Saturday, January 21, 2012

They really can read & do math before they're 1!!

Wow, I can't believe it has been two weeks.  In my mind, it's only been a few hours, as I compose several new posts each day, yet don't actually get to the computer to share - doh!

Anyway, here I am, and here's what I'll share before calling it a night.

Sadly, we don't work that much on teaching math at the moment.  We have been focusing more on reading, but yes, we'll do a few minutes of math every couple days.  And while I realize that our (as in all children!) are brilliantly amazing, I am still wonderfully surprised when I hear Joey reading, especially new words!

Today, my mother randomly asked him a series of addition problems.  Very simple addition.  Things like, "Joey, what's 1+1?" Of course, he gave her the answers!  I didn't know he knew that.  After watching the video, I know that I need to start doing more with both, Joey & Kaelie!  The possibilities are exciting!

I'll keep you better posted ;-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Joining a Homeschool Group - SEEDS of Grace

We've been receiving information from HEAV (Home Educator's Association of VA) since I added us to their mailing list after picking up a magazine from them April 2010 at the International Children's Festival.  Today, I received an email that we are able to join our first session at

Here's hoping it goes well :-)  They're only $30/year and I'm hoping it will be a good social outlet for the kids.  They said that they teach letters, colors, etc for his age group, so it'll be great for Kaelie and I'll take some additional materials for Joey. I'll update later.

Learning Piano with SoftMozart

I called and spoke with Hellene Hiner yesterday, creator of SoftMozart because I was looking for a trial of her program.  Turns out, she has one you can link to from the main page by clicking on the yellow "TRY NOW' in the middle of the page lol I don't know why I missed it before!  I told her that it doesn't look like a link, just graphic text.

Anyway, we've officially started the journey.  Prior to now it has just been playing, dancing and singing to a variety of music; some youtube videos added to our playlist that mention theory; and the trial lessons from KinderBach, which he did enjoy.

So, the journey begins.  All we did, since we're out of town, was practice the notes duration game last night.  He liked it, but didn't quite get it.  We don't have a routine that we keep while we're out of town, sadly enough, but we'll definitely add it to our schedule when we return home.

Looking forward to chronicle his progress - and Kaelie's too :-)

2012 Learning Goals for J & K

Here's a paste of an email I sent out to the Gifted Village a few days ago.  Maybe it will be of some inspiration to you :-)

I am so ecstatic that you have decided to join our Gifted Village!! 

It is truly a passion of mine to learn and share everything that I know with you all about how amazing our kids are.  There's something about sharing the experience with others who are like-minded that really gets me energized - I feel blessed and honored that together we can encourage one another to joyfully, lovingly encourage and watch our children's talents emerge! I look forward to all the wonders that we will witness this year, especially when it comes to our little ones.  On that note, I'll share my list for 2012 in hopes that it will get your dream machines to turn with all the possibilities that can manifest this year and that you will return the favor by sharing!  So, here goes:

FYI: I have two kids - Joey (29mo) and Kaelie (8 mo)
HEALTH & HAPPINESS are a given on the wishlist for my kids. Aside from that, by this time next year, I would like us to grow in the following areas:

READING: I'd like for Joey to be reading at 2nd grade level and Kaelie to have several sight words under her belt and ready for phonics. (Joey has already started writing and reading - phonetically and sight words)
WRITING: I would love for Joey to be able to write all of his numbers and letters clearly & for Kaelie to know how to spell her name. I think we will start a journal with him - aww!
MATH: I would love for Joey to have his basic math operations (PEMDAS) understood well and for Kaelie to know her numbers 1-100, forward and backwards.
GEOGRAPHY: I'd like for Kaelie to be able to point out the various continents, countries and states, and for Joey to know the capitols too, as well as learn about great US places to visit.
LANGUAGES: I'd like Joey to keep up his ASL, Spanish & French, and to add to his Japanese. I'd like Kaelie to be fluent in all four.
ART: I'd like for Joey's drawings to become more realistic, and for his appreciation for different artists and styles to continue to grow. For Kaelie, I'd love her to have her colors understood and for her to start EK (encyclopedic knowledge, doman inspired) along with her brother.
BODY: I'd like both of them to know how to swim, and for Joey to continue with gymnastics and soccer and Kaelie to start by year end. I'd love to get them started in some sort of martial arts by this time next year, as well as learning yoga and breathing techniques.
MUSIC: I'd love for Joey to learn to read music and play basic piano this year and for Kaelie to have a growing interest and be ready to start. Depending on how the year goes, maybe violin too.
INTERPERSONAL: I hope Joey starts asking 'Why' by then :-) Also, I'm hoping Kaelie is using her potties regularly by Dec 2012. And for Kaelie to be able to point to her various body parts and for Joey to finish learning the parts of the body - skelaton, muscles, organs.
INTRAPERSONAL: I'd like for Joey to keep learning about emotions and for Kaelie to develop confidence.

