Tag Archive | reading

What Should a 4 Year Old Know?

A very refreshing view about what is truly important for children to learn. I whole heartedly agree with everything in this post :-) I was so worried about Seppe but that is because I was comparing him to his brother. I have to accept that Seppe will learn what he needs to at his own pace and that doesn’t make him less talented than his brother. Sometimes we just need to step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy our children. They already grow up way too fast, there is no need to rush them.

A Magical Childhood

What should a 4 year old know?

It’s back to school time and children all over are starting preschool.  Many parents are frantically searching the internet to find out if their little ones are “on track” and know everything they should.

I wrote this article about what a four-year-old should know many years ago but it continues to be the most popular page on the Magical Childhood site.  I don’t think a week has passed in the past eight or so years when I have not received a letter from a parent, grandparent or teacher about it.  Parents and principals especially have said they wish more parents realized these things.

So in honor of the new school year, I’m posting it here…

What should a 4 year old know?

I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough…

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Your Baby Can Read: Week 2 and 3

We’ve done three weeks of the Your Baby Can Read Program. For the Second week of the program, I had the boys watching their videos twice a day.  Once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. Both stayed on their first level.  Seppe worked with his cards and books a couple times a day.  I also had Gio go over all the cards and books for Seppe’s level once a day.  There were no cards or books that came with the Your Child Can Read set. But I figure it wouldn’t hurt to have him learn the words from Seppe’s set too.  He knows all of them.

At the beginning of Week 3, I started Gio on Level 2 of his set.  Seppe is still on Level 1 and I will keep him on that until he’s done it for a month (as suggested.) I have no idea how it works, but there is something definitely going on in their little brains.  Gio has greatly improved with his reading.  Before, it was a pain to get him to a read a very simple book.  He was very bad a correcting himself and easily forgot a word that he just read.  Now, he can correct himself and figures words out more quickly.  He remembers the words and he knows more words just from looking at them.  He is not afraid to try and read new words.  He really likes his Level 2 video.  He talks about it every time he’s done watching it.

Seppe is on a slower pace.  He has added a couple more words that he knows. The problem with him is getting him to sit still and focus.  I had him in my room watching it laying down, but he would just get up.  I have to hold him in my lap and do everything he does for him to sit still.  It’s a little more work, but it helps him.  He’s so much more interested in words.  He wants to know what Everything says. I think it’s also helping him learn other things as well.  I’ve started him on his shapes and he is doing very well.

We missed a few days during Easter but we jumped right back into it as soon as we got home. The important thing is to keep at it. The boys don’t complain about having to watch their videos. It’s now become part of our daily routine.

Your Baby Can Read – Week 1

We’ve all seen the commercials with the babies reading before they can even talk and kids reading as young as 2. Yes, I was skeptical but impressed at the same time. So why did I jump on the Your Baby Can Read band wagon? Well, it’s mostly because of Gio.

His lack of preschool experience did put him a little behind his class when he started but Gio is a quick learner. With a little help from Mom at home, he was caught up in no time and he continued to improve greatly in all subjects…. except for one: Reading. I really didn’t know what they expected from him and what more I could do.  I read to him every night and he was starting to read small books to me.  I thought he was doing well.  Granted, his school has really high standards and his class has a lot of super smart kids.

So what do I do? Pile on more books for him to read? He just kept getting tired and frustrated. Plus I am not the best teacher for Gio. We have different ways of learning and it’s a struggle to get homework done with him.

Now there’s also Seppe… he’s so much further behind than most kids his age. We know that he will need all the extra help he can get. One day, I saw that commercial and decided – why not? It’s $14.99 for 30 days and we can give it all back if we don’t like it and get our money back. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out.

We’ve been doing it for a week now. Gio is on the Your Child Can Read series and Seppe is on the Your Baby Can Read series. I had them both on the baby one at first, but it was obvious that Gio was past that. Plus he wasn’t helping by answering all the questions without giving Seppe a chance. The older series definitely suits Gio best. It’s longer and has more words for him to learn, plus it teaches phonics. I honestly believe that it has helped him a lot. He has gotten better at reading words and at writing sentences. He is at the very end of the age group of when this program will work best, but like I said before, Gio is a fast learner.  I will be moving him on to the second part faster than scheduled.

Seppe… well let’s just say it’s as if he’s a baby.  He takes a lot more work. I have to sit with him every time he watches his dvd. Partly to make sure he watches it, and partly because he needs that extra support. It’s not that he doesn’t like it. He just can’t sit still and focus. He is getting there though, very slowly. He can recognize a couple of words. It has helped him learn his colors though. He no longer calls black  and brown “dark.” It is definitely adding to his vocabulary and also helping with his talking. He is also more curious about any words he sees and constantly asks me to read to him.

Obviously, Seppe will not be reading in a months time, but I am hoping that there is some improvement. So far, I am happy with it. For me, it’s challenging because I have two kids at different levels that I have balance my time with. Reading is very important to me so I am not just putting the dvd on and walking away. I am very involved with this program. Besides the dvd, there are books and flash cards. We spend a lot of our day doing reading games. It’s hard work but my boys are worth it. I’ll have another update after week 2.