Support for parents of gifted children - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-25-2004, 10:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AlohaDeb
This touches a bit on something I have been thinking about lately. Has anyone else had those "oops" moments when you're happily talking about your kids and what they are doing, and then you realize the other person is looking at you strangely? Or they start saying things that hint that you are a pushy parent -- "Wow, you must really work with him on that!"
Yes. It's beyond irritating to me. If they think I'm "working with him" now, what on earth are they going to think next year? What bothers me the most is the way that I know it will make Eli feel, the way I remember feeling when I was small and people said those things to my mother; Like he doesn't deserve any recognition for any work he may have done or gifts he may posses, because it's all stuff that I somehow forced him to do. : If it was true that I spent hours with flashcards teaching him his letters, I'd probably be really proud of all *my* hard work, but as it is Eli practically taught himself-- how can I take credit for his efforts? Sure, I'm really impressed with him, and I feel really privileged to be his mother a lot of the time, but I certainly can't take credit for his fascination with letters and numbers.

Amy-- even if Nate had read the pamphlet in the dr's office, they probably would have said that he was guessing from the pictures. People were constantly telling my mother that I was guessing from the pictures. I remember saying "Mom, how can I guess exactly what the words say from the pictures? That doesn't make any sense at all!" and her saying "No, it really doesn't." Grownups! Why do they think they have some kind of monopoly on reading!

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 07-25-2004, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
Grownups! Why do they think they have some kind of monopoly on reading!

My dd takes books with her everywhere, and people will chuckle and say, "she sure likes to carry a big book with her, doesn't she." (as if she can't read such big books, which she can.)

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 07-25-2004, 04:18 PM
 
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I can so relate! My dd (3.5) and I were at a summer rehearsal (I'm a teacher helping with the Shakespeare production) and every day, my dd brought a stack of Magic Tree House books with her. They're her new form of crack; she's addicted to them! They're easy reading for her at this point, and every day, she's sat there quietly reading them one after another.

Long story short, one of my students looks up at me the other day and exclaims, "OMIGOD! She can READ! She just read my shirt!"

I pointed to the books and said, "Ashley, what did you think *those* were for?"

"I dunno," she shrugged. "I just thought she was looking at the pictures!"


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Originally Posted by A&A
My dd takes books with her everywhere, and people will chuckle and say, "she sure likes to carry a big book with her, doesn't she." (as if she can't read such big books, which she can.)
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Old 07-26-2004, 11:25 PM
 
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Grownups! Why do they think they have some kind of monopoly on reading!
:LOL
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Old 07-26-2004, 11:43 PM
 
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I keep landing in special needs parenting, I don't know why. Well, really I don't. Would you seek a diagnosis for obviously gifted children who also exhibit a number of autistic spectrum/add/sid traits or just try to know them well and respond based on that? Do we consider this their "normal" and skip the pathology?

This is what I've been doing. I feel right about it. I know my ds would get diagnosed add in a ps in a heartbeat but we hope to homeschool as we already are. (The "problems" are real not just exuberance and intensity.)

I hate labels so much I can hardly stand to talk about giftedness. I got that label too, and I'm not even sure what I resent about it. I don't want to point out precocious abilities in my children, and I feel weird abouut all of the disorder labels too. I like to design our school activities around my children's gifts and I keep thinking I'd be quite happy to allow ds to spend almost all of his time in musical and mathematical pursuits as he gets older. I guess it's what any parent does, though, if they homeschool. It's as if I look at his future and see that he could spend his life "barely functioning" according to expectations or he could spend it revelling in his miraculous competence while spending his time on what he loves and what makes him feel good about himself. I'm a gifted super-student turned dropout with a terrible school experience, so I have a powerful bias about how easy it is to lose oneself as a vulnerable child in school.

It's nice to read the threads on this board and the spirited kids tribe as we are all so diversely intense in this family. Normal people, calm children, and peace and quiet are all mysterious things to me.