PATRIOTISM: It'd be cute to see them signing the pledge. And to know the bill of rights, star spangled banner, and a few other songs that we currently have on our playlist that Joey's picking up.

SPIRITUALLY: For both - 10 Commandments, Lords' Prayer, We're getting through the Bible stories - kids version now ... keep on, keep on. FYI: Eventually, yes, I'd like them to learn about different faiths, as well as energies, chakras, etc.  I believe in God, but I went full circle in my understanding of God, which meant learning about other faiths too to better understand my own.

Phew, what an attainable list - only because they're so little and capable, though! lol It seems like I have quite a busy year ahead of me, especially considering that this is only a list for the kids. And I'm sure that I've left some things off!

Well, I hope my goals prompt you to reply and get the conversation going!  Tell us what your kids are up to and how you hope to see them grow this year.

Looking forward to meeting you all soon!
Marlita/bka Joey & Kaelie's Mom :-)

The Color of Music with 'Notes of a Different Color' & 'Synthesia'

I love the rainbow piano concept as a starting point for kids, but I've had problems finding anything to use that keeps the colors consistent with roygbiv.  Piano Wizard's colors are all over the place and SoftMozart uses symbols.  But, I did come across these videos and have been playing them and both kids love them (ages 8 and 29 months). I've contacted the creator and he says he's interested in doing more as well as some apps, he just wants to be sure that there's interest.

That said, here's the link.  Enjoy:

Another neat one:

And here's a really neat vid produced with Synthesia. WARNING: Profanity Involved, however, I still found it funny and fantastic, especially at 0:34 seconds. Enjoy!

'TOUCH' - Math: The Series

I don't watch too much tv, so I think, but I must say: I am really looking forward to watching this show!!  I get so excited by numbers, patterns, codes, etc.  I think about how much other generations were able to accomplish because they had/made time to figure things out.  If we can take 1% of the population and raise them to be curious, I believe so many amazing things could be deciphered.  Anyway, check out the clip.  Kiefer Sutherland also did the series 24. This one is about the Fibanacci code.

How it relates to nature, according to wikipedia today:
In nature
Yellow Chamomile head showing the arrangement in 21 (blue) and 13 (aqua) spirals. Such arrangements involving consecutive Fibonacci numbers appear in a wide variety of plants.
Fibonacci sequences appear in biological settings,[6] in two consecutive Fibonacci numbers, such as branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruitlets of a pineapple,[7] the flowering of artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone.[8] In addition, numerous poorly substantiated claims of Fibonacci numbers or golden sections in nature are found in popular sources, e.g., relating to the breeding of rabbits, the seeds on a sunflower, the spirals of shells, and the curve of waves.[49] The Fibonacci numbers are also found in the family tree of honeybees.[50]
Przemysław Prusinkiewicz advanced the idea that real instances can in part be understood as the expression of certain algebraic constraints on free groups, specifically as certain Lindenmayer grammars.[51]
Illustration of Vogel's model for n=1 ... 500
A model for the pattern of florets in the head of a sunflower was proposed by H. Vogel in 1979.[52] This has the form
\theta = \frac{2\pi}{\phi^2} n,\  r = c \sqrt{n}
where n is the index number of the floret and c is a constant scaling factor; the florets thus lie on Fermat's spiral. The divergence angle, approximately 137.51°, is the golden angle, dividing the circle in the golden ratio. Because this ratio is irrational, no floret has a neighbor at exactly the same angle from the center, so the florets pack efficiently. Because the rational approximations to the golden ratio are of the form F(j):F(j + 1), the nearest neighbors of floret number n are those at n ± F(j) for some index j which depends on r, the distance from the center. It is often said that sunflowers and similar arrangements have 55 spirals in one direction and 89 in the other (or some other pair of adjacent Fibonacci numbers), but this is true only of one range of radii, typically the outermost and thus most conspicuous.[53]

