Well Baby Z is now 23 months. Hmmmm.... I should maybe start calling him Little Z instead because he is hardly a baby anymore. Oh how he is growing. He loves to count, sing, dance, climb, jump, and play with cars. Oh I can not forget his LOVE with the piano. He is a very active and busy little boy, but the piano is one time where he will sit still and play the keys. I did something crazy last night and I signed him up for piano lessons in September. Totally for exposure. I don't expect him to be playing any time soon. But if he can spend 10 mins a week with a teacher who can help me use proper terminology, and get the chance to play on a grand piano I think it will help.
Last month we introduced Sign Language. Back when he was younger I tried to incorporate Signing Time, but he had no interest. Well I threw it on one day when I notice it was on Netflix. Ever since then he’s been singing the intro song and throwing in a few signs here and there. It seems to also have help his ability to label things. Snow, trees, wind, carrot, etc.
Of course we are still working through Little Reader, Little Chinese, Little Math, and Little Musician. We review Suzy Piano, YBCR and MonkiSee periodically. Now that Zakari is chatting a lot more, I notice he is labeling things and I think it is because of the materials he has seen in all of these programs. I also notice he his singing letters, and Do Re Mi’s. They seem very random as of yet, but I know from other children (TmT) this is the first step to perfect pitch. Little Champion Reader is also a daily part of our schedule.
We have been using Teach Me Kindergarden as an input of knowledge, and when he feels like it he sometimes will show me output. He’s really good at letting me guide his fingers over the tracing of letters and numbers. Wes has gotten in some awful habits when it comes to forming letters and numbers. So I’m hoping to avoid the constant corrections by introducing this skill at a younger age.
ABCmouse.com has been a big part of our lesson time as well. I don’t want to miss any of the preschool basics and leave Z unbalanced in his education, and this seems to fill the gaps. Now that it is available on the ipad, Z can navigate the site easily, as he is not ready for a mouse. There is a lot of busy work, like colouring the random pictures in a Paint like activity, but we just quickly color it and move on.
We were doing Hooked On Phonics on the iPad, but they only have 4 levels available, and we have done those several times. Z loves them. I called the company back in September and they told me level 5 would be out in October. Sadly it never came out. I have a feeling I’m going to have to carry on with HOP in binder form.
Speaking of binder, I created a flash card binder for Z. We quickly flip through it once a day or so. So far it includes:
- Follow that dot flashcards
- Backwards counting 10-0, skip counting by 2’s and 3’s
- First Language Lessons(modified for toddlers)
- EK flashcards (right now we are doing organs)
- Music Notes from the IAHP course
- Telling time (Hours)
We have been working on things like shape sorters, puzzles, etc. But he’s still pretty busy for these activities. I’m looking at getting the Learning Resources food color sorter. It looks like something that we can use to start classifying things. Not only colors, but veggies vs fruits, etc. We also play with the abacus, counting.
Z is reading some single words, knows his letters and letter sounds. Counts forwards to 18, and backwards from 10-5 so far. Also recognizes written numbers 0-10(atleast). Sings several nursery rhymes. Knows most of his farm animals and their sounds. Working on labeling zoo animals(does know several of them already). He knows about 8 shapes. Also last week he started skip counting by 2s.We had a breakthrough with colors this last month. I was getting so frustrated and was convinced he was color blind. He’s knows letters, shapes, numbers, etc for months and could not grasp colors. But finally he master Preschool Preps Colors app.
Another crazy thing I did was add in Classical Conversations to his routine. They now have an app available, so we have been using that as another source of input. I also downloaded an app called Little Solver on the recommendation of another EL mom. Its all about logic and problem solving skills. While I planned on using it as another input resource, he did start attempting to answer some of the problems himself, and doing pretty good at it.
Little Z is now starting to read more and more words that are labeled on his flashcards, also out in public. It is so amazing to watch the lightbulbs click in his head.