Our plan for the year…

Things have been going great here. My stepdaughter has been spending alot more time with us, so that’s always great. Wesley’s tutor is on holidays so I have had him all to myself, which is great! When the babies take there afternoon nap we have a chance to get most of our school work, which means I can relax as soon as the daycare babies are gone.
Explode the Code 1We started Explode the Code 1 workbook. We took the pretest and he did very well 18/20. We do it together as the pictures are not aways that clear(there not as bad as the cover shows lol,he just sometimes has trouble with draw pictures ver. photos), I just tell him what the pictures are and he works it out himself. I looked at tomorrows lesson and I think it will be a good fit for him.
This years we are using
:Math-U-See / Primer Teacher Pack (Complete Kit)Math U See Primer: Right now we are on 15 of 30 Lessons. This level is suppose to introduce the child to different concepts in math without expecting them to master it. I’m debating what to do. He will be done this one come December the latest, if not sooner. I can’t decide if I should order the Math U See Alpha which focuses on Single Digit Addition and Subtraction, or just use some workbooks till we get closer to grade 1 and then start Alpha. I just worry he wont be mature enough to do work for a 6-7year old when he will only be 5.5. In Alpha they start testing and such.
Hooked on Math Addition and Subtraction Ages 6 - 7I also have Hooked On Math. I might use this to mix it up alittle and supplement our current program.

Hooked on Handwriting- Learn to PrintCurrently for printing we are using Hooked On Handwriting-Learn to Print. We are on the blue book, and have 17 lessons left to do, so we will be done this program in about 3 weeks or so. I like a lot of things about this program as an introduction, but in no way is it a complete program.
Next month we will start The Canadian Handwriting Series– Its suppose to be Grade 1, but I think we are ready for it.
We use two computer programs ABC Reading Eggs, then even have the series of books and workbooks. I ordered them when I renewed our subscriptions. They haven’t arrived yet, but the online version of the books a great. But I always prefer to read the paper version with Wes so he is not distracted by the computer.
Starfall is the other online program we are using, we are just using the free version, but I know that there is a version you can pay for. Not sure what that one is like, but seeing as I’m paying for Reading Eggs and still for Little Reader, I don’t want to take on yet another subscription. We love the Starfall books too that we got from amazon.
We will also be spending time at the library getting great books from there. I’m sure I’ll find workbooks and maybe even unit studies I’d like to do along the way, but this is my basic plan to date. We started in May working on Kindergarten for two reasons, 1) This is all new to both of us and I wanted time just incase we needed to restart something, or things didn’t go according to plan 2) I also want some buffer just incase we fall of track. Better to be ahead then behind right?
Have a great day!

Reading//MonkiSee//Science Experiment

Well the last couple have days have gone great!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?: 40th Anniversary Edition (Brown Bear and Friends)Wesley readBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?: 40th Anniversary Edition (Brown Bear and Friends)with very little help from me. Its so great watching him gain confidence with his reading skills. He actually got mad at his speech path on Thursday because she was reating him a Franklin book and she wouldn’t let him take a turn. I’m not sure why? She implied to me when she left that she noticed he was understanding that words mean something, and that was the first step to reading. I told her, he’s passed that stage, she’s starting to read. I’m not sure if she believed me. She is suppose to bring pictures next time to work on sounds with him. Were using word card props to help him with his sentences. He tend to leave out words like “the”.
MonkiSee "Baby's First Words" DVD Vol 1I’m so excited! Today I received a new product in the mail called MonkiSee MonkiDo to review. I’m planning on using the program for the next few weeks with my daycare children, and my son. Krista the creator of MonkiSee and I are planning a giveaway on this blog in the next few weeks for my public followers. So click on and follow my blog so you can see when the review/giveaway becomes available. Also check out Krista’s blog here. Krista is a homeschooling mother of 6 wonderful children, and used this program with her two youngest. She has lots of great ideas for teaching your baby/young child on her blog.


