Mighty Mind

Well I have to say I have been I have been addicted to Figur8’s blog as of lately. I have spent hours reading over her archives and I have yet to scratch the surface. Her boys both attended Right Brain schools, and she has been compiling activities and sharing her experiences. This is so helpful for parents who live in countries where right brain schools are not as available, or flat out cannot afford it.

She has mentioned that in the Hegura school one of the activities they do is Tan-gram puzzles. Now while I have a set of Tan-grams(thanks to a dear friend who shared her extras with me) I was reminded of a product that I’ve had sitting in my closet for a while, Mighty Mind. I decided to bring it out and start off with these premade cards it comes with. But we opened it and of course there was one piece missing. If anything irritates me more then missing a bunch of pieces, its missing only ONE piece. Well luckily most off the puzzles can be done without this one piece.

However I went on their website to see if I could order this missing piece, because, well I’m compulsive and I HATE not having the complete set. Also I’m sure in the future I will be pulling out this set for Baby Z when he gets to be old enough. Well turns out, they have an amazing policy on missing parts! All you have to do is trace the shape your missing(there are several of the same shape, just different colors), tell them what color you need and send them a self addressed and stamped envelope and they will send you the replacement part. So I emailed the company this morning, because the Canadian link is broken, but the USA one works. SO hopefully I can send out my sketch and get that missing piece.
So even with the piece being missing Wesley and I sat this morning and did a few of the puzzles and he responded very well to it! I thought that he would want to stick to the very easy ones, but he jumped right into the ‘middle of the road’ difficult ones and did amazing! He was a bit upset, if they were not lined up just so, but got over that very quickly. Right now we are doing them just at leisure, but soon I’d like to pick up the pace and see how fast we can complete them.

Right Brain Education/Classical Education, Planning outloud.

Please excuse this entry. It may be all over the place, but I’m writing this all out so it will hopefully help organize my thoughts.

Today I watched a few videos on Youtube that I thought that I would share. They really got my brain going.

Wesley is still very right brain. Since this is the case, I feel like I should be taking advantage of this window of opportunity.I was even thinking that, as soon as I’m on maternity leave keeping home one day a week from school, just to focus on right brain education. Then through out the week, fit in short little sessions where I can.
I have managed to squeeze in a Little Musician session every morning at breakfast and then before getting on the bus we watch most if not all of Suzie Piano Primer. At first I thought this video was low budget, but after watching it with Wesley a few times I soon found that it is very very valuable and I was learning a lot.
Since my computer seems to be cooperating, I think we are going to start adding in a quick Little Reader Chinese lesson. Now while I’m not planning on going too over board with teaching Wesley or Baby Z Chinese, I think this program will likely open their minds and stimulate the brain. Hopefully BrillKids will come up with a Little Reader French and Spanish soon 🙂
I’m also going out tonight to buy a xylophone. We are starting The Evan Thomas Institute’s program called “The Initial Music Program”. It is a guide that helps parents run a:
– Listening Program
– Perfect Pitch Program
– Note Reading Program
– Rhythm Program
– Musical Terms and Symbols Program
 Right now we are on lesson 14 of The Reading Program. It is going well, but I think I can make some adjustments to make it run smoother. After that program is complete we are going to review Hooked On Phonics Grade 1, and then hopefully work through the Hooked On Phonics Grade 2 through the summer.
We are still reading classical story books and math memorization.
Anyhow, my sore lower back from sitting too long is going to cut this entry short. Its amazing how pregnancy can take a real toll on your body. Hopefully I’ll be able to iron out some more details.

MACHS Homeschool Conference 2011- Keynote Speaker Andrew Pudewa

Homeschool Conference 2011

What an amazing experience! This weekend I was able to attend our local Christian homeschooling group, MACHS, homeschooling conference. It was held for two days at Calvary Temple in Winnipeg.

I have to say this conference was AMAZING. Much to my excitement the keynote speaker was Andrew Pudewa, the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. While this was very impression, what really got our attending was the fact he was trained under both Suzuki and Doman. He actually worked with my hero Glenn Doman(author of the book “What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child“) at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential.

Another early learning mom, who happens to be a good friend of mine, and I had the opportunity to talk to him after lunch.

Ok ok… We may have formed an attack to corner the poor man to try and pick his brains. He was busy looking for his missing cufflink, so we took this opportunity that he was in one area to speak with him.  As brief as it was, he was able to tell us about some interesting things.

– According to him, the IAHP is not open to new research. They have the mentality, if they didn’t come up with it they are not interested in it. After hearing this, I also heard something similar from somewhere else. This is really sad to hear and I hope it is not true because there is still so much to learn about the human brain. By limiting their interest in other studies they will eventually become dated.

