Teaching My Baby To Read

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Making Bedtime Bearable

I bet every mom or dad out there could yammer on for about twenty minutes about various sleep issues their family had struggled with at one time or another. Usually the headline to all of these stories is: NOT ENOUGH SLEEP. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a parent worry that their child was sleeping too much.

Both of my kids sleep in the own beds all night long, but the problem is, bedtime is at 10 PM and they wake up at 6:45 AM. Jenna(2.5) will take a twenty minute nap in the car on the way to pick up Bruce from school, but that’s it. The real bugger is, that both Bruce and Jenna seem fine with this amount of sleep. My husband and I on the other hand, are ready to eat them.

We have always had a really good, regular bedtime ritual with both our kids. Bath, pajamas, teeth brushing, story-time, snuggle, lights out, etc. At seven, Bruce is really easy at bedtime.  Our two-year-old is the problem (big surprise). Somebody needs to lie down with Jenna until she falls asleep, and that can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour. Starting the bedtime ritual at 8 instead of 9 only means that you will be snuggling next to Jenna for two hours instead of one. She gets up to use the potty at least three times, and she worms around in bed so much that when she wakes up in the morning her hair looks like this:

Today I had an epiphany. The years between snuggling and “see’ya in the morning” are really short. I’m sure there are mothers all over the world who sadly, wish they could lie down in bed next to their healthy child with her head on their shoulder one more time. Instead of being frustrated as I look at the clock and Jenna ask for a drink of water one more time!, I should relax. I should focus on controlling the things that I can control.

So today I am going to buy nicer sheets for my daughter’s bed. The ones she has are really cute, but are polyester awful. They probably aren’t helping her hair situation either. The other thing I’m going to do is order a subscription to Click magazine. We already get Ladybug for Jenna and Cobblestone for Bruce. My husband and I have read every book in our home library about a million times. I don’t like bringing actual public library books into our kid’s bedrooms because I’m afraid they will get lost. Magazines are nice for bedtime because they are new material. And if I have to read Clifford Goes to Dog School one more time I think I am going to lose it, literally and figuratively.

Kids Discover Magazine

How sweet is this? Bruce’s new issue of “Kids Discover” magazine came yesterday, and it is all about the Middle Ages! What a great compliment to Story of the World Volume 2, which we are continuing to listen to.

In case you are interested in ordering the back issue of this particular issue on the Middle Ages, it is Volume 21, Issue 10, October 2011.

Ask Magazine

I’m a big fan of all of the magazines from the Cricket  publishing group.  Here’s a copy of “Ask”, which is the perfect level for a 3rd or 4th grade reader to enjoy independently.  We also get “Babybug” for Jenna, as well as “Odyssey” and “Cobblestone” for Bruce to read together with me.  At $30 a year they are a little pricey, so we buy multi-year subscriptions which make them a bit cheaper.  Cricket is really good about letting you switch your subscription from one magazine to another for free, as your child outgrows each level.  For example, I’ll switch the “Babybug” subscription to “Ladybug” in about six months.