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The kids and I decided to do a science experiment. We took baking soda, vinegar and water. Mixed it in a old pop bottle and it created carbon dioxide and blew up the balloon. Actually I followed the directions and it only blew it up a little. My bf came over and said the directions I was using was too weak. He mixed the same ingredients in larger amounts and managed to get the balloon to blow up like it is in the picture above. My goal is to do one science experiment during the week when we have both kids.
Well I’m off to bed! Have a great weekend!
Monique

The Berenstain Bear cub who is locked in the basement and fed fish heads…

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with ChoresOk, well maybe she’s not locked in the basement and fed fish heads, but where as this cub been? Wesley and I were suprised yesterday when reading The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores there is a third cub!! Honey was introduced in this book. Well maybe she wasn’t introduced to the whole series in this book, but she just appear and it was the first Wesley and I ever heard of her. I was talking to Wesley tutor, and I told her what we were reading and about this new cub and apparently she is in the chapater books too. She use to read about Honey when she was a kid.
This baffled me LOL. Enough I felt like I should write an entry about it. But I mean, really are most little siblings at birthday parties, and dinnertime, ect. She’s never really anywheres.
LOL anyhow. This was a great book that shows the importance of getting chores done, and what happens if your ignore them. Its always easier to just get them done then come up with ways to avoid them.
Yesterday, Wesley and I drove to my parents for a visit. My parents recently painted there house brown, and Wes has seen it before me. He told his tutor that “Mama and Papa live in a brown house now” So his tutor thought they had moved LOL. We made it there and just got in the house in time to avoid a down pour. Its been raining like mad here. And the lighting shows are amazing.
Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda Storybook and Scrolling ScenesMy parents went to the states last weekend and bought him Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda Storybook and Scrolling Scenes. We’ve been having tons of fun scrolling through the pictures and flipping through the book. The only problem is the scrolls are distracting from the book itself lol. But Wesley loves Kung Fu Panda (Widescreen Edition) the DVD. We even play it in French to make it somewhat educational LOL.
Have a great day!!

What my Child is Reading July 11th/10

Yesterday was suppose to be a nice relaxing day. I packed a picnic and we drove an hour out of town to Falcon Lake for our picnic. It was fun, but Wes had been up way to late the night before and was a bit grumpy. All and all we got to feed a ground hog our crusts from our sandwiches and we stopped on the way to see a turtle pond.
This month I took out books on Summer/Seasons and cows. I think my theme this month will be on feelings and family reunions. We are attending a family reunion on the August long weekend.
Franklin's Bad DayI thought we should read Franklin’s Bad Day because my son was having trouble dealing with his emotions today. We liked it a lot because, well its a Franklin book and we LOVE Franklin. But I was able to point out things like the way Franklin talked to his mother, and we talked about better ways for Franklin to handle how he feels.
The Winter King and the Summer Queen (Book & CD)The Winter King and the Summer Queen (Book & CD) was a great book about the battle of the seasons. The illustrations were beautiful! My son really seemed to enjoy this one. Not only did we talk about the Season, we also talked about the weather.
I love this! I hope to keep posting about what we are reading!

What My Child is Reading

Okay! This is my first stab at “What my Child is Reading”. Well last night both my son(5) and my stepdaughter(almost 4) were watching Dora. So I went and picked out a pile of books and suggested we had storytime. Out of the books I picked they enjoyed these the most.

Eency Weency Spider (Bank Street Level 1*)Eency Weency Spider (Bank Street Level 1*)was very cute and the kids loved how familiar it is. We like how they mixed in characters from other kids stories, like Humpty Dumpty, and Jack be Nibble. Right now Wesley seems to enjoy rhyming and patterns and this had both.

The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree (Bright & Early Books(R))The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree (Bright & Early Books(R))have become a new favorite for Wesley. I think its because of Mama and Papa bear. Thats what Wesley calls my parents. This particular Berenstain Bear book was great because it was much easier for my son to read alot of the words on his own, with less help from me. So I’m hoping to use this as a confidence builder.

Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. It really matters how you handle yourself.