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Old 07-27-2004, 02:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by deeporgarten
It's nice to read the threads on this board and the spirited kids tribe as we are all so diversely intense in this family. Normal people, calm children, and peace and quiet are all mysterious things to me.
(nak) i used to have a calm child; now i have a toddler and an infant. normal people, however, have always been somewhat mysterious to me. i'm afraid of them. :

one of my nieces has pdd & sid. she actually fits every criterion for asperger's syndrome except for one; she had delayed speech. she's in an early intervention preschool class right now, and in the fall will go to headstart where the ei people will continue to work with her. i think in her case the labels are helpful, because her behavior and mannerisms are so difficult to wrap your head around. having a label helps people to sort her out and relate to her. i felt much more able to deal with her after i'd read a bit about her diagnoses. it's still strange to have a conversation with a child who only ever looks you in the eye accidentally, and even then only brushes past you with her own eyes, but it's easier for me to deal with than it was.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 07-29-2004, 02:03 AM
 
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Wow, am I glad to find this thread! Though reading through it is like an initiation :LOL I've been looking for a support board, but they all seem to be alike. The focus is on school and how to get the services you need. And everyone on all the boards I've checked out seem to be really invested in telling newcomers not to worry if their child is gifted or not until they need a label for school. I think it's terribly disengenuous to tell someone who is looking for answers that they don't need to know the answers they seek. I NEED labels for a point of reference, frankly. As others have said, how can I best support my children, who are "different", if I can't even effectively define in what ways they are different?

Okay, off to a good start with a vent :LOL

I have every reason to believe that ds 1 (3 yo) is gifted. His dad and I fall into the gifted to moderately gifted range. He is advanced in pretty much every area except socially. He is quite shy of strangers and other children and always has been. I recognize many of the characteristics described on this thread. He is intense, but a lot of fun. He is wonderfully self-motivated and I don't have to teach him anything, just follow his lead and answer his questions.

Until recently I have not had a big need for support (though I suspect I maybe would have as he got older). What's shaking us up right now is not ds 1, but ds 2 (just turned 4 mos).

We've got a whole new ball game going on here now. Where do I start? Well, we noticed that he was physically precocious the day after he was born cause he could hold his head up. We soon noticed he was trying (and modestly suceeding) to scoot (1 week). We attributed much to the fact that he was overdue (by 3 weeks!). Though we started to wonder when he started waving at 6 weeks.

I started to pick up on some other stuff but thought I was nuts. Who wouldn't? Then when E was 2.5 mos old dh casually said, "Say, do you and E play the game where you ask where's _____, and he'll point?" Well yes but I had decided it was some creepy coincidence til dh confirmed it.
We started sharing info and testing out to see if the things we were seeing were a fluke. They weren't.

Since he was 1 mos-6 weeks old he has been nodding "yes" or "no" to direct questions. He knew the names for facial features by >3 mos, and will point to them. He has created several signs to communicate. At 2 mos he would pick up a diaper and wipe spit up off his face. On command. This week he has been entertaining his big brother by holding the wooden knife from the cut-up-the-wooden-food set and "cutting" through the food with the opposite hand pressing down on the blade (and Mommy holding the food in place). A few nights ago he was sitting in my lap as I read an old favorite of Brother's, a book about colors and shapes. I asked A to find some circles, and after he picked one out, E picked one out. We went back through the book and, sure enough apparently E knows at least 4 colors and 4 shapes (the limit of what was in the book). In identifying the shape or color of about 25-30 items, he got the colors wrong of two items.

Needless to say, this continues to freak me out just a bit! Every time I think I'm starting to wrap my brain around all this he does something new and makes my stomach flip-flop. I'm not exactly sure why this is so scary to me. Gifted is one thing, but this? It's not something I would choose for my child. And so much responsibility for us as parents. More opportunities for mistakes, I guess. I'm having trouble seeing the benefits of this kind of rapid development right now. All I can thing of are the obsticles it can create.

I have to hurry, but I wanted to add that the main two problems we're encountering so far are extreme frustration and need for what seems like constant stimulation. He is working on so many things at once (picking up objects and using pincer grip and balancing while sitting up unattended and pre-walking and crawling and...). His poor little body just cannot respond quite as quickly as he wants it too and he gets SOOOOO upset. Right now we are removing him (or the object) from the situation and going back to it later. This seems to help, but it is so hard to see him get distraught because he is not immediately able to do something he is trying to do.

Okay, must go. So glad to find you all and looking forward to picking your brains and gaining your emotional support!

