Teaching My Baby To Read

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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Silent “E” Mini-Lesson

“When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.”

My daughter Jenna (3.5) has been watching a lot of Talking Words Factory 2, Code Word Caper.  So now I’m trying to incorporate some mini-lessons about the way silent E works into our everyday fun time.

Sometimes, on-the-fly phonics lessons can be really effective.  One minute you’re doodling, the next minute you slip some reading in there before your kid can say “Pass me the crayon”.

Yes, I’m a sneaky mom!

Whole Foods Receipt

Here’s my receipt from Whole Foods.  I’m blowing it up so you can really look at what I bought (and what I spent).  If you add in the cost of the Silvana meat I still have in the freezer, I spent about $190 a week on groceries for my family of four.

Last March I fed my family on $144.80 a week as part of the MyPlate on My Budget experiment.  Could I follow the USDA thrifty food plan and feed my family the Choose MyPlate advised daily nutrients? The answer was yes, but it took a big toll on everyone.

An interesting thing I have discovered is that most people are extremely reluctant to share what they spend on groceries each month.  The exception is people who are spending a ridiculously low about, like $300 a month for a family of six.

Food is really expensive and I’m wondering if many people, (like me), feel guilty when they get to the cash register.

Don’t feel guilty!

If the MyPlate on My Budget experiment taught me anything, it’s that quality food costs more because it’s inherently worth more.  Washington apples vs. New Zealand apples; Oregon shrimp vs. farmed shrimp from Thailand; freshness comes with a price AND a reward.

Filling your kids up with healthy snacks they actually like, means they might have better behavior.  That’s worth it, right?

I think that stores like Whole Foods and PCC get a bum rap for being too expensive.

But if you are really careful, you can do just fine.

For $183.80 I bought a week’s worth of groceries, including two gallons of organic milk, lots of fresh veg for making green smoothies, GF yummies for mom, and the makings for a homemade pizza my son needs to make for a Cub Scouts requirement.  I also bought a bunch of crackers, because we are all out.  (That has been a major source of grumbling this past month.)

$190 a Week on (Mostly) Organic Groceries for a Family of Four

That’s not bad!

I could easily have spent higher than that if I wasn’t careful.  But $190 was enough that I could buy food for a week without stressing out. Probably $200 a week would be a really comfortable level.

Rose McAvoy has some more thoughts about saving money on groceries that you might want to check out.  In the meantime, I’m pouring myself another cup of coffee (with cream) and enjoying some GF pineapple cookies.

And I don’t feel guilty at all.

Follow MyPlate on My Budget on Pinterest

Preschool Math Game

“Make Me Dinner”

That’s what I’m calling this latest math game my daughter Jenna(3.5) and I have been playing lately.  This game is deceptively simple. It works on loads of math skills, through play.

Learning Objectives

  • quantity visualization
  • counting
  • matching


  • Divided plates
  • counters (we use square inch tiles)


  1. Mom makes the dinner on one plate
  2. The kid copies it.
  3. 3 rounds is plenty.  Don’t push it!

P.S.  If you’re interested in more math ideas for preschoolers, please click here.