– We talked about EK flashcards. He went on to tell us how the connections are made. Basically if you never saw anything you wouldn’t think about anything. By showing EK bits you are providing your child the chance to think about something, there for making connections in the brain.

– He also told us about another person that he use to work with at the IAHP that left the institute and opened his own clinic the Family Hope Center. I’m under the impression the founder of the Family Hope Center was fed up the IAHP would not consider new research on Brain Injured children. Another thing that seemed to bother them was the fact that the people who are now in charge of the IAHP are Scientology and as a devout Christian he did not agree with the way it was run. So I spent some time on their website and decided to place a call. They were already closed for the day so I left a message. I’m interested to see what this place is about.

We then spent time listening to the keynote speaker sessions, wondered around the 3 exhibit halls and ate lunch. I managed to control my spending habits. I bought Wesley a new bow for his birthday, 2 workbooks and and parents guide. I loved there was so much about Suzuki music this time around. I’m not sure if they will be able to beat it next year.

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

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!

When Right Brain Education Meets Left.

Well I have full force started a right-brain education program for Wesley. We have always done a little right brain education here and there, but not as consistant as I should be. Now this is what we do:
– Little Reader
– Little Math (both Little Math curriculum and the 65 Day Shichida’s Math Program)

Wink To Learn Speak and Read English
Wink To Learn Speak and Read Japanese
Doman Advantage word cards
Now my son is traditionally too old for the math program, but we are noticing that these right brain programs, mixed with our fantastic new ABA tutors he is maturing so much when it comes to his speech and conversation skills. My mom almost feel out of her chair last night when Wesley ask my dad “Papa do you have a gameboy? We play two players?” My mom said it was the very first time she heard him ask a question that wasn’t asking for something he wanted to eat or do, he was asking if my dad owned something. Might seem small but this is HUGE for us.
We had our clinic meeting on Tuesday, and our team was shocked how many programs Wesley blasted through. Our consultant actually didn’t bring enough programs to replace the ones he completed.
We started him on some easy easy mazes( I found a Franklin work book full of mazes at the dollarstore), which he baseline mastered. Now I plan on going to Chapters and buying him some Kumon Maze books.
Now we do other programs that are not Right Brain as well, and they help him so much too. For example Headsprout, Singapore Math, Touch Math, Exploded the Code, ixl.com, and now we also started Click N’ Kids ClickN READ and ClickN SPELL.
Sometimes I wonder WHY so many programs. But then I realize there is a method to my maddness, this provides my son a variety, making it so he is learning using different programs and making it so he doesn’t get board with our programs. I do each a couple times I week(right brain programs are almost daily as they only take 15-20 mins of our day)
We also read 2-10 books a day. Right now I’m learning how to read to him and ask questions so he stays focus on the story. He tends to space out during story time. Now I’m not sure if he is still taking it in or not, Tweedlewink creators claim that children can learn from background sounds just as much as when they are paying attention. But I don’t know.
Last night Wesley and I started a crawling program. We chase each other crawling for 5 mins. It was a lot of fun. I know five mins doesn’t seem like much, but my goal is to work us up slowly. I’m also going to ask my father to build us a set of monkey bars in the basement. I need to get him moving on the physical part of the Doman program. I just pray I can keep motivated.
I hope this combination of programs with help develop my son’s brain to its full potiental. Sometimes he resists programs, and I know its suppose to be child lead, but once I insist he does something he usually enjoys it. And in those situations I keep our sessions short. Our window of healing his brain is closing and we must move forth.
Stay tuned for more reviews 🙂 Be sure to check out the Doman Advantage Review and Giveaway. Contest closes Nov 15th,2010

What Are We Using For Music in Kindergarten: Themes to Remember Vol 1


Well I was super excited when I got the postal office slip to go pick up my package. And there it was, our new Themes To Remember, Volume 1 book and cd.

What is Themes to Remember?

Themes To Remember, Volume 1 is a 124 page hard bound book. The product is designed to help anyone {particularly children) to recognize 40 classical music themes, to know the name of the composer of each theme, and to be knowledgeable about and love classical music. It is a light-hearted, fully illustrated book that includes portrait sketches of the 24 composers and definitions of musical terms. Piano, a quiet little cat, and Forte, a rather noisy little dog, will accompany you through the pages of Themes To Remember. The book also includes “good listening” suggestions for each of the four classical music periods covered in the book. -Amazon

I quickly uploaded it into my iPhone so Wesley and I could listen to it in the car.
The music seemed to catch his attention, but I personally found the lyrics hard to understand at first. But over time we are getting accustomed to them, and they are catchy. I hope this will help him appreciate classical music more than I did as a kid.
One thing that I noticed that everyone said would happen. I never had to force him to listen to it. It’s like he instantly can tell good quality music.

What kind of music program have you used with your child?