Tracy, doula and Army wife and homeschooling mama to A and E
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:15 AM
 
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Needless to say, this continues to freak me out just a bit! Every time I think I'm starting to wrap my brain around all this he does something new and makes my stomach flip-flop. I'm not exactly sure why this is so scary to me. Gifted is one thing, but this? It's not something I would choose for my child. And so much responsibility for us as parents. More opportunities for mistakes, I guess. I'm having trouble seeing the benefits of this kind of rapid development right now. All I can thing of are the obsticles it can create.
This reminds me a fair bit of Eli. People thought I was insane when he was 3 months old and I'd say "Eli, where is your foot?" and he'd pick it up and grin. Rivkah too: she held her head up in the hospital, apparently she pushed up on her arms in the nursery while I was in PACU. She's been doing a really good army crawl, has rolled over and said her first words yesterday ("Hi" and "Hello"). She's only four weeks old, but she's already on her way, but different from her brother (I don't think Eli crawled so early, and I know that he was 2.5 or 3 months old before he rolled over for the first time.)

I'm sorry I don't have any advice right now, but I'm actually on my way out the door. I'll be back later!

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:48 PM
 
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.

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Old 08-13-2004, 10:58 PM
 
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Okay, Bob Books will pull me out of my lurking.

We *love* Bob Books. Yes, we are whipping through them, so I wish we could borrow them from the library. But that said, it is so empowering to him to read them to us; what price empowerment? And the story lines really appeal to his silly sense of humor. If anyone's found a cheaper source than the local bookstore, I'd love to hear it!

You can see the whole series at bobbooks.com.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 08-14-2004, 02:22 AM
 
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Our library has the bob books. I haven't checked them out yet, though...grandma bought him some scholastic phonics readers, and he is enjoying them for now.
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:13 PM
 
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I'll be back to read the rest of the thread later, but I'm jumping in to say *hi*. DD, 2y3m might fall into the gifted category, and might simply be *advanced* - I'm not sure one way or the other yet. She is incredibly bright, and she is also very big for her age (off the charts tall), so unfortunately, people think she's 3 or 4, and expect her to act like an older child.

Anne wife to Phil & mama to Katie
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Old 08-14-2004, 10:00 PM
 
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Both my girls love the Bob books. My just-two year old can't 'read' them but recites them perfectly - and who is to say where the line is between reciting from memory and reading.
Hi there!

If your DD can recite books from memory at under age 2, I'd be very surprised if she didn't turn out to be an early reader (if she isn't already). I know DD 3.5 has been reciting from memory for a while, but I've watched her go through a very specific process in the last month. She went from knowing all her uppercase letters, to learning lowercase letters and all the phonics sounds. Then she started making only the phonics sounds from left to right, and very recently followed that with putting the sounds together to make a word. While she can recite books with sophisticated vocabulary, she has just started "decoding" through phonics three letter words-- words she hasn't memorized by sight. She does it everywhere-- signs out in public, "hot" on the cooktop of the stove, books she's never seen before. Now, she can recognize some bigger words as "sight" words.

I'm happy with the combination of learning methods there-- I think her learning style will allow her to unconsciously pick up a lot of the reading "rules" as well as the exceptions in that way. I learned to read that way (without phonics), and personally, I think it's faster as long as your brain is wired that way, KWIM? I suspect that's how many of these profoundly gifted kids manage to learn to read at astonishingly early ages (as babies/toddlers).

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Sometimes I'm not sure what dd#1 'reads' and what she just recalls after one telling, but I don't think it matters as long as they are enjoying the material. Even once they can read the Bob books, they just find them fun and entertaining. They are so simple, but so silly.
Well, she's got a great memory and doesn't need the repetition. I agree, the books are really cute. Thanks for the feeback, Britishmum and everyone else who responded.


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Originally Posted by Britishmum
But we've just given up on our preschool plans, so at least I feel I can spend the money we'd have spent on preschool each month on homeschooling books and materials.
We've put it off too. After visiting the local preschools I'm not sure how long DD would stay interested, or how well she's fit in. I fear the social consequences. We've already had the experience of other kids looking at her like she has 3 heads (during a preschool visit-- older kid started some mild bullying after DD demonstrated she could spell her name, older kid couldn't) and it really made me think. She's spirited (dramatic variety) and things could get really scary! :-( OT, but were you the one with the thread in special needs about other people seeming to blame you for DD's issues? I really related to that but didn't post because I didn't want the kind of advice the OP managed to get in her own thread. :-) Anyway, if it was you, thanks! I can't tell you how hard it is to find others who understand what it's really like...

