Hot Housing Toddlers to Read?? Little Miss: a father, a daughter and rocket science (Book Review & Giveaway)

Toddlers that can read…

That statements holds a lot of stigma.

If you have taught your toddler to read, you must have pressured them with hours and hours of lessons and drills. Right?

Wrong!!

Nathan Meikle shared the journey of how his daughter learned how to read at the age of two in his book Little Miss: a father, his daughter & rocket science.

This book shares day by day accounts of not only how he got his child interested in learning how to read, and how he taught her. But also all the conversations about he had with his wife through the process, as well as his own doubts.

Overall I thought this was a very well written book. I couldn’t put it down and read it in a day. Even though it didn’t add to what I personally knew on teaching young children to read, (I only say this because I’m 7 or 8 years into this life style of parentings, first with Wes and then Little Z) I couldn’t help but think…

Imagine! This book on the book shelves at the local bookstore in the parenting section. A mother to be comes in looking for a book on how to parent her baby, what to expect the first year, etc. She stumbles upon it and reads the back, “Interesting…” she thinks and adds it to the pile to buy.

What I’m saying is I believe this book could be the gateway to early education. Parents read it and then start researching. Next thing you know they are on the BrillKids site, reading about Glenn Doman, Your Baby Can Read, etc. What an amazing gift these parents will be offering their children!

Ok! Ok Monique. So this little girl could read when she was 2. What good is that if she is just going to burn out? Well I’m happy to say she hasn’t burned out. She loves to read. Kyla is 5 though she hasn’t started kindergarten. She still LOVES to read, as long as her parents find the right books for her. Nathan told me that just a few days ago she picked out two different 60 page book and read them to herself. The other day she also typed out one of her favorite picture books–took her about 2 hours. He is guessing she’s at a 4th grade reading level. She even corrects him when they are reading together and his skips a word or mispronounces something.

They are also doing the same thing they did with their 2.5 year old son Bennett, only difference is they started a bit earlier than they did with Kyla.

It has been much harder with him because Kyla gets bored while listening to us try to teach Bennett to read. She often helps, we try to include her as much as we can, but inevitably, she is not happy when the YBCR DVD’s are on because she wants to watch something else. Bennett has always been a little behind where Kyla was in terms of language progressions, but he has memorized a handful of words from YBCR and knows all his letters and the sounds (he’s 2.5). There plan is to do memorization for another few months and then get started on phonics. Though the process is going slower with Bennett, the bright side is that both Kyla and Bennett are learning patience (hopefully) because at every mealtime we alternate books (e.g., Kyla chooses one, and then Bennett chooses one). In sum, the process is much easier with just one child, but it is also fun (though challenging) to teach Bennett to read as a family. Kyla will hopefully remember the days of teaching her little brother to read.

So now the fun part!! I have 2 copies of this book to giveaway. If you would like to win a copy check out the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review is my honest opinion. I received a copy of the book to read and review, but otherwise was not compensated.

 

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?

NACD With My Nine Year Old. Helping Your Child with Reading Comprehension.

Well the time has come and Wes has graduated from the local ABA program. 6 years all in. I have seen major changes in him and this program has played a huge part of who he is. However after 6 years I’m happy to see this chapter of his life closed and a new one opening.

I wrote last time about The NACD Program We Are Running With Little Z, and there seem to be an interest as to what we are doing with Wes. So here we go!

After meeting with Wes over skype it was decided that the main thing we should worry about was processing skills and reading comprehension.

Honestly one of that saddest things I heard come out of my son’s mouth a few weeks ago was, “I hate to read.” Cue in my heart breaking. I love to read! How could he hate it so much. I guess if you are not understanding what you are reading, the real question is, “Why” would you want to read?

So while we waited for our package of stuff from the NACD to arrive, I picked out this book: Reading Comprehension: Grade 2 (Flash Skills) and we started working on reading. If your child is sensitive to what grade level they are working on, you could cut out the top right corner of the book.

First I have him read the story on his own. Then he reads it to me. And then he orally answers the question. I could have him write the answers down in the workbook, but I decided against that. I want to work strictly on reading and comprehension. By writing down the answer, I would be adding 3 more skills to the project: Writing, Spelling and Grammar.

