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Everything posted by Holiztic

  1. I love the Wee Sing CDs and books. We just discovered them at the library and currently have Wee Sing Fun & Folk. It has so many fantastic songs, many of which I remember from my childhood and many I never knew. The singing is great and a nice mix of adults and kids singing. The book has all the music and lyrics and some simple drawings (which my pre-reader uses to tell what song he's on if he's listening on his own). This CD/book can be hard to find, I just got a 'gift pack' on ebay for 11.61 and free shipping, it has Fun & Folk and songs for baby (which I may or may not want, but it was worth it to get F&F). I think there was at least one more set. We also really like the Peter Yarrow.
  2. I don't know if my DS is gifted, but I will say that the things that make us suspect it have to do with many different areas of development, not just reading. DS is 4 in April and as we are Waldorfy/delayed academics people DS has been, well, kind of sheltered from reading resources (alphabet toys, song, magnets, etc, easy reader books, TV, computer, leapfrog, etc.) but still is starting to spell and sound out words. He started talking at 10 months and by 18 months was speaking in 3-5 word sentences, with sentences over 10 words with past tense, adverbs, etc. before 2. His memory was astounding well before 2, he started doing mental math (2+2, 3+1, 3-2, etc) shortly after 2. I even count non-academic things like potty-training in 2 days before he was 2, being night dry without incident from 2.5, sitting at the table and eating every bite of every food (for up to 1 hour) since, well, he started eating, etc. I know not all of these things are present in gifted kids, I just believe for my kid, these are signs of his abilities. If I had a kid that seemed average in most ways but read at 4 or 5, I wouldn't necessarily think gifted, but I wouldn't say not either.
  3. My DH is a K-12 Waldorf grad and is a computer programmer! (So either you know him or there are 2!) ;)
  4. AutumnOak--I don't think that was too much info at all, I am very happy to read it! My husband comes from two heavily Anthroposophic/Waldorf teacher parents and he did Waldorf schooling the whole way. We love so many of the lifestyle recommendations of Waldorf and even some of the aspects of Anthroposophy. We even had an astrosophical star chart done for DS when he was born and now at nearly 4 we can see how very valid it is! But nonetheless Waldorf is seriously failing us. DS has been raised by most of the Waldorf early years principles, EXCEPT for reading to him. Heck, my SO Waldorf MIL gave us half of our kid's books (ones from Floris) that are oh so Waldorfy. We do tell him stories at least as foten as reading, though. Well, between print being all around him, both at home and out in the world, and him being something in the realm of gifted, he's learned all his letters, sounds, and is starting to spell and sound out words. He'll be 4 in April. All this and we've really tried to slow him down, short of saying "i can't tell you that" to his questions about letters, sounds, etc. But we haven't ditched the approach altogether to run out and by him a leapster, start phonics lessons, and let him play on starfall (he'd be reading fluently now if I had, I am sure). We just let him play with his one and only letter resource (a chunky wood alphabet puzzle) however he wants. Sometimes he stacks the letters up to make towers and knocks them down, this morning he spelled his friend Alex's name. So be it. I did want to add something. I have read some Waldorf articles about delaying reading instruction to 7 due to left/right brain integration. The idea being that the left brain handles phonics rules and the right brain handles memorizing sight words. Makes sense. Then they say that in order to learn to read properly a child needs both and needs them to work together. The say this happens around 7, and that a good test for bilateral integration (not sure if that's the right term) is to see if the child can skip with arms swinging in opposition to legs, and this should be easy and natural. Well, the funny thing is, just a week after I read that my son started skipping, out of nowhere--I am not even sure he's seen anyone skip before--he surely wasn't taught! He was barely 3.5, and though his arms aren't alternating yet, I am quite sure that won't be 3.5 more years! (He can alternate, it's just not what he does naturally). This kid also started doing mental sums at 2.5, and we never worked on that in any way. He potty-trained in 2 days before he was 2 (night dry at 2.5---no accidents, period). He has spoken like a child much older than he is since 14 months, and has never said 'pasghetti' or anything even close. I could go on, not to brag, but to show that even a kid raised at home, with a Waldorf cycle, pentatonic music, absolutely no screens, no electronic toys, no books about letters or numbers, no 'instruction' and lots of outdoor time, creative play with open-ended toys, cooking and baking together, etc. can simply be naturally able/gifted and not "hardened" or