Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chit-Chat with Ben + Claire

Me: Do you want to take a bath?
C: Yeah, but a short bath. Not a long bath.
Me: Why not a long bath?
C: Because my fingers will get lines on them.


B: [Sigh] OH. That guy is smoking.
Me: Where? In that truck?
B: Yeah. But it's okay, because he's a grandpa.


C: Um, hey Mommy. When I'm four, I can, um... drive the car.
Me: Silence {and big eye emoji}

Saturday, March 4, 2017

National Reading Month with Nat Geo Kids

March is a fun month for reading. The kids had a great time exploring literature when Dr. Seuss came to their school on Thursday to kick off Read Across America and National Reading Month. Claire was a little frightened of the hat-wearing creature, but equally excited.

Speaking of National Reading Month, Benjamin is starting to read some leveled readers and is doing an awesome job sounding out words and using sight words and context clues to guide him. I'm so proud of him. We even went for froyo this week when Gawbee was in town because he mastered his ninth sight word list of the year and received another certificate.
We received a package from National Geographic Kids full of a variety of their kid readers that range in levels. Sticking to Nat Geo's name, they have incredible graphics and are non-fiction reads which are essential to develop critical thinking and increase vocabulary. My kids love fiction the most, like most kids, so it's nice to have more non-fiction readers for us to stick into our rotation.
One of the new ones is a Level 1 reader with a page on the left for the parent to read and a page on the right for the new reader (like Benjamin). It gives the kids a break to be a listener and then opens up the floor for them to practice their skills.
We even received a Spanish reader, which is awesome because we're heavily considering a bilingual preschool and kindergarten program for the kids starting in August.

These aren't our first Nat Geo Kid readers. Benjamin was excited to point out all of the others we own as they are highlighted in the back covers of the readers we received. We're kind of leveled reader junkies right now because they're so easy to transport (thin! lightweight!) and they have a fewer words per page, which allow my kids to focus on both the content and the pictures. Leveled readers like these also often focus on high frequency sight words, which we're kind of obsessed with over here.

There are also tons of non-fiction games, videos and additional readers available online to connect the learning and add the technology component to build on understanding. I may or may not have played a few games myself over the last few days...

Nat Geo Kids is on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest. We're digging our new reading material and love that even older kids who come to visit will have something interesting to read. Benjamin's rocking the pre-reader Hop, Bunny! and can read about 75% on his own, but the Level 1 and Level 3 books we received will be used as an adult read aloud for awhile. Because the content is so great, I don't mind one bit.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Parenting Hack: Mystery Books

It's not earth-shattering or anything, but my kids love it.

In order to break away from the same repeat favorites and delve into some more buried titles in our enormous collection of children's books, I've implemented "mystery reading" books before bedtime a few times a week.

Our routine is much like most families, I presume.

Dinner is followed by bath/shower, pajamas, teeth brushing, bathroom use and books before getting tucked into bed for prayers and negotiations (because it's not always high on their list to lay in bed).

I usually grab out up to 10 books before bed, depending on the amount of time we have before the 7:30 bedtime. I hide them and one-by-one, grab one out and read. They have no say in the order, no say in the book choice and it eliminates fights over whose selection is first, last or in between.

Parenting is something else. I spend at least the majority of my time bribing, convincing, and pulling negotiations with the small people to get them to perform (more efficiently/better/at all). But this little trick is one of my favorites, because then I get to read the books I love more often, too. #winwin