Learning to read is not a race while there is so much emphasis on phonics these days.
The child has to be ready before they start reading on their own, if not it leads to frustration.
Pre-reading activities or reading readiness is like a warm-up before you start exercising.
I have a curated list of free printables which you can directly download from the websites.
Montessori explains that the sensitive period for language is from 0-6. Reading aloud books and associating objects to words are all started from birth, while these activities can be started anywhere from 3-6 years.
1.Reading Aloud before Bedtime:
My son loves to read and I read aloud to him before our nap time while we snuggle together. We started with picture books with few sentences each page and then moved on to books with more text. Now we read books like this at 3.5 years.
2.Sorting by Category:
Sorting is an important skill that cannot be taken for granted. This blog beautifully explains why sorting is essential in the part of growing. In the later part of the blog there are plentiful ideas to sort by category. If your child is young and you want to begin then concrete objects are the best to start with. Check this post for young children less than 3. I would like to try all of the sorting ideas in our future work. For now, we tried a few of it and I have attached the links of free printables below. Don’t forget to download and practice them.
3.What does not belong?
Once children learn to sort they start noticing how things are alike and what is different. You can read on how to do this activity here and download your set of cards from below.
Sequencing is an important life skill by itself. Here Children learn to move from left to right like how we read on print and also
The printable can be downloaded from below.
This is an extension work of pattern cards, the story sequence helps to observe and recall events.
You can start with something as simple as “Jack and Jill” Rhyme (printable link below) and ask your child to arrange them in order.
The one we used is a bit complex which explains the story of a snowman. This printable comes with a control card i.e. Montessori way of the child to know if he has done the work successfully. The printable link is mentioned below.
6.Picture to Background Matching:
This activity is to help one prepare for figure ground perception. This helps in focusing on one piece of information from a busy background. In simple words: looking for a particular word/line on a book page.
“I Spy” games can be done to work on this. We did some simple picture puzzle downloaded from a website. Link is given below.
7.Using Magnifying Lens to Focus on an Object:
My son is now fascinated to use his magnifying lens and I took that to advantage by giving him some matching work with the help of the lens. While he was working on this, I understood he enjoys using the lens a lot. In the coming days we hope we do a lot more of magnifying lens activities. The printable can be downloaded from below.
8.Look alike cards:
This teaches the child to move from left to right and top to bottom. You can read on how to present this activity here. The printable link is mentioned below.
It’s been two weeks since I had a newborn. I wanted to share my positive C-section story with you all. C-section and happy positive in the same sentence? Well, I did have one 🙂
Three years back when I was pregnant with my first born, all the pregnancy books I read spoke about vaginal birth (vaginal birth only).
I was so confident that I would have a vaginal birth and C-section was not the word for me. I assumed and envisioned my birth story like this- Water breaks (from all the English movies I had watched), followed by rushing to the hospital minus the crazy car drive, swishing through the labor room in a stretcher and having the baby within few hours. Who was I kidding?
What actually happened? Water broke early in the morning, we packed our hospital bag of whatever we could grab in our close reach, visited a couple of churches, registered in the hospital reception, walked to a room were people kept doing internal examinations on me and then contractions began but I didn’t progress.
Six hours later while they kept me waiting, I suddenly blacked out and there was panic all over the room. They all pointed to the baby heart rate monitor and spoke louder. Apparently, the baby was going through distress and I was following the doctor’s command like a robot being keyed to do things. There at that moment, my birth plan had gone for a toss out of the window and it took me a full year to get over my traumatic birth story.
Now when I analyze why it took me so long to accept my C-section birth, I have only one answer. I was not prepared for a possible C-section for I was told and made to believe that it was not the norm.
This time around I have a different story to say 🙂
Though I wanted to have a VBAC tried, I also had a birth plan for a C-section if things don’t go as I wanted.
My Ob-Gyn and I spoke about my birth plan and I explained all my expectations to her.
We spoke about the pain management after birth.
We spoke about my fibroid cyst and if they would remove it or let it be.
We spoke about how we could manage the visitors and how to get enough rest in the first few days.
My anesthetist and I discussed about the anesthesia options and the pros and cons of having a general anesthesia.
More importantly, she explained my mom about the 4th day baby blues which was new to her.
On the 18th morning when my VBAC plans was not happening, I gave up and said I am a having a C-section. They drove me to the operation theater. While they moved me on the stretcher, I waved bye to my husband, lil boy and my parents.
They lay me on the bed and gave me five minutes to settle down (like I was going to take an exam ;-)). My anesthetist came in and gave my spinal. The nurses already knew my phobia for the needles and helped me calm down before that. And then the anesthetist talked me through the entire surgery. My gynae told me that the baby should be out in next two minutes and I started to wait like a hawk.
There came the little man and they immediately put him on my breast. I got to touch his forehead, noticed that he had loads of hair and was immediately smitten. J The skin to skin and delayed chord clamping made the C-section worthwhile 🙂 What followed is a blurred memory.
I remember the nurses giving the baby again to me while I was in the recovery room and two nurses put the baby on my breast for his first feed and kick started our breastfeeding journey. The golden hour of breastfeeding is what I read on the internet and insisted that I have it done before they shift me and baby to our room.
The second day the catheter was removed and they had me walking inside the room. I took all the pain killers given and was discharged to home in the next three days. Overall, things were under control and everything went as per plan 🙂
I made peace with my C-section and my scars when I understood that the result is more important than the process when it comes to a newborn. All I wanted was a baby- a healthy baby. I don’t care of how I brought him to this world which would not be a question in ten years from now.