I’m on the beach relaxing in the sun with my cat while my bf and stepdaughter play in the water. So seeing as I don’t really like playing in the water I might as well blog lol.
This weekend I took the kids to my Memeres house for a visit. Wesley brought his board game Trouble and taught Memere how to play. But it turned into a long game and half way throught he decided he was done, as did my step daughter so they ended on a good note.
I started thinking about a few months ago when I picked Wes up from his old daycare. I walked in and there were 4 children playing Candyland. The teacher asked me if I had any suggestions how to play the game so everyone wins. Some of the children were having trouble losing. I said “No, we usually play the regular rules.”
The more I thought about it the more convinced the point of board game is to teach children, well of course skills like numbers, colors, etc also social skills. Like your not always going to win, and you have to learn to win gracefully and learn how to lose as well.
I think that just because a child hits the floor in a temper tantrum does not mean you should have to change the rules of the game. You should use this time to teach them good character. Helping them congratulate the winner.
When my son beats me at a game (sad part is this happens often lol) I say “ah man! You beat me! Good game, you really got me on that last move” Its ok to be disappointed in losing. But it’s how you handle yourself. And my examples seemed to work. He laughs when someone gets his piece in Trouble and says “oh man! You got me!” If he wins he says “I win! Good game! Want to play again?” I don’t allow gloating, and we haven’t had an issue yet.
I know some children are more compeitive then others but I mean we need to prepare our kids for the future. Now a days I’m school everyone makes the basketball team no matter what. What happened to working really hard for something? What happened to not always winning? Do you think everyone that applies for the promotion at work is going to get it? Everything we do is preparing our children for real life. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. What really defines us as who were are is how we handle ourselves when these things happen.

Teach Your Child to Read in Just 10 Minutes a Day

I couldn’t keep this one to myself. A few months ago someone on the Brillkids website brought up the book “Teach Your Child to Read in Just 10 Minutes a Day” by Sidney Ledson. I had looked up the website, which is just a single page, and read a bit about the schools Sidney Ledson runs and his books. The idea interested me, but I like as much information as possible before I go out an buy something, and this author interested me because his schools are based in Ontario, Canada. But even after calling the schools, and endless time on Google, I couldn’t find much about his methods.
Well last week, I stumbled across his book again on amazon. *Sigh*, I was too curious so I bought it. Well it arrived Monday and I could not put the book down. on Tuesday I constructed the “block game” and Wednesday I introduced it to Wesley.


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First let me say, I found Sidney Ledson’s book very easy to read. He runs several schools that teach children as young as two to read. He gives step by step instructions, how to teach preschoolers, Kindergarten and Grade 1, as well as students that are older but are not reading or reading poorly. In his school his success rate of teaching a child to read is 100%. And the kids have fun learning. Everything in taught using the block game. Now if you don’t like using rewards this program might now be for you. Ledson reccommends using edibles for young children, and dimes for older children(so they can save up for a much wanted item as a reward). The board is easy to construct. You use a long sheet of paper with 12 spots and an egg carton cut in half and taped together so there is 12 cups in a line.
He has you introduce one letter sound at a time, and slowly adding in another till you make words. For starters you introduce U, then P, then build the word UP, then PUP. Next you teach them C, then the word CUP. You teach them to sound out the words, even though my son knows the word is CUP I still direct him to sound out the word then put them together. I hoping this will teach him out to sound out words he doesn’t know. My son did not want to stop playing. We used tiny mini Marshmellows for the reward and to make them last longer he had to land 3 cards on that one spot to eat them, not just one card one treat.
Ledson suggested something that goes against everything I was taught about teaching as child to read before. That is to use capital letters!?!?! WHAT!? That was my reaction when I read this. I had always been told to use lower case because thats what 90% if not more of the writing is printed in, in the real words. He had an interesting agruement. A lot of children who don’t have a grasp on phonics guess words. They read the sentence and fill in a word using clues from the pictures, the rest of the sentence,etc. Ledson says not to allow you child to guess the word by its shape or content, they should sound out words they can’t read. And by using capital letters they can not guess the word by shape because all the letters are the same size. You introduce lower case later when your child has a good grasp of reading using phonics. He claims his children, and children in his schools transition very easily to lower case.
If you follow the schedule provided the average timeline is 45days to complete to course in a 1:1 student teacher ration, and he claims if a teacher were to use this program with his/her classroom they would be reading over 100 words LONG before Christmas.
So I have tried two sessions with my son and he is liking it. He is learning to sound out words which is great because we were having trouble getting him to sound out words, he would look at the word fat, and all he would see was the end “at” and he would guess cat. He has many sight words, just I think he needs more. Introducing phonic families, was kind of helping but it was a lot of guessing. So we are going to try this program for the next 2-3 months and see were it takes us. I promise to keep you guys posted.
Would I reccomend this book. As of right now without even getting full force into the program I thought it was very good. Easy to read, and full of good ideas. I really wasn’t sure how my son would react to this and he has welcomed it with open arms. Even the suggestion of posting the words your working on around the house has helped. I thought he would just ignore the words I posted on the fridge, but while I did dishes he came in and sounded them out for “practice”.
I hope all my Canadian readers had a happy Canada Day yesterday 🙂

