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What We're Learning…

I’ve been asked to share my daily educational programs with the boys.  Well, I don’t really have one.  The whole idea of early childhood education is to teach whenever the children are happy and willing to learn so a lot depends on the boys.  If they’re tired or cranky, then there’s really not much point trying to teach them anything.  But here’s what we do when they’re interested:

What We’re Reading

Everyday, I try to read to them at least three books from a variety of sources.  Currently, we’re reading from:

I also try to include at least one book on character building from our newly acquired series: Help Me Be Good, A First Look at, or Let’s Talk About.  The good thing is that Gavin enjoys the stories from these books and is often keen to read more than one story about character development.  To encourage Gavin to want to hear more, I usually round up the reading session with a few Thomas books.  These days, Gavin is much more open to reading books other than Thomas but Thomas gets his attention every time.  Although I’m usually reading to Gavin, Gareth listens in by being present.  These days it is too difficult to get him to sit still so I let him play while we read.

What We’re Flashing

We do a lot of flashcards.  I try to come up with new sets everyday but it is tough to keep ahead of the kids because it usually means staying up every night after the kids have gone to bed.  I usually try to cover Math, Reading and General Knowledge.  These may be the Math, Reading, and Bits of Intelligence cards I bought from Doman, or it maybe the ones I made on the computer.  Gareth learns Maths from the red dot cards.  Gavin is learning Maths using characters from Thomas and Friends as counters.  For reading, we flash both words and pictures, although we sometimes only show words.

For my own Bits of Intelligence cards, I usually take the subjects that we read about from “Tell Me Why” and try to expand on them with pictures.  For instance, for the subject on blood we covered red corpuscles, white blood cells – neutrophils, basophiles, eosinophiles, granulocytes, and monocytes – platelets, fibrinogen, etc.

What We’re Doing

These activities vary from day to day according to Gavin’s preference but here is a list of stuff we get around to:

I intend to incorporate more right brain activities but for now, linking memory, wink, memory games, and flashcards are about the extent of the right brain activities that we do at home.

What We’re Watching

Yes, we also watch TV.  It is usually Thomas and Friends or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I’ve tried to reduce the Play House Disney Channel since I don’t have time to screen what he’s watching these days and there appears to be quite a number of new programs showing these days that I am not familiar with.

Gavin is at school in the mornings up until lunch.  Despite having cut back his schedule to half day, it is still a real challenge to do as many of these activities with him as I can.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “What We're Learning…

  1. Hi
    I just cant stop reading and following up with your daily activities that you are doing for your child.I m very glad that you are sharing your wonderful ideas with busy working moms like me here that do not have much time to think of what educationals products should we get to teach our child.Once again thank you and i am learning a lot from you.Mind sharing your opinion on what sort of self-play educational products i should get for my 18mth baby. I leave him at home w the nanny and most of the time he is in the playpen alone. I leave him a baby laptop and some books. I think he should be bored of them ,having them since 8months old.what sort of learning game i can put in the playpen for him to self-play and learn?
    Apart from that, when i m back from work, i usually have a 15min session on flashcards with him and before he goes to bed i read him Peter and Jane. Everynight the same book.I came to know there is this little reader program, and WINK (as shown in your earlier post), mainly all for R B activities.ANy opinions on these and is it worth it to subscribe? These days, i think a lot of parents are flashing flashcard using powerpoint . But from Shichida they still use the manual cards. Does the manual flashing has a better input for the human touch ?
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Keep posting and sharing !!



  2. I’m so glad you find them useful 🙂

    For self-play educational products for an 18 month baby, I would recommend stuff like wooden blocks, Duplo (or Megablocks – which is the more affordable version of Duplo), wooden puzzles – like the Melissa and Doug ones, but look around for cheaper ones because Melissa and Doug are very expensive. Any toys with things to explore are great – like these activity cubes:

    It is good for your baby to have playtime alone but it is also important for him to have contact time with people. Even though you give that to him when you come home from work, I think it would be great if your nanny could spend some time with him during the day. Even if she’s just talking to him in her language, or singing to him, or making silly sounds. Interaction of any kind with a carer is very important for a child’s development.

    At night, try reading different books. It can be anything – even your own books. If there’s a book you have to read for work, personal development, etc. just read it out aloud for your baby to listen. Listening to all kinds of literature, not just simple stories and books intended for children will broaden your child’s understand of language.

    Flashcards on powerpoint are easier – they are easier to make than the paper ones, they are easier to share with other parents, they are easier to flash (you can do it with one finger while you hold your child on your lap), and if you’re environmentally friendly then it saves paper since children go through flashcards so quickly and you have to make new ones all the time.

    Of course there are down sides to powerpoint. For one, it is not face to face so your child doesn’t really get to see your lips which is part of how a baby learns speech. Baby doesn’t see your facial expression, etc.

    There will always be a human element no matter how you decide to teach your children as long as you are present. It’s all up to you and how you vary your voice, hug your child, etc. The only time the human touch is missing is if it is a DVD and you put it on for your child while you go off to do other things.

    I do Doman flashcards – the kits that I bought – and powerpoint flashcards. We are almost through the entire Doman Reading Kit. We’re up to couplets, after this there are phrases, then sentences and then the book. But the Doman kit is not extensive – there are so many more words that I feel my children should learn that aren’t in the kit, which is why I need to use powerpoint.

    Little Reader is a good program to subscribe to if you don’t have time to make your own powerpoint slides. It makes the whole process easier. Now they also have hard copy flashcards that comes with their programs so you get the best of both worlds. With the current program they have, I would get Little Reader over the Doman reading kit, and Little Math over the Doman Math kit.


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