Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
First of all, her daughter has been spending 3 hours a week on Spanish for the past several months and now has excellent comprehension in Spanish...so I'm encouraged that 3-7 hours/week of Chinese will be very advantageous to Timothy!!
Also, she told me about the "10-minute rule." In the lectures at the Institutes, they say that if you're telling someone about Doman methods and they still think you're crazy after 10 minutes, just stop talking - you'll never convince them. Either people will immediately realize that it makes sense, or they won't...but there's no sense in trying to convince someone that this works if there's no chance that you ever will (which is why I ignored the past comment).
I'm going to remember the 10-minute rule from now on...no sense trying to talk anyone into believing this works...either you believe it or you don't!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Today, we sat by the bookshelf while we played with the new ball roller. Every few minutes, I would take a math card down off the shelf and tell him an equation. He LOVED it - that seemed to work really well.
Timothy is still able to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots, and sequences. He can still pick the right number of dots (say, 93) out of a pile. He'll run to our number line and point at the numbers while saying "six...seven...eight." He has yet to just see a bunch of toothpicks on the floor and say 87 or something like that...I'm not sure he ever will, but we'll see.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
What's surprised me most of all, however, is that these students are wanting to learn English just as much as we want Timothy to learn Spanish. Many of them are in dorm rooms and are friends with other Chinese speakers, so they don't end up practicing their English all that much. The prospect of helping someone as they help us, then, is exciting!!
The moral of the story - check out your local colleges. Don't be afraid to call a professor of music and ask about students who might be interested in giving your toddler lessons. Feel free to call a biology professor and ask how to pronounce the name of a dinosaur for Bit cards (I've done it). Call a french professor and ask for video recommendations. And see if there are any international students who would like to help teach your kid a language. In most cases, people will be very nice and you'll find what you're looking for (and sometimes more). Even smaller community colleges will likely have foreign students and music departments and people who will be willing to help you.
I went to a consignment sale yesterday and bought Timothy some new toys. I was sitting down just now to upload some pictures, but I can't find my camera cord and I'm just too tired or lazy (you pick) to get up and get it.
Timothy's been playing ALL day with his new roller coaster:
Honestly, he goes up the thing, rides down, pushes the car back up, pushes the car down, walks up and down the track, pushes the car back up...the roller coaster is brining much excitement to our living room. Of course, it can't stay there...we try to keep our living room a sane place for adults, and having a roller coaster is a bit strange. But it's there for right now.
We also bought him this:
I wasn't going to buy it because it was $10 (gasp), but I went ahead because I thought it might be a neat toy. Boy - neat is an understatement!! It's a fabulous, fabulous toy. It's teaching Timothy SO much in a practical sort of way. It's teaching about gears and magnets and so many other things...and did I mention it's fun? When he ditched it to go play with his roller coaster some, I had to sit by myself and play with those gears. They're neat.
And, as a finale, we got him the famous race car bed:
He's been sleeping on the floor, so tonight is actually his first nightin a BED. He's asleep right now, so I guess he's doing fine.
Strangely enough, I didn't get a chance to look through the books, but my FAVORITE find was 13 cassette tapes for $4. I had no idea what they were, but I took a chance and hit the JACKPOT! 7 Scholastic Book on Tapes (of very popular books), a few silly song cassettes, and our new favorite - Sesame Street Meets the Orchestra. It's an AWESOME tape.
For example, Elmo comes on and says "Big Bird, I want to hear some percussion. Can we listen to a piece that emphasizes percussion?" and Big Bird says "Sure, let's listen to Handel's Water Music" or whatever. Timothy immediately recognized Elmo's voice on the cassette tape. Big Bird and Elmo provide a running commentary and introduce the songs by author, title, and even point out certain musical elements.
Hey...it's better than Elmo's World. la la la la la la la la Elmo's World
Edited to add - Honestly, it's not just a silly CD. I found it here http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1578647/a/Elmo+And+The+Orchestra.htm and when you look at the list of songs, they're really excellent classical songs.
24 Caprices Opus No. 1
Sabre Dance - (from "The Gayneh Ballet")
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Morning Mood - (from "Peer Gynt Suite #1")
Alla Hornpipe - (from "Water Music")
Waltz Opus 64, No. 1 (Minute Waltz)
Piano Concerto No. 21
Thunderstorm - (from "Symphony No. 6")
Flight Of The Bumble Bee
Swan, The - (from "The Carnival Of Animals")
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies - (from "The Nutcracker Suite")
Can-Can - (from "Orpheus In The Underworld")
Lullaby, Opus 49, No. 4
Symphony No. 94 (Surprise)
Ride Of The Valkyries
Blue Danube, The (Waltz)
Last night, though, it happened again.