[edit] The bee ancestry code

Fibonacci numbers also appear in the description of the reproduction of a population of idealized honeybees, according to the following rules:
  • If an egg is laid by an unmated female, it hatches a male or drone bee.
  • If, however, an egg was fertilized by a male, it hatches a female.
Thus, a male bee will always have one parent, and a female bee will have two.
If one traces the ancestry of any male bee (1 bee), he has 1 parent (1 bee), 2 grandparents, 3 great-grandparents, 5 great-great-grandparents, and so on. This sequence of numbers of parents is the Fibonacci sequence. The number of ancestors at each level, Fn, is the number of female ancestors, which is Fn−1, plus the number of male ancestors, which is Fn−2.[54] (This is under the unrealistic assumption that the ancestors at each level are otherwise unrelated.)

Loving it!  I don't assume that my children will love math, patterns, numbers, and solving problems to the same degree as me, but I think it would be neat if they grow to appreciate its beauty in the universe. :-)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Music to My Ears!

I just have to share that it fills me with joy when I hear Joey randomly start singing, counting, practicing his phonics, imagining stories, recalling details to things from days long passed, etc.  He's amazing!  He's amazing because he is my child!  And if you are a parent, KNOW that your child was born brilliantly amazing too!  I'm so in love with my children and can't wait to get to know them more as they grow.  Kaelie is already creating beautiful sounds, having already mastered her ba, la, da, ma, and a couple other random sounds. Go, Kaelie!

PS - Fill your child with useful knowledge.  Does my son know the Mickey hot dog song?  Yes! But his obsession for Mickey, thanks to summer visits with my mother, have creatively been geared towards a 'subtle' shift to watching Mickey now in Chinese, thanks to yours truly here.  If you're curious about what comes out of his mouth when he sings, as his mind is trying to playfully sort out all of the information he receives in the day, then head on over to youtube and check out our playlists.  What's been playing from Joey's mouth this week?  The solfege (do re mi fa so la ti do - do ti la so fa mi re do), the abc's, the phonic abc's, the numbers 1 - 100 (And YES, I was ecstatic to see him attempt it with the abacus today during free play time, which is just about all the time these days), the A-T AT song, 50 nifty united states song, the periodic tables song, the first 10 elements song, and ring around the rosies ... i'm sure there are a couple that i'm missing, but that gives an idea of what is coming out of my little joey jukebox ;-) 

And since I didn't say it before - or did I? - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! This year is a blessing!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Art of Writing

As a child, although sensitive, I was drawn to logic. I enjoyed math because I understood it's logic and was not a fan of history nor writing because I slipped through the cracks on a few lessons and could not make sense of it. Keep in mind, this was in elementary school. In middle school I loved grammar - it was logical, but was still not a fan of writing, even though I enjoyed reading. 

To be gifted means to be filled with the love of learning and the skills and drive to pursue what inspires you, wherever it may lead.

I was excited to read the professor's description. He was taught to read before he was three and grew into a gifted man - a life-long learner!

This article was found after searching for the artist of the image in the previous post, but Theodore's rhythmic writing was poetry to my ears, and I was compelled to share. It reminded me of 9th grade when my teacher continuously had us write. Writing, like other gifts, takes time to hone. No one is born playing beautiful music. It takes practice. I hope to share this love with my children too.

Nurturing Multiple Intelligences

So I was uploading pics of the kids and nouced that I had the first pic stored on my phone. Just the pic. No info. And I love this pic for so many reasons, and naturally want to use it for ny school, but need permission first. So, I did a search and while I couldn't find the pic, I was fortunate enough to find the second one online, on some obscure site. Thankfully, it does give credit, so hopefully I can track down the artist and he will allow me to use it.

Teaching Styles to Consider

Fingerprints Tied to Personality?

Just ran across this site and it made me wonder. In summary, this company claims that the clues to our talents are in our fingerprints. As you may know, I believe in early learning and don't believe that a child, if given the proper attention, can't be taught music, manners, math and reading well before 5, resulting in an innate understanding and love for these fields. Granted, their forte may still lie elsewhere, but the fact that they can be gifted in various avenues based on how we stimulate them early on, I think, contradicts this fingerprint idea. It does make me wonder about the while nature vs nurture debate, though. Would love to know your thoughts.