2015-01-11 20.46.35

Then our work books came in from the NACD. We started New Practice Readers, Book B, 3rd Edition this week and I really like it. Right now we are working on Book B, which is a reading level of grade 2.4 to 3.5. While Wes is able to decode books at a much higher level, we are starting way below that to insure he is understanding everything he is reading. Unlike the Reading Comprehension book above, the New Practice Readers uses high interested nonfiction topics. So while they are working on comprehension they are also learning about:

– Earth Sciences

– Exploration

– Geography

– Geology

– Health & Safety

– Life Sciences

– Mathematics

– Occupations

– Physiology/Psychology

Another thing we are using to help work on reading comprehension are audio books. Right now Wes has been listening to the Magic Treehouse series. I found them at the library and loaded them up on his iPod. When he finishes a book I delete it and add another one. Right now he is using a set of earbuds, that I have cut off the left earpiece. He is suppose to only listen to them through his right ear, which is his dominant side.

The last thing we have been working on for reading comprehension has been sending each other notes. If I need him to do something I will slip him a note with instructions. Or I will as him a question and he will bring me a note back with his answer. This one is a lot of fun. We are also suppose to do weekly scavenger hunts. Notes leading to notes. We haven’t done this yet, but his school has shown an interest in running this program.

We are also focusing this term on auditory processing skills. I could try and explain this myself, but really I’m sure I would not be able to properly. So I just added in a video I found that Robert Doman Jr film about Auditory processing.

 Right now we are doing this process with:

– Digits four times a day

– Words two times a day

– Questions once a day.

I’ve already seen Wes develop this skill in the last month. He has gone from a 5 to a 7 in digits. Plus its something simple we have added to his day. We do it twice in the morning before school and twice at night.

Once summer comes and Wes is out of school for a few months, I will be able to request more programs. Right now, with swimming two times a week, and piano lessons/practice, this is what we can handle.

 

 

 

 

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NACD Early Learning at 32 Months Old

So back in December we took the plunge and signed up with NACD, which stands for The National Association for Child Development. I decided that with Wes’s ABA coming to an end, and the waitlist for ABA for Z being 2 years long, we needed to do something. The beautiful thing about this program is there is really no waiting list. We signed up at the end of October and had our assessment done by the beginning of December. The only reason it took so long was because we wanted to be a part of the Minnesota chapter, as Minnesota is only about a 6 hour drive south. This Chapter had their assessments scheduled for December.

In December our evaluator spent almost 2 hours per child. Testing the boys, talking to me. She listened so carefully to each thing I had to say. But the real kicker for me was that she had an explanation for each and every thing that was going on with both boys.

At the end of the day she concluded that Little Z has a communication disorder. With some hard work, it is completely reversible. A few days later I had access to several programs tailored exactly to Little Z’s needs.

Another thing I needed to address was Little Z’s digestion. We had been depending on the fruits in his morning and afternoon smoothies to keep him regular. He always had a bloated belly

So this is what a typical day of programs looks like for Z:

1)  We have to give Little Z 10- 1 step directions. We help him follow through and then praise him like crazy.

2) 20 Spontaneous scripts. This has been a hard program for us but useful at the same time. The way I use this program is, I have little white boards I bought from the dollar store all over the house and in the van.

If Little Z is whining or fussing about something I write down on the whiteboard what he might be feeling.  Like if I’m putting him in his carseat and he is fighting and resisting, I might write, “But I don’t like buckling up!” Then I will take his finger and read what it says(ideally he would read it to me, but you know two year olds…) Then I respond to it like he told me that himself. “I know you don’t like buckling up, but we have to be safe. We are going to Mama and Papa’s then I will unbuckle you.” A lot of the time putting his feelings in words he can see helps him sort out his feelings.

But to just spontaneously come up with 20 things a day got to be difficult. My mind was drawing blanks and I felt like I was always repeating myself.

So I also started to use these scripts while we are reading. I will ask him a question and have the answer reading to go on the board. So I’m helping him realize what I expect him to say when I ask him a question. Best part! He answered himself last week without the board prompting him!

3) Another program we are working on right now is what I call the Modified Encyclopedic Knowledge program. We flip through either an Kids Picture Encyclopedia or a Kids Picture Dictionary and read random facts. As soon as we got our programs I ran to the store and bought a copy of Firefly Encyclopedia of Animals

The point of this program is not to read the dictionary or encyclopedia from cover to cover. But to flip around and read random facts. This will teach Little Z that we can learn from reading. That words have meaning and they are not just there for him to play with.

4) Imaginary play 2 times a day. This is another one for me that is hard. Playing make believe. Making animals talk, etc. *Sigh* I was SOOOO good at this as a kid. But I think that part of me died or something. I have a really hard time getting into it. My hubby is SOOOO much better at this than me. Confession time! When I hear him doing imaginary play with Z I get giddy knowing I can check that off as done on my list and I avoided it for the day.