I'm worried about what's happening and I'm going to have to start an array of medical tests to find out what's going on. My biggest fear is that it will happen when I'm alone with Timothy and he'll get in to something or hurt himself.
Please keep our family in your prayers...
On a more positive note, though, I've had two applications for a Chinese tutor for Timothy - both were born in China and are native speakers :-) :-)
I can't wait to get to know these people and see who might work well with our family!!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Today, the assitant director of International Students got me in contact with the President of the Chinese Student Association (which has 70 members). He's going to pass on my contact information. I'm sure out of 70 members, someone will want to learn a little extra money each week for playing with a little boy and speaking Chinese.
Right now, Timothy watches Bao Bei the panda bear speak Chinese and I've learned Chinese words, so I'm sure he knows them too (but he's actually never said any...why would he?). Children learn much faster than adults.
My dad is a little concerned that we're doing Chinese, but here is our reasoning why:
- Children learn languages quickly and easily in their first 4-6 years of life. If you put a child around two languages, he learns two languages. If you put a child around three languages, he learns three.
- Language learning isn't work for a child - he doesn't have to memorize any special formulas or conjugate any verbs...he just learns naturally. So why not let him learn a language while it's natural?
- Spanish was our first second-language choice, and Timothy seems to be doing really really well with it. We do as much sign language as I can naturally incorporate into the day, not being fluent in sign. So, Chinese seems the logical choice.
- Chinese is spoken by nearly 25% of the WORLD population. China is a huge country and the need for bilingual Chinese individuals will continue to grow.
- Chinese has its own ideographic writing system, unique from all of the other languages. While Timothy's quickly taking in Bits, he could be learning written words in Chinese.
I talked with someone a few months ago who asked me if exposing him to 3 languages would be confusing for him.
I present you with the following scenario - singing to your baby. Will singing Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus and Old McDonald confuse him? It may initially, but he'll quickly learn they're all different songs and he'll learn every one of them.
Of course, learning a language isn't exactly like learning a song, but the general idea is the same - kids learn what they're exposed to.
The US is pretty unique in that most people only speak one language, but in many European countries the average citizen can speak 3 or 4 languages fluently...and doesn't think a second thought of it! That's the NORM there, not the exception.
As long as Timothy's having fun with it, we're going to go for it.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Timothy's feeling MUCH better and is his usual self again this morning.
We made Bits of NASCAR drivers and he keeps wanting me to get magnets and put them on the fridge so he can walk by and see them.
He's loving cards again, but right now he REALLY loves books - he'll read 8 or 9 books 3 times each...and wants us to read more!! Of course, he has his special "vaccum book" that talks all about different kinds of vacuums. It's so fun to see him enjoy these books so much!!
It's just a great day when your kid loves to read like Timothy loves to read - I couldn't imagine him any more into the homemade books we have here. Honestly, Timothy's love for books right now is more than I could ever imagine!!
We were planning to do more with our Valentine's unit, but all we did was write down names of people who love us and count conversation hearts. We read a few books about Valentine's day and we did love-related words. We talked about holiday foods and ate chocoalte covered strawberries. We sang a Valentine song.
Next, we're moving on to Presidents. We've already done every president as a Bit of intelligence card, but we're going to review and learn some facts about the Presidents.
Then, we're planning to move on to a BEAR unit, and then St. Patricks day!!
Monday, February 11, 2008
I know Doman says not to do cards on a bad day, but Timothy LOVES his cards so much that we do them every morning regardless.
This morning, I sat him down to look at the cards and he REFUSED to look at them. Wanted nothing to do with them...and I was SHOCKED!! I have NEVER seen him not want to do his cards in the morning before!!
I'm sure once he gets rid of this snotty nose that he'll return to his normal card-lovin' self...I hope so anyway!!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Last Friday, the vacuum day, I fainted at the end of the day, which resulted in a trip to the hospital (everything appears fine). I had a busy week teaching and then I presented at a conference at the end of the week last week. I watched Timothy's cousin last night, and now I'm working on grading papers that I want to pass back on Tuesday.
But I promise I'll find time to post something more soon!!