rushed. This kid is so not at all hardened! He's just really bright! So we'll homeschool with some Waldorf elements and some not so Waldorf. I'd like to use Oak Meadow but don't know how that will work in terms of his language and math abilities. His current skills in these areas (except writing, which he can't do at all) are at OM's early 1st grade level, but he knows nothing of science, social studies, etc. As a matter of fact, his skills FAR outweigh his knowledge due to our Waldorf ways. At this age his cousin did not tap out syllables, preplan rhymes and rhythms when making up songs/poems, sound out words, etc, BUT he had everything one could know about every dinosaur memorized (from an encyclopedia kind of book). So Waldorfers might say we're "allowing" his skills to go too far and others would say we're holding back his knowledge of the world. I just say we're doing what we find natural and holistic. I still kinda wish he was on Steiner's 'schedule', though I am trying to stop thinking like that. I have heard the term "Waldorf guilt" and I think it is such a shame. Yes, many (many) kids are rushed, and over-exposed at an early age, many are 'hardened', but assuming that any advanced kid is is poor logic (as said above) and injurious to a number of us.
  5. Okay, so I could just read through it to answer my own question, but I thought I'd ask here first. Oddly enough, we are Waldorfy/Charlotte Mason people and feel very strongly about not doing academic work with a child under 5 or 6. However, we have a very bright little guy and he's got another agenda! I fill his days (well, he fills much of it with self-directed play) with enough that he doesn't general 'need'/request academic work, but he's got the skills of a kindergartner just by virtue of everyday living/conversation and his advanced ability to remember, make connections, etc. So I had RS A unopened on a high shelf and he found it today. I bought it months ago planning to read through it slowly over the next year and start between 4.5 and 5. He begged to do some (already begs for what he calls 'homeschool math', which is me asking him simple addition and subtraction questions). I tried to gently deflect, said it was for when he's bigger, etc. But he really wanted to try, and I did not want to make a big scene about 'school' not being for little kids--cause issues, negative associations, whatever. So we started, we did the first 2 lessons. I know they are pretty simple, but even still he did them straight though--no teaching, he just answered each question, did each task with the same ease he'd answer "what does a cow say?" The two lessons took 15 minutes total. My question is this: how fast does this program move? I packed the box up and put it on the shelf, if he doesn't ask again for a while, there it will sit. But if he wants to do it, we'll do it...but I think we'll reach his skill level pretty soon, and I don't really want to "teach" him at this young age. Practicing and playing at his current skill level or a tiny smidge above (a place he can get on his own with a little thought) is fine, but I don't want to 'work with him' to get him to understand math concepts at this age. So how does RS A move? Is there a point where a bright 3.5 yo (on the level of the average just-turned-5 year old, I'd say) is likely to hit a wall? Will just going to that point and then playing games with the skills he's got make sense to delay our movement forward? Maybe I should just make each lesson really last (days/weeks) in terms of playing games and even coming up with our own ways to use those skills. Maybe I could make lessons 1-? last for a long time? Thoughts?
  6. Pisces fish on the back of my shoulder--all black (gray now!) about 3 inches round. In the past I've had the following piercings: ears, eyebrow, tongue, navel. All long ago closed (happily) with scars on eyebrow and navel. I'm one of those people that neither regrets my tattoo nor loves it. It's just a part of me, like my elbows! :001_smile: (Got it at 18, now 31)
  7. My DS is 3.5 and has been counting since barely 2 and even doing mental addition and subtraction (with no lessons of any sort) since he was 2.5, learned his upper and lowercase in under 2 weeks with no instruction except me answering when he said "what's this one?" with his brand-new alphabet puzzle. Same time as the ABC puzzle we bought him some straight-piece number order puzzles with 1-10. After 3 months he STILL doesn't know 7 and 8 by sight. I am not sure how he can recognize/recall 52 letters in 2 weeks (very confidently, in different fonts, out of order) and learning 1-10 digits by sight is still going after 3 months (again, there's no instruction going on--at 3.5 I'm leaving this to him for now, just answer questions when he asks. I told him 8 looks like a snowman but something ATE his head. Once he remembers 8 he knows 7 right away. Still hasn't stuck. I have heard of these kinds of blocks in the 3-6 set so often, must be some brain/mechanical reason for it. It'll click soon, I'd make sure he's not getting frustrated or losing any confidence over it and just keep reminding him and/or giving him clues/mnemonics.