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Cuddle up and read a good book together

There are quite a few children’s series of books you can find on market. For the longest time our favorite was Franklin the Turtle created by Paulette Bourgeois (Writer) and Brenda Clark (illustrator). This was one book I could sit down and read to my son with minimal squirming. I guess because he got two Franklin DVDs for Christmas when he was 18 months and got to see the character in both digital form and book form.
My mother who was excited to have a grandchild because it gave her an excuse to watch her favorite characters fostered the love for Franklin in his heart. I went out an bought Franklin Goes to the Hospital, when my son was having his tonsils and adenoids removed. This story helped prepare my almost 3 year old for a very scary experience. We read that same story now and he tells me proudly how he was like Franklin and has the stickers put on his chest too. 
Just recently I started introducing a new series. It wasn’t his number one pick at first but lately has been getting picked almost as often as Franklin. This series is Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Berenstain Bears. I love this series because we can talk about topics later and relate them to the story. Like my stepdaughter and I talked about good and bad habits after reading The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit. 
I also love reading them Clifford the Big Red Dog by  Norman Bridwell, Arthur by Marc Brown, and Little Critter by  Mercer Mayer and some are also co-written by his wife Gina Mayer. 
What children’s series do you and your children enjoy? I’d love to hear from you and get new ideas 🙂
Have a great day!

Well Then What Does He Eat?

Blog 
Healthy Gluten/Dairy Free diet
I have been feeding my son a dairy free diet for almost 4 years and gluten free for 2.5 years. People always ask “What DOES he eat then?”
So here is how I go about it 🙂
Breakfast food options
– pancakes/waffles made with gluten free flours
– eggs
– Chex cereal
– toast (gluten free)
– homemade gluten free muffins
– fresh fruit
– goats milk yogurt(new thing for us, some people can handle soy yogurt but my son can’t tolerated soy products and it’s really not that healthy for kids)
Lunch 
– usually left over dinners
Dinner
– chicken, beef or pork cooked plain or with a gluten free sauce
– plain rice
– baked potatos
– any veggie steamed
– baked potatoes
– rice noodles with pasta sauce
– homemade soups
– homemade chili with tons of veggies
Snacks
– tacos and salsa
– airpopped popcorn
– dried fruit
– raision
– applesauce
– raw fruits and veggies
Treats
– lays BBQ chips
– rockets
– skittles
– homemade cookies and cupcakes
– prepackaged gluten free cookies and cereal bars
I basically modify any recipe to fit his diet. I replace rice flour for regular flour. It taste a little “griddier” but not bad. Gluten free baking powder for regular. Rice or goats milk for cows milk. 
If your looking for ideas for yourself or  your child feel free to ask me 🙂 Ill try my best to help you if I can 🙂
Monique 

I missed so much…

It really hit me today. By my son being in daycare from 11.5months old till he was almost 5years old. I missed so much of his life. It was a nessessity. There was not much I could do, being a single mother. I had to put a roof over our head and food in our bellies, but today while I sat and played with my daycare babies, I couldn’t help noticing all the things there parents were missing. And with that all the things I missed with my son.
They say the little things matter, and they do… I laughed as I watched babies who could barely talk yell, “touch down!” and they through a foam ball down to the floor. I cuddle them when they are hurt, read them stories, teach them to share… This is all stuff a complete stranger taught my son. I promise myself, I will NEVER work outside the home full time while I have children who need me. I want to raise my children.
With my son, he still has his tutor that comes to do therapy with him, but they are upstairs and come down to see me often. I can sit down and have 3 meals a day with him. I can read with him on his breaks and as soon as my daycare babies are gone home for the day, we sit and do his school work for 45mins or so. Then because I haven;t spent hours in the car commuting and have been picking away slowly at house work through out the day, I have time to read more then one book at night with him. Today is our second week doing out 1500 book challenge and we are right on schedule at 58 books read 🙂
Well I’m off to get some printouts for Wes and the daycare babies relating to our theme next week, cows and summer 🙂
Have a great evening!
Monique