department, so this means I have been granted a longer time with the right brain window open. I plan to take full advantage of it. I’m also not forcing him to do his math on his own. We walk through each set together, and work it out together. The more we do this, the more it seems to stick. I guess this way he is able to learn with little stress. I don’t give him the answers but we work together so he can come up with the answer. All of this took us 20-25mins, now he is free to do whatever he likes till bed time where we will practice violin, do his Doman flashcards and read together. According to the Tweedlewinks course, children tend to do better if you cluster half there work in the morning then the other half in the afternoon. This allows them to learn what they need to, but still have lots of time to explore.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Exploracise® Gymathtics® Review/Giveaway

Well the snow has finally hit Winnipeg. Blah! I’m not a winter person. So we needed to start looking for something to keep the kids active indoors.
Wesley and I had the chance to review the Award Winning Exploracise Gymathtics program.
The Award Winning Exploracise Gymathtics program is the Ultimate Brain and Body workout teaching math and healthy lifestyle concepts during a complete 30-minute exercise routine.

Gymathtics is a fun fitness learning experience that kids will want to do again and again. The exercise program is great for kids of all ages. The math facts target the 2nd to 5th grade levels.
Program Contents

◦Shape Stretches Warm Up: Stretch your mind and body with line, circle, and polygon stretches.

◦Counting Calisthenics: Aerobic movements work your heart as fun counting concepts work your brain.

◦Pattern Power: Growing and repeating pattern exercise combinations challenge minds and strengthen muscles.

◦Well-Being Wind Down: Relaxing stretches cool down the body and open the mind to think about healthy lifestyle choices including the Nice Wave Stretch and Big Dream Stretch.

What do we think?
When I find that the kids are full of energy and needed a way to burn of some of that energy we throw in Gymathtics. I know this program is designed for older children, but my 4 and 5 year olds get right into it. My 18month olds jump around and try to copy the older kids. We never make it right to the end of the DVD, however we get about 20mins in, and after they have a drink of water and it gets the need to run around out of their system. They repeat some of the counting and lines out loud, so even though some of the concepts may be too difficult for them, I think its great to expose them so when they are ready to learn it will come easier to them.
Would you like to win a copy?? Do one or more of the following. Leave a separate comment and your email for each call to action completed.
-Head over to Exploramania Kids and tell me why your child might like this video
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– Follow Doman, ABA, Dayhome and Homeschooling Momma publicly
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Contest closes Nov 30th @11:59pm. Open to the US and Canada only.
Thank-you to the kind people at Exploramania for allowing me to review their great product, and providing an outlet for my children to burn off some energy in a fun way while learning math concepts at the same time.
These options are that of my own. I was not paid to write this review. I was provided a copy of this DVD to review in exchange for an honest option. I was not required to write a good review.