Monday, June 29, 2009

Kids and Commercials

Happy Monday!

Until recently our children have not watched television with mega commercials -- we kept them focused on Noggin and Sprout, where commercials are minimal.

However, Tyler has recently started watching some age-appropriate shows on Discovery Kids, such as Bindi the Jungle Girl. Little did we know, he was taking in more than the show information!

One night at dinner he said, "Mom, you've got to get the Touch N' Brush!"

My reaction was, of course, "Huh?"

It was then that he proceeded to recite the entire commercial to us! We heard phrases like:
  • No more messy bathroom sinks!
  • No more fighting for the last drop of paste!
  • Presenting the Touch N Brush!
Paul and I were laughing so hard it hurt! Wow! Fun Stuff! We had him act it out so we could catch it on video! Check it out on YouTube!

Now he's telling me everything I need to buy. Yikes!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Conversation in the Car

I've been trying something new for the past 2 weeks -- no radio in the car with the kids. It was a challenge by my life coach that was only supposed to last one week, but I liked it so much we have continued it.

Instead of trying to zone out and drive and hope the kids don't "bother" me in the middle of a good song, we're actually having conversations! I find that I am less "bothered" this way.

It used to be that I would spend quality time with them at home and expect to be able to relax and drive (if those two things go together) in the car.

But now, I'm taking the time to talk to the kids, teach them things as we drive and answer their questions without feeling bothered.

The last two days we have focused on the letter "B." We look for signs that have "B's" on them and for objects that begin with "B's." I also brought the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, by Eric Carle in the car -- since it begins with "B." (This was yet another suggestion from my literacy class!) Tyler read it to us.

Anyway, it's been great! Give it a try!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Making Summertime Memories

Welcome! The newest thing on my horizon this summer is this great literacy class I'm taking for the kids. It’s being taught here in Fort Myers by three lovely women. Their names are Judy O’Halloran, Peggy Van Voorhis and Marilyn Senior.

I’ve learned that I can make an educational, fun experience out of everything we do. Judy, Peggy and Marilyn suggest six areas of learning for each experience – reading, writing, speaking, media, listening and critical thinking.

Here’s how it works. My family and I are going on a summer vacation to Illinois for my brother’s wedding. I’ll give you one example of how we can incorporate each of the six areas.

Reading: Before we leave, we’ll read a book or two about weddings.

Speaking: I’ll tell the children a story about my wedding. We'll chat about it.

Writing: I’ll have the children draw me a picture about a wedding. My older son can write a sentence or two to go along with it.

Listening: We’ll listen to some common songs that are played at weddings.

Media: While on our trip, we will take pictures and put them in a scrapbook when we get home. I could have my 6-year-old Google weddings and see what he finds (don't worry -- we have parental controls set up on his computer!)

Critical Thinking: I’ll ask them questions about the wedding. What they liked, what they didn’t. Why they think certain things happened.

The purpose behind all of this is to make a total experience out of everything you do! We’re not simply going to a wedding this summer, we’re also learning all about weddings in a very fun way!

You’ll probably notice that you are already doing some of these things with your kids – but what this philosophy did for me is put a framework around it. It gives it purpose.

Following this philosophy has been tons of fun for all of us this summer! They love it! After only doing it with them once or twice, my son started leading the activities!

For more information about the class, email Judy O’Halloran. I'm going to write out her email address to ensure she doesn't get spam. Her address is johalloran at comcast dot net.