Teaching My Baby To Read

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Your most important teaching tool is YOU!

For younger kids.

A daily Morning Message is really powerful.

Sometimes I feel like I need to spend money so that my kids can have educational materials that will give them a heads-up in life. But that really isn’t true.

Many of the most meaningful learning opportunities are completely free. Take Morning Messages for example. (More info here.)  Writing a daily Morning Message with your children is one of the easiest ways to teach them to read.

For younger kids.

For younger kids.

In this first example you can see my four-year-old is working on: phonics (dentist, it, fun), sight words (are, is, be, to), and the sentence pattern “We are going.” That’s  a whole lot of learning in five minutes of mommy and me time!

For older kids.

For older kids.

My eight year old son is already a competent reader, so he doesn’t need a Morning Message to reinforce phonics. A little help with other friendly reminders can’t hurt though.  😉

Sometimes Teaching My Baby to Read reviews rebooks or materials that cost money, but I hope that readers understand how committed I am to my mission of helping families from every social and economic background give their children educational advantages.

You, paper and a pencil can take your kids far!

Try to ignore this while eating breakfast. I dare you!

You can learn vocabulary while eating breakfast.

You can solve math problems in creative ways.

You can solve math problems in creative ways.

You can make your own personal dictionary.

You can make your own personal dictionary.

Truly, the most important learning tool you can give your children is YOU!

Get an early start on the SATs

Help kids build vocab the sneaky way.

Help kids build vocab the sneaky way.

Two years ago I began 2012 with the goal of blogging with one new word a day, the entire year. (I gave up around April.) But my family did keep learning new words, thanks to our 365 New Words-a-Year 2014 Page-A-Day Calendar.

By 2013 we were burnt out on vocabulary, so we took a year off. Now it’s a fresh new year and we’re ready to roll. Plus, all of the 2014 calendars are on sale.

The way I use my calendar to help my kids get an early start on the SAT is by sneaking in new words into ordinary conversation.

Here’s an example using the beginning words from 2014:

“Wow! The weather is really yucky today. Is that snow or is that graupel? I hope it’s snow because grainy snow pellets aren’t much fun to play in. If I was a zillionaire, I’d take us on vacation to Hawaii. Then we could gambol about the beach, skipping and frolicking in the ocean water.

It’s just as well that we’re stuck at home. So-an-so is coming down with a cold. I hope he uses a tissue because I don’t want to find coughed up phlegm all over the place.”

Okay, that’s not the best example. It’s better to only use one word at a time. The trouble is coming up with words to use in the first place. That’s where the calendar comes in handy.

I’m still getting a handle on the Teaching My Baby To Read FB page, but maybe that’s a way where I can share words, and help moms and dads like me remember to use them.

Ab initio, from the beginning, (of January); here we go!

Math through Osmosis

Try to ignore this while eating breakfast. I dare you!

There’s nowhere to hide from learning at our house!

Here’s a quick trick to help promote learning at home. If your kid is learning a new vocabulary term, post the definition somewhere he’ll see it during breakfast.

In this example, I’m including some Greek words for numbers that will be helpful when learning about decimeters.

Btw, there’s already been a debate at our house over whether or not I spelled these words correctly. In my defense, I copied the Greek straight from the math textbook. So If I spelled something wrong, blame Math Expressions.  🙂

Lunchbox Notes Continued

One of the ways I try to sneak in extra learning for my son Bruce(7) is through lunchbox notes. Full confession—he’s not very thrilled. But I know that even if he chooses to crumple up the note each day, that he is still learning. How do I know this? because he usually tells me something sassy like “I’m not going to learn about Dwit Eisehow and you can’t make me!” With apologies to President Eisenhower, that garbled educational moment was coming from the US Presidents pack I picked up at the Target Dollar spot. I also deal from a Spanish and a musical instrument pack, pictured above.

Recently I read a great blog post written by a former SAT tutor on Explolring More that talked about the importance of building your child’s vocabulary starting from a young age. I’ve been trying to do this for both of my kids through Magic Word, our daily vocabulary calendar, and reading Building Language with Bruce. Another way to peck away at this is through lunchbox notes.

The only catch is that we have to go over the word thoroughly at breakfast, before Bruce heads off to school. That way, when he gets to lunch and takes the word out, he already knows what it means. Hopefully, the other kids at the table will learn the word too.  Either that, or they’ll find this whole idea really soporific.

Teaching My Baby To Read 2012 SAT Challenge


Calling Nerds of All Ages!

Are you ready for some fun? Starting January 1, 2012 I’ll be using one new SAT word in bold in every post I write. I will be pulling my words from Merriam-Webster’s 365 New Words a Year Page a Day Calendar.

If you have any interest in being as crazy as me, you can use this as an opportunity to start preparing your children now for the SAT. It doesn’t matter if they are toddlers or teenagers. I am constantly reminding my father-in-law that my two year old is capable of learning any word he says! So instead of learning the “saltier” words of the English language, I’m going to start expanding Jenna’s vocabulary now, with words that will someday help her crush the SAT.

All you have to do is slip the daily word into conversation with your child a few times a day. Build it into the words they are used to hearing, and you will add that word into their vocabulary.

If you really want to take this activity to the next level, you can get your own copy of the calendar, or else write the word on a slip of paper and post it somewhere in the house where your literate children are liable to see it. Slip it next to their cereal bowl, hang it on the fridge, or tuck the page into their lunch box with “Love Dad” written on the back. Make this a part of your daily habit, and brace yourself! The diction of this blog is going to become a bit grandiloquent in the new year. 🙂