There after three years of mind struggle- I have learnt to let go 🙂
Tips for a positive C-section:
Write your birth plan down and find a gynae who would support it.
Read about delayed chord clamping, skin to skin and breast crawl and see if that is what you would want.
I requested for my gown to be one arm free and open on top so they need not struggle to remove my gown to have skin to skin.
Get to know the anesthesia options and figure out what works for you.
If you would like your partner to be with you, check for the feasibility in the hospital
Let your medical team know prior about your breastfeeding plans.
Take all the pain killers offered to you.
Sit and walk sooner after they get your catheter removed.
Take enough fluids and make sure you rest your back enough.
2016 was a busy year for me. The blog turned into an ecommerce website and since then things have been too hectic.
And then I got pregnant. My positive parenting went for a toss every now and then with my toddler clinging on to my legs or him stuck to me in the name of breastfeeding. Blame it on my hormones 🙂
We all strive to be better parents every day, don’t we? So do I.No matter how hard my previous day was, I try to wipe them off and start afresh the next day. Sometimes I lose my cool even before my morning cup of tea. There are days I behave like a Zen parent, those are far and few in between. I am going to assume that it is a typical mom trait.
With the New Year approaching I wanted to have better goals?
I am not really 100% sure if I would be able to stick to all my goals, but I would at least give it a shot and achieve at least 50% by the end of 2017 🙂
There are going to be loads of testing moments, now that I could pop my second baby anytime now.
To cut to the chase. What are my parenting goals?
Be a positive parent:
I am not someone who is blessed with patience as a virtue. This year I am going to keep calm no matter what and try to pass the positive vibes to my folks at home. In the last few years I have realized that when I am all happy the family stays happy. Basically, I am the lighthouse in our home and my family mirrors my mood. I am going to look on the funny bright side even in worst case scenarios 🙂
Reduce expenditures and save some:
I intend to go minimalistic this year. There would be more of recycling and reusing when it comes to clothes, accessories, toys and books as well. Basically, think multiple times before I shop to bring home new stuff for my kids. That is going to be challenging, but the shopaholic in me needs to have a check 🙂
Reduce screen time for toddler:
I have observed that screen time makes my lil boy aggressive. He clearly doesn’t understand time limits yet and we do not have a stop clock or anything (I doubt if it would even work for us). That leaves us with him watching TV or phones till he dozes off. It is usually a power struggle to switch off the TV and distract him to a toy or book. By that time, I am blaming myself a hundred times for giving the TV remote to him which I wish was not done in the first place. Yes, so screen time it is that we are going to closely monitor.
Have a schedule set:
Okay a deep dark truth revelation moment, we do not have a schedule for my son. Neither I have a schedule nor my husband. We wake up when we cannot tolerate the sun peeping inside our room anymore and sleep when we are fully exhausted to even move an arm. I would like to have a proper bedtime and wakeup time. That should definitely put us in a schedule. I would like to stick to bath before lunch and a park time in the evening. No rigid time plans but I would nevertheless like to try 🙂
Conscious clean eating:
Intend to not skip breakfast and have a balanced diet. To cut down coffee is something I really have to do this year.
More hands free moments:
I spent a lot of my time on my phone last year, trying to be available to most of my customers and mom support groups. This year around, I am uninstalling all the apps from my phone and will try managing them from my laptop. Working on a laptop would give a dedicated time for my online work and help me be mindful with my kids when I am with them.
Be punctual to school:
I am not really proud to say this. My son is almost late to school every day. Every single day. I hate to wake up early and my son follows suit. This year I would like to wake up before him and get some simple breakfast ready and give him that extra time to get ready.
Taking care of myself:
Like they say, you cannot pour from an empty cup. I plan to take care of myself, sleep and eat well and do more trips this year 🙂
Cheers to you all. You guys have a happy, joyous and prosperous year too 🙂
P.S: I am flawed and imperfect. Please do not judge me from what I have written above 🙂
Lately I have been kind of distracted from preparing learning activities for my son .
I have very little time to spend alone with my son and I do not want to miss this golden period with him.
Most certainly want to go back to the good old days (when I started this blog) doing simple activities at home every day. Those activities kept him busy and helped in his learning process.
We have been having more screen time these days and I would want him to cut down on that. Plus, plan ahead for the coming days while I concentrate on other things.
Cut to the chase, we would be doing simple activities curated from around the web. Aiming at 100 activities to start with, minimum one a day. Sounds ambitious! Let me give it a try, with my lil one’s support, I am sure I can.
Also reading one new book a day.
I would plan things ahead for the next ten activities and share the list of printables and supplies needed, so that you could join me in this journey.
The Giving Tree
When I was a little girl, I heard this story for the first time in a church sermon along with my dad. And I remember my dad telling me the same story one night.
But he told me something more to the story I heard. He told me that parents would give everything they have to their kids without expecting anything back in return just to see their kids happy.
It didn’t make much sense to me then. But years later, I can understand every bit of what he said.
And that is what they call, unconditional love.
When I came across this title on Amazon book suggestions, I couldn’t resist from adding it to my cart. I knew my lil boy is only three years old and he cannot really understand the crux of the story. I still ordered this to be reminded of how not to be like the little boy and how to give like the apple tree.
The book cover has a small boy trying to catch the red apple falling from the tree 🙂
The insides of the book and the illustrations are black and white with few words on each page.
I read this book while I was alone, realized one cannot make it to the last page without becoming emotional and be reminded of certain people in your life.
I would suggest this book for 4 years and above who would like to read about compassion, love and acceptance.
Happy reading 🙂