5) Little Z still puts stuff… ok lets be honest, EVERYTHING in his mouth. For this we have started a mouth stimulation program. 4 times a day I use on of this gummy rubber toothbrushes, you know that ones you get in that baby kit with no bristles. Its decided to clean your baby’s gums before they have teeth. Will I brush his lips,  tongue, cheeks and gums with this 4 times a day to help desensitize his mouth. While he still does put stuff in his mouth, its starting to get better. Slowly but surely.

6) We have to read to Little Z 2+ times a day. This program should be a no brainer and I think every parent should take time out of there day to read to their child at least once a day.

For us we read at breakfast and lunch. Those meals happen every day, so its easy to build our routine around that. The trick part is, we have to present Little Z with a new book each time we read. No repeats. Fresh materials every day.

So now after we read a book from our personal collection, it gets put into a bucket and when the bucket is full it gets put away downstairs. *Sob* So now even though I can buy books for Little Z at the thrift store for 25 cents, storage wise, it doesn’t make sense. So now we are depending on our local library.

TSI and TLP

7) This weekend I received my package from the NACD. Inside I found The Listening Program and Targeted Sound Intervention Boost-Passive. We haven’t started this program, but I will update you more as we go through it.  Right now as I write I’m loading them onto my iPhone.

There are some other changes we have had to make.

– No repetitive TV programs, or watching videos over and over again. It always needs to be fresh materials. Preferably kid friendly documentaries.

– Cutting out the sugar, including fruit in our smoothies(except for berries, they are ok)

– Adding probiotics and Serovera to his diet. (This was not a recommendation from the NACD, but another mom who ran the NACD programs with her girls and has tons of nutrition degrees under her belt.) We had to add the probiotics very slowly, as they cause him a lot of tummy pain while they worked. But now that we have added the Serovera, there is no pain whatsoever. Also 2 days in with the Serovera he no longer has a bloated belly. I almost fell over the second morning when I changed him and he went from buddha belly the night before to flat washboard belly in the morning. We are slowly changing his diet to a less processed one. But I figure changing things slowly will make it more sustainable.

– We have to really focus on keeping him engaged. Pulling his chair right up to the counter while we are cooking and talking to him about everything. Chasing and running games, anything to keep him active and engaged.

 

Overall I’m very happy with the support I have received from the NACD. I love that they are tailored to your child. If you were to have your child assessed they would have a completely different program then my son.

We are noticing changes slowly, and in all honestly we haven’t been running the programs full force due to the holidays and not having all the materials. So here is to our first week, giving it all we got!

8 Things To Do After Your Child has been Diagnosed With Autism. Autism Vlog #2

autismSo its happened, you just got back from the doctor and the news wasn’t good. They have told you your child has Autism.

The new A-word.

I remember hearing these words and just feeling hollow inside. Sitting in my car and crying, because I felt so alone and helpless.

But you are NOT helpless. There are several things you can do to give your child a fighting chance.

Please Subscribe to my Youtube Channel and help get the word out to parents how have children with Autism

1) First Put Your Mask on First and Process What is Happening:

This is a hard pill to swallow. You might be feeling guilt, but don’t be. No one knows what causes Autism for sure. Personally I feel the reason they can’t figure it out is because there are more than one smoking gun. Whether its food, environment, vaccines, the list goes on of possible suspects.

Find someone to talk to. Sadly with Autism becoming more and more common, its kind of like cancer, some one knows someone who has a child with it. I also found online forums and facebook groups helpful.

2) Find Out What Services are Available Locally and Get on the Waitlist.

Talk to your doctor or public health nurse. Find out what services your province, state, school division, etc provides. Then get on their waitlist. The list are usually long, so its better to be on them as early as possible.

3) Find Out What Types of Tax Credits and Benefits You Qualify for.

Call your accountant and find out what kind of tax credits or benefits your family is entitled to. Also ask about back pay. Autism is considered a condition that is there at birth, you should be able to do some adjustments to your taxes and get some back pay. This extra money will come in handy to pay for therapies not covered by the government or your insurance plan.

4) Hit Your Local Library, or Amazon and Get Books on Autism.

Education is power. You’re not going to agree with every book you read. But I found the more I read about Autism the more I learned. Even the autobiographies, they would talk about their experience with different therapies and I was able to look them up on google and find more help.

5) Get a DAN! Doctor or Naturopath that has Experienced with Child with Autism.

While your child’s medical doctor is good for broken bones, and stuff like that, they are not always the best source when it comes to autism.

DAN!(Defeat Autism NOW!) practitioners are specially trained to deal with autism. They understand that other ailments your child may be experience are usually correlated. Even an experience Naturopath can offer gentle alternatives to help your child.