Amy

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Old 08-15-2004, 12:12 AM
 
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I have never seen a Bob book.

I can tell you that the other day, BeanBean picked up a tag from one of BooBah's "Very Hungry Caterpillar" outfits (last year's clearance, super cheap! ) and said "Butterfly, caterpillar! Sunday, Monday, Teusday, Wednesday, still hungry!" :LOL So yeah, he definately gets the idea. I don't think he has the entire book memorized, but he was very close to memorizing "The Very Quiet Cricket" not too long ago. He ended up taking that one out of the library over and over again, so I bought it for him for his first birthday and he was absolutely thrilled.

Hi, new mammas!

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:41 AM
 
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a very specific process in the last month. She went from knowing all her uppercase letters, to learning lowercase letters and all the phonics sounds. Then she started making only the phonics sounds from left to right, and very recently followed that with putting the sounds together to make a word. While she can recite books with sophisticated vocabulary, she has just started "decoding" through phonics three letter words-- words she hasn't memorized by sight.
This is what's great about the Bob Books, but I think there are others like that out there... They take full advantage of this skill of beginning decoding. I don't read them to him b/c then the little booger would just recite them from memory--this way he does the work if he wants the laugh.

Don't know how you feel about computers/software, but you know what else is really fun for beginning readers who like silliness is the Dr. Seuss living books on CD-ROM. Many, many giggles, and he's learning all those sight words, too!

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 08-15-2004, 04:39 AM
 
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I'm not a big fan of computer programs for kids... I've got issues. :LOL

My very first book was "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" by Dr. Seuss, so he'll always hold a special place in my heart. I still remember the day I realized I could read it, and the feeling I had when I knew for sure that I could read by myself. Truly amazing! Goodness, I was so thrilled to realize that the pictures on the cover were exactly the same as the words... it just blew my little mind! :LOL The excitment! It gets me revved up to this very day. :LOL

BeanBean is definately less than a week away from being diaper free. I'm totally thrilled and impressed with him. He's been waking up dry every morning for nearly a week, and just tonight we were at a friend's house and he asked to use the potty when he had to go. I've mentioned this on several other threads, because poop is a big deal in my life right now. I've gotten a few "congratulations!" but mostly people are jealous. And then there's my mother: "Well, you were out of diapers by 15 months. There's nothing hard about potty learning; now that you know how easy it is, don't you wonder about it when you see three year olds in diapers during the day?"

It's kind of sad, my mother is... well, she's very aware that she and her children are really intelligent, but she kind of expects it. For example, she never said a word when we got A's in school, but if we didn't she'd whine about it. I don't know how to explain, I'm not feeling particularly articulate right now. I've got a headache and I really ought to go to sleep.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:06 PM
 
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What titles do you recommend? And what sorts of levels are they?
We found a 3-pack with The ABC book, The Cat in the Hat, and Green Eggs and Ham. We've been reading all the books forever, but they expand on the themes. For example, on the Green Eggs and Ham one, they have a matching game that has purple pancakes, blue carrots, etc. DS says YUK and just laughs & laughs.

Levels? Like age? Well, we just got them. I don't think DS would have enjoyed them earlier than 3 y.o. Like I said, they appeal to the sillies common to the threes. But there's no typing, just mousing. I think the box said 3-7 (beginning reader age range).

We've ended up with quite a collection of kiddy software, mostly from family members, and I have to say a lot of it is junk. The Dr. Seuss is the best of the lot. I also like the ones that are... hmm... how to describe them... you have to go through a whole "land" and find different things to solve a problem. They take planning and memory.

But the ones that just play pretty lights, ugh.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:10 PM
 
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I think she means grade level; part of the reason we're here is because "age" level doesn't really mean that much.