  8. I would definitely not play up the whole fear of germs, 'germs make me sick' idea. If you are not yet up on the germ theory vs. the terrain theory you might want to do that first (for you, then simplify it for a 4 year old).
  9. Thank you so much!! Yes, that is exactly my concern--that he "teaches himself" by random, not so proper methods--sight reading, and going around phonics rules, etc. I don't want that at all! But it is VERY hard for a Waldorf "trained" (unofficially) and Charlotte Mason-loving mom to formally start teaching phonics at 3.5! So your idea to make myself an expert (going through PR now) and then organically answering his questions or gently 'correcting' him as he learns on his own might be a great compromise.
  10. Hey, we're moving (very slowly) to CM and Classical from a very strongly Waldorf first 3.5 years. Waldorf will still influence a lot of what we do, but we won't "Do Waldorf" so to speak. Point being--waiting is not a problem for us in theory, except---DS is quite advanced in ability (not in achievement as we're Waldorfy and his exposure has been low, academically speaking). Anyway, he's likely gifted and he picks things up very quickly, with little to no instruction, so he knows all letters, upper and lower, very confidently and knows most sounds (has had no lessons on vowel sounds, even casually, and when he asked how to spell "Pig" and we got to the short i sound he said "i" right away. :confused: No clue where he got that! So I would love to hold off until 5 or 6 but I don't know if he's on board with that! What would you do if your barely 4 year old was 'teaching himself to read?' (Which seems to be the way he's headed at barely 3.5, but with no instruction it is going somewhat slowly) Try PR very early and somewhat slowly or do something else for just reading and add in PR at 5 or 6? Ultimately I'd love to get him to 5 or 6 before any reading instruction, but I just don't see that happening! Oh: and he cannot write at all, cannot hold a pencil, etc. I'd also hoped he'd start writing before or with reading. Oh well.
  11. Why do most people not use this until the child is reading?? (I plan to when 3.5 yo DS is 5)
  12. I generally shy away from labels, especially for such young kids as things can change so much between now and 7 or so. But since you asked (and I totally understand your interest, BTW!) it sounds pretty average to me--which is NOT to say she's not now nor will she be bright, but nothing jumps out at me (like my DS doing mental addition/subtraction at 26 months or his 15+ word compound sentences with the conditional tense, "if...then" statements, etc. before his second birthday. We don't "work" on anything around here, didn't even have alphabet toys until he was 3.3. He does no TV, DVDs, computer, etc. (We're Waldorfy so far--not so much as he gets older). They don't need instruction to be smart/bright/gifted! (When older they DO need instruction to be educated.) There's ability and there's achievment--sounds to me like she's average for ability (whopping guess there!) and ahead for achievement (due to exposure). (My DS, due to our Waldorfy ways, is somewhat the inverse, I'd say). The ability sticks with them (to a degree) but the achievement will change based on a number of factors. I personally believe that when you start instruction early (under 5 or so, depending on child) you get above average achievement for a few years but end up with average or even below average later on (there are studies on this, no way I'm up to finding them tonight!)
  13. Sorry, no help on your question as my DS is 3.5 and I have RightStart A sitting in its box waiting! But I had to comment on the above. I was an English Major and Art History minor and took math classes as electives!
