We Are So Blessed!!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Maletch Can Read Sight Words!

Maletch started pointing out and naming stores quite often since he was about 18 months- he always knew Toys R Us, Target, Jamba Juice, and WalMart- and initially I believed he was memorizing the places we had been before. But he really surprised us when he started pointing out and naming places we had never been before such as Del Taco and McDonald's (two examples)- then I assumed he was memorizing store logos/signs from places we had been AND also somehow from T.V. commercials is all we could guess on those.

One day, a few months back he really surprised me when he handed me a Toys R Us receipt that was on my nightstand, and said, "Go to Toys R Us store?" He wanted to go, and all I was thinking was "How do you know that says Toys R Us?" because we were at home- not in front of a color sign- this was just the name of the store in black print on the sales receipt!

After the first day of teaching/reviewing the alphabet with Maletch, we ran errands, while we were driving around, stopped at a stoplight- I heard from the backseat, "I see the H", "I see O", "I see Y", "I see W", "I see another O, two O's"" I see D" I looked up and sure enough, he was naming the letters in a sign that said "HOLLYWOOD" and he continued to do this the entire day of running around. He stayed busy pointing out places he knew, and letters he saw! So of course, that gave me the opportunity to really have some fun with it, so even when we were inside stores, I grabbed pamphlets/packaging/whatever I thought looked interesting for him to "read."
Later, when I pulled into the Walmart parking lot Maletch says, "I see Walmart over there mommy" He was still pointing to the sign on the building and said, "I see the W" then he sang, "W,X,Y and Z"
A funny thing happened in Walmart:
I was doing a site-to-store pickup, so there was a lady in the back helping me. While we were waiting I grabbed a pamphlet for him to look at. First thing Maletch did was point to the word and say, "Walmart" (which was printed on the pamphlet)- she looked at me, "He can read?" Then he started naming and showing me (and her) all of the letters- that lady almost fell down.

Later that night after we got home, I brought out my sales receipts (from a few stores) and asked him, "What does this say?" and sure enough almost before I finished my question- he pointed to each receipt and correctly "read" the names of each store from all of them!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Maletch and His Alphabet!

Maletch Knows His Alphabet- From Watching One "Hooked On Phonics" Video For ONE Week:

First off, I cannot believe how well the "Hooked on Phonics" program works! Tonight was the first night I had planned to sit down and actually work with Maletch on his alphabet, meaning I would try to teach him, since his only introduction to it has been from the H.O.P. program (he has watched one video a few times) and the ONLY thing I have ever done was watch the video with him each time, narrating it further and trying to make it more fun (although it already was) and everyday this week, rather than using the program’s workbooks, I “made up” a game with a wooden alphabet puzzle that we have—that is IT! I haven’t actually made any efforts in ‘teaching’, and I certainly didn’t expect him to be retaining anything- it was just an introduction.

I couldn’t believe that as I started to work with him tonight, he began naming the letters, before I could tell him. I hadn’t realized that he knew almost all of them already! In fact we only thought he knew W, H, and T because he casually pointed those out around the house- but I never thought to “quiz” him because I had never taught him.

So what was supposed to be me working with him (teaching him) tonight, instantly became a “quiz” with flashcards, to find out what he knows. I’m still scratching my head on how he learned that quickly, but there were very few letters that he wasn’t sure of, and very few he mixed up (like O & Q).

His introduction has only been to capital letters, so after I actually work with him a little on these (maybe for a week). I will start introducing the lower case versions.

Here are the results from my quiz: 15 of the letters he knew completely solid (no mistakes), 5 letters he confused for similar letters (a few times, but sometimes he did have them right), and only 6 letters that he wasn’t too sure.

If you are curious to which ones he knows, here is the list (if the letter is named as “B & D”, those are the letters that he sometimes confused for each other), if it is named alone, it means he knew it every time. I think my teaching job is going to be easy, since he knows all this without my help!

B & D
C & O
Q & O

These were the only ones that he wasn’t too sure

E, G, L, U, V, Z

Note (the ones he wasn't sure): For G, one time he said O, and Z one time he said N (he even tilted his head to the left to try to make the Z a N), but his hesitation and facial expressions were clear that he knew it wasn’t correct.

Another note about the program: It appears he has picked up some of the phonics sounds already too! He has demonstrated this with a few letters (again just came up casually around the house talking, pointing to a letter, etc) so I wonder how many of those he actually knows if I was to quiz that right now, "What sound does that make?" That will be for another day very soon!

I am so excited that we have this program, and I am so excited that teaching him his alphabet which I expected would be a lot of work and a difficult thing to learn is... gosh, not only going to be easy- but it's almost done... before Maletch or I even started trying- how about that??- learning by accident!!

What a Milestone!

YAY! What a week we've had with Maletch's learning and milestones! Everyday, he shocks me by saying something, usually multiple somethings, that have me going, "Huh? How does he know that?"
And for a long time, Maletch has been very interested in his potty chair, and not wanting to wear diapers, specifically he wants to wear underwear as he frequently tells us, but the poor boy just hasn't been able to 'remember' in time. He also gets 'stage fright' when he gets there, and just can't quite bring himself to go on the potty chair, but he tries so hard! In fact he will insist on sitting there for a very long time and will not want to get up and get dressed- but he is actually "holding it."
One time the poor boy held it for 4 1/2 hours, he sat on the potty chair for a long time, then would get up to run around and play (after he couldn't go) but when I would try to put his diaper and pants back on, he would go right back and sit down, telling me, "I'm going to go potty on the potty chair" and that day it went on for 4 1/2 hours- unfortunately with no success, but to his credit, he didn't have any accidents either while running around naked for that long period of time!
Well this week, he had a major breakthrough! One night, much like all previous nights, he sat there, off and on for an hour, insisting he wanted to go, I gave up since I needed to make dinner, and didn't want him running around naked (for fear of an accident) so I insisted he get redressed. He instantly wanted to try again, and I reluctantly let him, and as I walked into the kitchen (leaving him on the potty chair) he came running in with wet hands. Wet hands? that made me suspicious of an accident (although he rarely has them)- but as I went to find "where" he went-- to my surprise it was in the potty chair!!
YAY Maletch, Good Job!!
I don't believe in "bribery" with children, so he has never been promised anything, nor have we made any "deals" for potty training-- but I was so PROUD of him for his achievement that I rewarded him with a special treat... He got a new Thomas & Friends train for his collection "Emily" who is one of his favorites from the movie (that we had stashed for a special occasion or holiday)! He knows why he got it, so he sees it not only as a new toy, but almost like a trophy- he is so proud of that train! I told him that Mommy and Daddy are proud of him and that we are so happy, and at bedtime as I told him goodnite and said his prayer, he said "I'm happy!"
We do have a long way to go before he will be officially potty trained, but this was a major breakthrough for him! I am so happy that he has always been so eager to try, but that has made it harder to watch as he struggled with his fear, I could see the inner turmoil. I'm hoping now that he was able to do it for that first time that it will help break through that fear/nervousness/shyness and that it will be easier for him each time.