6) Educate Yourself on How Your Child’s Diet is Affecting Their Behavior.

Food affects people more than they think. Look into what might be affecting your child. For some kids gluten give them the feeling of being on opium, other kids its food colorings. Research and talk to your DAN! or Naturopath.

7) Look For a NAET Practitioner

NAET(Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques) is a acupressure(no needles so don’t worry) therapy that helps reboot the body and to have it stop reacting poorly to certain allergens.

For example my son was terribly allergic to milk and gluten. 2 months working with our NAET practitioner, he can now eat both of them without any issue.

8) Learn about Early Learning.

Join the BrillKids Forum and look into there program Little Reader. Both my boys learned how to read using this program and it also helps expand vocabulary and labeling skills. Things some autistic children struggle with.

You can read more about these programs HERE. If you land up deciding this program is a fit for your child here is a coupon code for 10% off your order BKAFF21929.

 

What other tips do you have that I may have missed?

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Assiniboine Park Zoo visit with Little Z

walking around the zooThe weather got unseasonable warm a few weeks ago. So one Sunday when we had just Little Z we took him to the zoo.

I’m going to be honest. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Our zoo in the past was less than impressive. Lots of empty exhibits. They recently added the new Churchill exhibit where they take in orphaned polar bears. But since they added it the cost jumped 2.5x higher.

But I’m happy to report that we had a great time. While its not Calgary zoo, there has been some improvements.

Polar bear cubs eating at the zoo

Feeding time for the Polar Bear cub.

The weather was perfect. The animals were so active and we seem to get to several of the exhibits just at feeding time. The zoo keepers that were feeding the polar bears told us about the polar bears and answered several of our questions.

Lions at the zoo feeding timeAll of the staff were so helpful. Since the zoo has recently been changed we nearly walked right by the tiger and lion exhibit. The staff taking care of the camels redirected us and guess what, good thing too! IT was feeding time for them too.

seal swimming at the zoo

Little Z’s favorite animal at the zoo. The seal!

Now Little Z’s favorite exhibit was the seal area. If was like the seal knew too. As soon as we got there the seal started swimming and diving and putting on a little show. He was so happy to get to see his favorite animal in front of him.

 

Overall it was an awesome day! We enjoyed spending some time with just Little Z. The big kids have each had lots of time to spend with us alone, and while Little Z is usually with us alone on Sundays, we are usually just running errands.

We also took the time before we left to read about a few of the animals we might see at the zoo. And when we got home we read about others we didn’t know we would see. We used Firefly Encyclopedia of Animals to find what we wanted to know. I felt it had enough of select to find all the animals we needed to.

I think if you are able to visit a good quality zoo, that is respectful to the animals and supports conservation and research, it is enriching to your child’s life to go. It is so important to teach our children compassion for animals as well as respect. Its a lot harder to respect something you have never seen. But hands on experience at the zoo can help bridge this concept for your child.

What My Two Year Old and I Read Today. Mini NACD Update.

So its been a few weeks since we had our NACD assessment (The National Association for Child Development). With the holidays and everything we have had a slow start. But I’m already seeing some positive changes in Little Z. So I’m hoping once we get the rest of the supplies needed, we will see even more changes. Right now The Listening Program and Wes’s comprehension books are sitting at the border, waiting for my cousin to pick them up on his way home back to Canada.

 

Firefly AnimalsOne program we are working on right now is what I call the Modified Encyclopedic Knowledge program. We flip through either an Kids Picture Encyclopedia or a Kids Picture Dictionary and read random facts. As soon as we got our programs I ran to the store and bought a copy of Firefly Encyclopedia of Animals.

The point of this program is not to read the dictionary or encyclopedia from cover to cover. But to flip around and read random facts. This will teach Little Z that we can learn from reading. That words have meaning and they are not just there for him to play with.

Before we went to the zoo a few weeks ago, I went through this book with him and we found animals that we might have the chance to see on our visit. Then when we got back, we found some others we had seen but hadn’t read about before leaving.

Kids Dictionary and Encyclopedia Thing is, we need to mix things up a bit. After a while going through the same Encyclopedia for a few weeks becomes a bit boring.

So we went to the library and picked out a few more Encyclopedias and picture dictionaries for use to flip through. Today we looked though these two. On the way home I realized I should have looked for an encyclopedia on vehicles. He would have loved that too. Note to self.