  14. So we have one DC so far, he's 3.5 and we're really not ready for another yet, but we know we want another someday. Right now it is looking like we'll have a 5-6 year age gap. In general I am looking forward to this age gap and think it will be great, but I was wondering what it is like to homeschool a 6 year old with a baby? We'll be heavily unschooling at 6, but not radically--so I'll want to sit and work with him maybe an hour or two a day. How does this kind of gap look at 3/9? At 6/12? Just like to hear some stories of how families like this work out. Won't make a difference to our plan, but I'd love to hear the good and the bad. Thanks!
  15. I am in no way the experienced homeschooling mom you need for this, but I thought I'd chime in anyway. DS is only 3.5 but I have been back and forth about what to do first. I plan for him to do Spanish, Latin, and a language of his choice (or if I end up choosing or swaying it'll be Chinese or French). The one of his choice will start at 12 or so, but I have wondered about whether to start with Spanish or Latin. DH wants me to start him on Latin as it is the really the basis, or beginning, for Spanish anyway. I, however, think we should start with the language we want him to be fluent in--which is Spanish. Add to that the fact that I plan to start him in a language at 5 and I think Latin should wait for 8 or so (not a concern in your situation). So my plan is 5: Spanish for fluency; starting between 8 and 10: Latin for the basics at least; and then starting between 12 and 14: language of his choosing. In your shoes I might do the Latin for maybe 2 years and then do Spanish somewhat intensively from 10 on for fluency. Happy to hear others' (you know, the experienced HSers!) opinions/experiences.
  16. I so hope to be that cool when my 3 year old is able to climb higher. I have climbed about 5 feet up after him, but I am so nervous about the bigger heights of bigger kids!! You rock!
  17. I told DS (3), who is allergic to dust, that he could stay downstairs and finish his snack while I vacuumed, then he could come up while I was in the shower. I told him I would NOT vacuum his room so that he could go straight to it to play after his snack (dust being kicked up in the air issue). BUT he had to go straight to his room and not in the hall, our room, etc. where I had just vacuumed. 15 minutes later while I am shampooing I hear "MOMMMMMMAAAAAAYYY" and I think he's hurt, so I yell "Its okay, you can come in here to tell me what's wrong". He comes into the bathroom and says "Mommy, I can't figure out how to get to my room without walking in the hall first". HA! He was screaming from the top step trying to solve this impossible problem!
  18. I am not sure how number problems will be--he's literally never heard or seen one (you mean like "what is four plus two?" right?) I thought he was a serious auditory learner (but I am confused about this topic!!) because he can hear the problem and answer it without seeing anything. He's also not great at remembering things he's seen (I think) like he doesn't recognize numerals. Even though we don't do anything at all with numerals (not even counting books)--I've pointed out 1-3 a handful of times (once every 2 months maybe) on a sign or something--and he's only known 1 for ages. This is the kind of thing he'd have down in one try with auditory stuff (like remember what a "big" or unusual word means after hearing the definition once and then he uses it, correctly, a week later. When I look at checklists of visual vs auditory he's mostly auditory but a number of things in the visual list are totally him too (maybe 65/35). Maybe it is too soon to tell--or maybe he'll be a nice mix??
  19. Yes, they do have very good sample on their website. I did lessons 1 and 2 with him last week and he just did them (meaning there was no teaching involved and no real need for 'practice'). I think we'll go ahead and order A and start slowly. Thanks for the input all!
