Monday, June 13, 2011

While waiting for Pre-K

A number of M1's "batchmates" (those born in 2008) have already started their formal schooling, nursery/pre-K. But since he's among the youngest in the "batch", born towards the end of December of that year, I'll start his Nursery level when he's 3 and a half years old. That's still a good one year from now. M1 is almost perfect at his letter recognition, so I will just re-inforce his alphabet, and then his numbers, with themed lessons from Everything Preschool. I'll also incorporate Play and Learn Activities, read to him everyday, use Brain Quest for 3s, play children's music and Bible songs. Markus will tag-along. He picks up bits and pieces of Marek's lessons, and is wonderful at it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Programs for Preschool (then maybe Kindergarten)

Since I've abandoned much of our 'daily lesson guide', and since I'm not an 'unschooler', I have a little compulsion to make a semblance of a structure. If not for this school year, then the next-- for Marek's preschool. These things need a lot of consideration... hence, I'm planning a year ahead! I'll be putting them under the Mater Amabilis program (a Catholic Charlotte Mason approach) intertwined with Catholic Heritage Curricula. I just found out about the latter, and reading through their catalog, I felt like I had just found a treasure!

In the meanwhile, we'll make use of the books we already have, that means lots of read-alouds, nursery rhymes, Bible stories, and their accompanying music, and Brain Quest ("my first brain quest" and "for threes", for Markus and Marek, respectively). As for the Kumon First Steps Workbooks, I don't think Marek is ready for that yet. It will have to wait for a little while).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Do Babies Learn From Media?

A study from the Dept. of Psychology of the University of Virginia, as published in the Psychological Science journal says that:


In recent years, parents in the United States and worldwide have purchased enormous numbers of videos and DVDs designed and marketed for infants, many assuming that their children would benefit from watching them. We examined how many new words 12- to 18-month-old children learned from viewing a popular DVD several times a week for 4 weeks at home. The most important result was that children who viewed the DVD did not learn any more words from their monthlong exposure to it than did a control group. The highest level of learning occurred in a no-video condition in which parents tried to teach their children the same target words during everyday activities. Another important result was that parents who liked the DVD tended to overestimate how much their children had learned from it. We conclude that infants learn relatively little from infant media and that their parents sometimes overestimate what they do learn.

I'm quite relieved that we didn't stick with our schedule below which includes several exposures to media. We were left with reading to the boys daily (I so love the latest addition to our library The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books & Stories to Read Aloud), play, and lots of conversations. And sometimes, I make Marek sit to do a page (or more) of one of his Kumon First Steps Workbooks.