I have kids picture dictionary coming in the mail. But I plan on  putting that away and continuing to use the assortment of library books. I want to have that one put away ready to go if we have to either a) go away on vacation and I don’t want to worry about losing a library books or b) if we can’t get to the library for some reason.

Another program we are working on is a simple one. We are doing a reading program. We have to sit down and read together 2 times a day. The only catch, it has to be new materials. Which can be a bit of a bother for Little Z. He has his favorite books and wants to keep reading them over and over again. But in his situations we need to keep offering him new materials.

So while at the library on Sunday, I went to the bin of suggested books of the month, and started flipping through.

I was looking for :

– books that had a story line

 

– books that were not too long or wordy

 

– books that were not  too short or had no words

 

– books that were non-fiction and not too wordy

 

– books that were not simple phonics or sight words books, (This is a cat. This is a red apple. Etc)

2015-01-05 12.03.08

We started with a book called Whoever You Are (Reading Rainbow Books). by Mem Fox and Illustrated by Leslie Staub.

It is a beautiful, yet simple story about how we are as cultures different in many ways, like:

                – Different skin color

– Different homes

– Different Schools.

But then the author goes on to explain that we are also very similar for example:

– We all have hearts

– We all smile

– We all cry

I was quite happy that this book was able to explain to young children common humanity and diversity.

cat and mouse in the rain

Then we read the story called Cat and Mouse in the Rain by Tomek Bogacki.

This is a cute story about a cat and a mouse who get stuck in the rain. Then they meet their new friend frog, who helps get them out of the comfort zone to try something new… playing in the puddles. 

George, the dragon and the princess

After we were introduced to a little mouse named George in George, the Dragon and the Princess.

This book would be perfect for a young child that feels like they are small and not good at very many things. George learns in this story that everyone is good at something. We just might not have found our special talent yet.

market day

 

Market Day by Lois Ehlert is a simple story about a family going to down to buy items they need and sell their wares. They tell the story using folk art.

 What are you reading with your child today?

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4 Magic Words When Dealing With Exhausted School Age Children.

angryWe’ve all been there. Its just after dinner and your kiddo just can’t keep it together. There is home reading and homework to do. Maybe swimming lessons, or piano practice. But everything is a problem for your child.

What is a parent to do?

Well the technique we use at home, when my 4th grader is losing his cool is quite simple. I say these 4 magic words.

“Its time for bed.”

Maybe we miss piano, or don’t get those last math problems done. But thats ok, doing so will not cause your child to be a high school drop out, or suddenly not able to play piano.

What it will do is help your child learn to regulate their emotions, and to know when they are tired.

Just to clarify myself, I’m not telling you to be cruel about this. What you should tell your child is:

“Sally, I can see your having a hard time controlling your emotions. You seem quite tired. Its time for bed.”

If your children are anything like mine, they will argue that they are not. But gently telling them that their actions are telling you they are tired. I let them know, that going to bed early will help make sure tomorrow they will feel better.

My oldest needs to be in bed for 8pm, 8:30 the absolute latest. But for a few weeks, I think he was growing and he was melting down right after dinner. We started sending him to bed at 7. Which meant we didn’t get all our NACD homework done one night, and we missed piano lessons another night. But he needed it.

You know what the kicker is? Now he recognizes when he is having trouble controlling his emotions due to being tired and will ask to go to bed early.

As a parent I always felt guilty by the thought of sending my child to bed right after dinner. I mean come on, I’m sure I can get him to cooperate. Sending him to bed at 6 or 7 would be just plain lazy. Right?

WRONG!

If your child is that overtired, things are not going to get better by keeping him up even later. You need to help set them up for success. If they are overtired and cranky, and you know they have school the next day, that extra hour or two will help them feel more rested and ready to have a wonderful productive day. Chances are it is just a growth spurt and they will get back to their regular bedtime.

If possible make sure to still go through your regular bedtime routine. Storytime, snuggles, bedtime prayers, whatever you and your child usually do. This will help them realize that this is not a punishment. Because it shouldn’t be. However, if my child was overly protesting early bedtime, I will ask them if they are too tired for bedtime activities(bedtime story and such.) Usually my son will stop protesting. There has been a time or two where is actions made the decision for him to go straight to bed. However I try to avoid this if possible.

The goal is to help your child learn to self regulate their emotions. I know as an adult if I’ve been pulling too many late nighters, I sometimes become short with my hubby or boys. So you know what I do? I go to bed early so I’m fresh in the morning. It might also help to share this with your child. That way they know this is what adults do too.

For now, do not strain your parent/child relationship. No one wants to go to bed angry at their child’s behavior, when you know they were just over tired.

Just say “It’s time for bed.”

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.