Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Marek Goes Classical

Marek was humming Georges Bizet's Habanera from Carmen this morning. So I decided to go beyond HBO's Classical Baby series, and downloaded choice classical masterpieces:

  • Vivaldi's Spring
  • Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
  • Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz
  • Bizet's Habanera
  • Pachelbel's Canon in D
  • Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee
  • Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor
  • Tchaikovsky's Swan Theme
  • Debussy's Claire de Lune
  • Bach's Air on G String
  • Ravel's Bolero
  • Basie's Boogie Woogie

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Up with a schedule

I finally came up with a schedule (see bottom of the webpage). But we're not strict about it, it's flexible. It's just a guide. We're very relaxed with them. We just let them play. I just want a semblance of routine (I read they're good for tikes).

Sesame Street revived (at least for me). Actually, the only idea of M1 about the show is their Play-Doh. I have forgotten how it actually was a good educational tv show (because when I was a kid, it was entertaining and that was that, I didn't really mind that it was actually imparting something). I visited their website and I found it quite nice, and as something I can use as a teaching aid, or an alternative to Peppa Pig.

I was quite amazed at M1 when he was able to identify all the letters of the alphabet. He also already knows most of their sounds. I don't see reading too far behind. But, really, there's no hurry.

Read these 2 worthwhile essays:
More advice at Best Homeschooling.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April Treasures

The cheapest way to find lessons nowadays is thru the internet. There are a lot of good stuff out there. But sometimes, it's exactly THAT, that's the problem. It's like I've been tossed into the ocean! You have things in your mind, you have goals, but when you go surfing for stuff, one can easily get so distracted. But recently, I found really good sites that I can use for Marek and Markus. Now, I'm getting more organized.

For April, I wanted the boys to have swimming lessons... so fitting for summer! However, in this side of the planet, the recommended swimming teacher we know is out on vacation, and we haven't found another swim class. And then, I found a book-- Learn to Swim: Step by step water confidence and safety skills for babies and young children by Rob and Kathy McKay. Looks like our inflatable pool will be put to really good use afterall. And Mark can learn to swim with the kids, too!

As for academics, I've decided for early education. Free ebooks at BrillKids.com promoting early reading and math literacy convinced me. And the window for Marek is fast approaching.

The list is long for teaching values, but an article, sited the following are crucial and relevant to toddlers:

  • obedience
  • submission to authority
  • control of temper tantrums
  • sharing of toys, love and forgivenes
  • resolving conflicts
  • developing sensitivity to others

For these, I will be needing Bible stories, and Veggietales, playmates (neighbor friends), and of course, actual situations as they come along.

And last, but not the least, for M1, potty training! Mark bought The Everything Potty Training Book by Linda Sonna a long time ago. We thought M1 was making progress but he later somehow became averse to using the potty and so I decided to give it a long break. But I think now he's showing signs of readiness.

I almost forgot, Easter is just around the corner, I hope this time we finally get to hunt easter eggs! Watching out for ads.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Preparing for 'smooth and easy days'

Homeschooling is a dynamic process. I can do research for a month about what to teach the boys, especially M1, and how to teach. But at the end of the day, it's I who has to be flexible, rather than M1 adjust to his lessons. And so we end up not having any curriculum to follow at all (which is actually the point of homeschool). The key I think is to have a goal of what he needs to know. It'll be more relevant for us at this stage to have a checklist rather than a daily schedule. And because what M1 already knows is at least, at par with Kindergartens (mind you, he's only two), I'm refocusing his lessons more on character formation (along side early reading... he knows most of his alphabet and how they sound). Marek is a cautious boy. It takes him time to warm up to new people and new situations, but he IS assertive and can be quite stubborn sometimes. I found this ebook quite inspiring, Smooth and Easy Days, for teaching M1 good habits/ values. We'll be starting of with obedience. I find it easier to have M1's cooperation when he feels that I'm making myself more available to him, not necessarily by placing the other baby, M2, in the backseat, but by being around all the time and giving him more loving attention. Above anything else, really giving him time is of utmost importance. That's the framework for any of our lesson. Hopefully within two months, we wouldn't have to remind him why Nemo was captured by the SCUBA divers (which he calls screw divers).