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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kumon Workbooks


Buga and I have been enjoying "school time" every day. She looks forward to it SO much. She enjoys it. She thrives on it. She asks for it. I love that she is so excited to sit down and work on critical skills. I like that it is one-on-one time for just her and I. I love the look she gets when she concentrates hard on a task. I love the look she gets when she knows she did a careful, thoughtful job.

Right now we work in three different Kumon workbooks. Tracing, Sticker/Pasting, and Coloring. I prepare a couple pages from each workbook at each "sit down" - at her new desk....which she also LOVES. Sometimes it takes us 15 minutes....sometimes it takes us 40....depending on how many pages. She always wants to do "more" but I make it clear how many pages we are doing at the beginning, because a. I want her to continue to be engaged and excited every time we sit down for this special time and b. I couldn't keep up with the cost of doing a whole workbook every day of the week! That's how much she loves it <3

If you are not familiar with these books, they offer different skill books in different age ranges. Each book starts out "easy" and progressively gets more difficult as the pages go on and your little ones skills further develop. They offer parent advice along the way, to.....focus more on the process than the outcome, what to talk about, etc. I find them easy to use, wonderful graphically, and best of all Buga LOVES them. You can find many of them on Amazon as part of the 4-for-3 promotion.


Here she is working on her sticker pasting skills. You would think: so what? They are just stickers. But do you see the fine motor skills required to pull them off the sheet? It's intense....find it, find the corner, peel it, try to peel it without breaking it, pull it off, think about where you want it to go, and try to stick it in just the right place.... There are a lot of pincer grasp motions involved in that "simple" task. Sometimes she can get frustrated, but I just put an emotional label on it..."I know you are feeling frustrated.....I know you can do it" ... and try to get her to "take her time" ---- of course, I will help her with the things she really struggles with, but sometimes she is just too impatient for her own good. Her mind moves so fast and she wants to keep up....

video

We explore the word of the - scene, item, picture, person, etc. and we talk about it more. About the picture itself, about the colors, numbers, counting, where things will go.....if we have ever done/used/been/were like what's going on in the picture. These little interactive conversations also build communication skills, description skills, vocabulary....so much wonderful learning is jam-packed into our "school time." Even if it's not school, to take time out and play - and learn - one on one is amazing. She has grown so much and it is beautiful to watch. I miss her baby-ness, but also embrace this fascinating and wonderful stage of growing, learning, exploring, asking....and asking. Her world scope is growing in leaps and bounds. I am so honored to be a part of it :)

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