Today marks the second full day I have been away from Moose. I know how much I miss him, but I’ve been curious to see what he would do without me. Last night, we had our first Skype session. Tonight, after dinner, Moose said to Ben, “I want to Skype!” Ben tried calling me, but due to a late start for dinner, I wasn’t back in my room yet. Ben told him, “We’ll take a bath first, then we’ll try to call mommy.” Moose replied, “First we take a bath, then we Skype, then we read a book, okay?” Luckily, I was able to catch them right before he went to bed.
Ben and Nana have been sensitive to Moose’s time away from me. They bring me up to let him know its okay to miss Mommy and its okay to be upset. Moose hasn’t cried for me, but he was really sad when I wasn’t available to Skype right after dinner, and he has stopped singing one of his favorite songs – (Ben is going to kill me for telling you this, but he made up this song when Moose was a baby!!)
sung to the tune of “This land is your land…”
His name is Moosie/He’s a baby goosie/A little over 2 years ago/He popped out of Mama’s belly/and now he’s little/Except for in the mi-i-ddle/Moosie Moose was made by Mommy and Daddy.
Obviously, we change the time line, and although I object to misleading him about the popping out of my belly part, I figured there was no way to cleanly rhyme about natural birth!!
Besides my heart breaking a little more and me missing Moose even more, Day 2 of class confirmed even MORE that it is so worth it.
Today we discussed “How to Teach Your Baby to Read.” Even though I’ve read the book, we went into a little more depth about the “Why”, then got a quick lesson on the “How to.” I cannot stress enough how amazing and life altering this information is.
It is a rather simple program that requires nothing more than some card stock and a big red marker. And be prepared for the amount of time it takes – less than 5 minutes a day. Really and truly. While there are other programs out there that use videos and other high-tech materials, the kids would much prefer one-on-one, total attention from mom (or dad). That’s it.
The amazing part is how quickly the kids pick up on it. Not because they are geniuses, but because never again in their lives will their brain be as ready to assimilate so much information almost effortlessly. When you start before the age of 6, it is fun to them. Critics will say we are drilling our children with too much information, that we are pressuring them to perform. But I can tell you, and the videos of Moose and other kids have shown, they LOVE it. Moose gets so excited about his words. He loves seeing new ones, he loves reading old ones, he laughs when he realizes that putting them together means something.
In a day, Moose and I spend maybe a total of 15 minutes on words. I know I said 5 minutes is all it takes, but he continually ASKS to do them. And it has expanded beyond the house. When we are in the grocery store and he sees the big words above the deli counter, he points and will either read it, or say “What does this say?” In fact, any time he sees words anywhere, he loves to point them out.
Generations ago, most kids came to school already knowing how to read because it was their parents (or grandparents) who taught them at home. Now, we wait and let the schools teach them. And the poor teachers are expected to teach 30 kids at one time, all with different learning capacities and styles. Instead of complaining about the schools and other parents in the community, it is our job to stand up for our own kids and change the things we can actually influence. We can instill a love of learning in our children. We can set high expectations, as long as we work alongside them and cheer them on every step of the way. We spoil them in every way possible – the toys, the treats, the love – why not open the window to reading and spoil them with the world?