Grandma P arrived today to spend 14 days with us. Grant Pat and Pa Pa arrive late tomorrow night, but the boys think they arrive Thursday morning.
We have a new tubbie time game. Little Brother is finally ‘tuning in’ to interactive games, he is 3 now and playing games with me Big Brother engaged in at 18 months. Different kids. We now, nightly, play “Show Me…”. Version one: I hold 2 different toys (like a blue cup and a red triangle stacking cup) and ask “Show me the RED” or “Show me the CIRCLE”. We do colors, shapes and sizes. Big Brother races to grab the right answer, and I try to explain to him to let Little have a chance. Big insists “I am helping him, you help me” and I have yet to get him to see the difference in DOING and HELPING. Nevertheless Little gets caught up in it and tries to race Big Brother and they both have fun. To be honest Little doesn’t get many of them correct, even given the opportunity, but his score is improving and now that he is interested in engaging with us in such a way he’ll get there. The other version of the game is for me to put out my hands and say “give me BLUE” or “give me BIG” and if I get the wrong thing, and Big Brother delights in intentionally giving the wrong object, I drop it and say “noooo that is ____ SILLY” and both giggle about that. In that version of the game, since Big is so intent on getting the ‘wrong’ reaction Little does get a chance to get the right object more often. It is just a new thing, and quite a wonderful thing, to have Little so engaged, watching me, getting excited about a “GOOD JOB, that is RIGHT” and giggling about a “nooooo” .
Little Brother is working on mastering his phonic sounds and has recently tuned in to letter in his world. He turned 3 only a month ago; Big didn’t really start to demonstrate a connection between specific letters and their sound till 4.5 or later. Again, different kids. The Boys watch Letter factory (by Leap Frog) and word Factory in the van a good amount. Recently he has started bring me letter magnets off the gun safe and making the correct sound. The boy has about 3 words and communicates mostly in screech but he can correctly produce a K, R, S, T, C, Z and H sound (heard them all today); and maybe others. The letters he can’t make the sound for he still brings to me, to have named, then giggles and run back for another. Also, we have a set of phonics flash cars, we’ve had for a long time, and Little Brother loves them. He flips though them, he leaves them all over the house for Momma to pick up, he carries them to me and once in a while if I ask for a specific letter he can go find it (and he usually enjoys trying even if he is not correct). He is constantly pointing out letters (in books, and on my sweatshirts) and demanding they be named, over and over and over again. I am really interested to see what his skills look like when he master speech better, that is going to be really exciting.
Daddy and Big Brother did a science “lab” and lesson on electricity today. They discussed amps vs ohms. They discussed that electricity will be conducted by metal but not wood or plastic. Then they got to use Daddy’s amp / ohm meter. Daddy used a small stretch of copper wire to show how wire works; then they made predictions about things (the table, the tool bag, the screwdriver, etc) and then tested them. By the second or third “trial” Big Brother was nailing each prediction on the head. Afterwards, Big Brother was frustrated not to be allowed to romp the house “testing” things with the house. Daddy covered safety, and how much stronger house hold current is that the 9 volt battery they were learning with, and afterwards Big Brother was able to tell me that electricity is dangerous and can make you have to go to the hospital and stay there. He was also able to tell me it does not go though plastic or wood only metal and even showed me the difference in the rubber/ plastic handle of the screwdriver and the metal end of it.
Big Brother has been trying to sound out words a lot. He has the concept – sounding out each letter – but not the “end” of the sounds becoming a word. He so wants to read, he will “sound out” BATMAN on his coloring book and read it to me. So today I pulled out HOP ON POP to give him some easy practice. He sounded out the first 6 pages; and pointed out all the rhymes to me and told me “they rhyme because they end the same”. We stopped as soon as he asked to, and I read to him for a while. This is certainly his thing, all I am here for is to facilitate and try to offer things to allow him to be success (like Hop on Pop and very basic and easy book). I do not think the switch has flipped for him yet, but he so wants it to, and he tries. Soon, very soon, I am going to have a reader.