Green Eggs and Ham is, I believe, a 1st grade level book. The others are definately K and pre-K. I read the "harder" Dr. Seuss books (i.e., "The Lorax") before I was three.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:15 PM
 
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I think she means grade level; part of the reason we're here is because "age" level doesn't really mean that much.
ahh, that makes sense. I don't know the grade level, but given what you've said about the book, I think the computer games would run a range around those levels. Younger kids could have the story read to them and older kids could play the games.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 08-15-2004, 02:02 PM
 
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Suddenly, the 'we will work with you' became clear - it meant 'we will persuade you that our way is best and that you need to follow our induction policy for new children'.

Well, the policy turned out to be rigid. No parents were to stay even the first day. Not even for half an hour!!!
Crikey! (Sorry, a lot of Crocodile Hunter here lately ) That is a very unfortunate and rigid policy for sure! We were lucky to find a preschool that was very understanding; not only did they encourage parents to stay for the first two days, they even have a shortened class session for the first two weeks, until by the third week of school the classes are in session for the full time period allotted (2.5 hours). That's a bummer that they have such an antiquated policy.

Sorry it didn't work out! It's very hard to find a good preschool, that's for sure...
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:12 AM
 
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Thanks for the info about the software. We only have two cdroms and I"m not terribly impressed by them. In fact, I regretted using the first one, as that was what got dd obsessed with phonics and decoding. Before then she was very much a whole word reader. Now she can know a word but still decodes it, which is frustrating - for me, anyway, as she seems to like decoding. I feel that we went backwards when she discovered phonics, but I guess they just pick up on what interests them, and phonics interest her now.
I've noticed there seems to be a debate over the phonics thing. From what I've heard, schools are going back to phonics these days. I decided to just see which way DD learned best and go with it. I've noticed the "backward progress" too-- DD will try to sound out a word she already knows by sight. I've decided this is a 3/4 year old "rules" thing, though. I've tried to gently remind her that if she already knows a word, she doesn't need to sound it out. I think they'll loosen up. One thing about these kids is that they never seem to forget anything. I firmly believe those sight words are still in there-- they just want to play with the tools they have (phonics). It must be very exciting to be able to guess what a word is all of a sudden, you know? And if your DD doesn't need phonics at all, she'll eventually just scrap it and do it the other way. It'll work itself out, I think.

I don't really "teach" DD either. She asks me a question, I answer it. The delight on her face when I show her a concept that makes sense to her is a joy to behold. FI, DD asks me to write "sad" on a piece of paper. Then I erase the "s" and write "d" to make "dad." DD sounds out "dad." Smiles, giggles. I love language, and I love that she does, too!

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Old 08-16-2004, 03:03 AM
 
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Oh, I could talk about reading all day. I think a nice combination of sight-reading and phonics makes a good reader. I did read that if kids skip the phonics and go right into sight-reading, then later on when they get to big words they don't know they are at a loss. But I think the particularly visual/symbolic learners pick up on the phonics rules without a lot of instruction.

DS has been "sounding out" words he knows like CAT, playing with that decoding, too. The idea that this is the rules-based 3/4's makes perfect sense!

Re: teaching, hot-housing, or being a flashcard mama: I love teaching DS things! We collect manipulatives and educational posters and books and websites like crazy. We field-trip and watch Shark Week on TV and geek out about random discoveries all day long. Is that pushy? Don't care. We're both having fun. If he cried when I "dragged" him to the Planetarium instead of bouncing with joy, I wouldn't, y'know?

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 08-16-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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BeanBean loves the planets! We've got a National Geographic poster of them on the wall. He thinks it's absolutely hysterical that there's a planet called "Saturn" and a car called "Saturn" and laughs every time he points to it. I don't have any books about the solar system, though... no book budget for a little while. Maybe for his birthday.

My mother is waiting for BooBah to start talking (thus far she says hello, hi, nur, and hug) because "Maybe she'll talk like you guys did and people will finally believe me." Is it selfish of me to hope that she doesn't speak like an adult at 13 months? : It just irritates me that my mother persists in comparing her children to her grandchildren. Why can't she just be happy that my children are better adjusted than I ever was?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:37 PM
 
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eilonwy, both our sets of parents have similarly skewed experiences of ages & stages. Amen for better adjusted DCs!

Have you seen the Magic Schoolbus book on the planets? It's old... you could probably find it at a used book store or the library. I bet there are better ones out there, but it's chock full of facts about the planets.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 08-31-2004, 02:21 AM
 
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This is a really long thread. I think I'm going to start a new one.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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