  20. So before I ask this, I have to explain we come from a Waldorf background and had every intention of just playing and exploring with no instruction or academics at all (not even toys with letters and numbers on them!) until DS was at least 5 or even 6. But we don't always get the kind of kid we expect, do we? (I LOVE having a gifted son, BTW--he's amazing and so so sweet!!) He's been doing math on his own (like "Mommy, there are 3 apples, if Daddy eats one there will be two left--one for you and one for me") since he was just past 2. Now he begs me for what he calls "homeschool math"--which just means me making up word problems like the above. He can do them totally mentally with nothing to look at/touch and he doesn't count (at least not out loud--and answers too quickly to count in his head I think). He's still on small numbers, as we don't really 'practice' much (I am still uncomfortable with such a little kid "doing school" even if he does love it!! Paradigm shifts are hard!!!) Today (he's just past 3) we did "how many stools are at that counter (we were at a restaurant)?" DS: "Four" Me: "If three people come and sit, how many will be empty?" DS: "One" He's just moved onto addition and subtraction involving 4 as the highest number in the last 2 months. He can do a little higher--by counting on his fingers or with 'manipulative' (toy cars, etc). I think 6+2 or similar (he does not know "plus" yet, must be a word problem for him) would be tops--but he's shaky on this. I am thinking of getting RightStart and doing it very slowly, informally (not on a schedule--playing games for weeks after learning a concept, maybe). I did their little questionnaire to figure out what level to get--it said B. Then when I look in the curriculum forums here (not accelerated, though) there are mostly 6 and 7 (even 8) year olds doing level B. DS is clearly ahead, gifted, whatever--but I do not believe he's at the level of an average 7 year old (???). So I plan to get Level A for sure--even if he could do B we just want something gentle and fun and right at/slightly above his current level. All that rambling to ask this: If we do Level A very slowly, here and there--for fun really--how long could we make it last? A year, a year-and-a-half? My worry is about doing A and B and suddenly being at C when he's 4.5 or 5 and it being too much. What are my options then? I wouldn't want to take a year off--and I don't think I'd want to stall by doing level B games for a year. Maybe another curriculum that is RS B level but would give a little variety/different perspective, or maybe something that would bridge B &C? (I haven't look at level C samples yet, I am picking it arbitrarily as a place we'd need to slow down if we start this early.) You can replace B/C with C/D or whatever--just a point where we may find we've accelerated a bit too much. Finally, any other ideas to have some very gentle (informal--and no, he does not write) instruction/games at DS' level that would keep us in the "not quite starting formal academics yet" camp for another year plus but would not hurt our starting RS (and its way of counting/adding) at 4-4.5?? Any other thoughts welcome! Thanks!
  21. I desperately love Roald Dahl and I also love the movie Matilda (which I saw and then bought for the first time at 12). However, I am going to be seen as very conservative (something I am generally not!) when I say that I would never let my child see the movie (or read the book) before 6 or so. (most) Roald Dahl is dark, and I don't believe that there is a safe place for that kind of view in a toddler or preschooler's ethos. I do not see any good in my 3 year old knowing that there are family dynamics like that at this age, nor knowing of (and especially seeing!!!!) the sadism exemplified by Ms. Trunchbull. I DO, however, think that there is a lot of beauty in the relationship between Miss Honey and Matilda AND I believe that the 'dark' side of such stories has a beneficial place for a child of 6 or more (depending on sensitivity and emotional age). We plan to read the real Grimms tales because they involve the dualities of good and evil (actually meant to represent the duality in each individual--not a good guy and a bad guy). So this comment does not come from someone who believes in squeaky clean fairy tales with no conflict! But I do believe that a child with so little world experience will generally be disturbed by too early an introduction to the darker side of humanity (even if she 'seems' fine and even likes it!) Probably an unpopular opinion, but mine nonetheless! :)
  22. Oh, last month! Super newbie! My only child just turned 3.
  23. How funny! I am just getting into this whole world of classical education, though I have been reading up on homeschooling in general for a few years. DS is only 3, so we're newbies! Just got my copy of WTM today and looked at the back flap, and what do you know---Susan Wise Bauer teaches at my alma mater, The College of William and Mary, AND in the English department (my degree is in English). She wasn't teaching there when I attended (she'd just finished her MA there the year before), but it still seems like a connection. I'm not sure anyone cares about this, but thought I'd post it for fun. :)
  24. That is just too funny! I just posted a question on MDC (mothering forums) about swimming lessons, and then moments later change tabs and the very first thing I see is "speaking of swimming lessons". Freaky! Sorry, no answer for you! We're looking for someone to come to my parent's house to teach there, I assume I'll go in for the first lesson or two then sit by the pool from there on out.
  25. Your DS sounds exactly like mine. I almost posted the exact same question! We are thinking of trying Five in a Row. I cannot recommend it as I haven't seen it or used it yet, but from my reading it sounds very fun/informal. As long as your child enjoys reading a story book (once or more), then you can pick and choose which activities to do. I am excited about the corresponding cookbook!
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