Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teaching Ian

Second borns are pretty lucky little people. By the time they come around, Mommy and Daddy have figured out (or at least think they have) what works and what doesn't. They have saved and collected all of the "things" they used in teaching the first born and can start the learning process earlier with baby #2.

But when dealing with babies, "school time" is not something you schedule into your day. It is something you make a part of everyday life. Every moment can be a learning experience for them.

But we must have a goal. What is it that I want my baby to know?

The other night I sat down and wrote out all of the things I want to teach Ian in the next three months. Will he learn them all? I don't know. He is a quick learner, but I cannot measure his abilities by Addie's abilities. They are two different people with two different personalities. So I will see what Ian has learned in three months and determine from there how much he can do and what his learning speed is.

As soon as Ian began showing recognition to us, we began teaching him the American Sign Language signs for "Mommy" and "Daddy" (Addie made up her own sign for "Sister" and it is too cute for us to change to the correct sign.), "more" and "all done". Ian is now able to sign 3 of the 4 (he just says "da-da-da-da-da" and every one knows who he wants).

Now we are working on the sign for "thank you" He has begun playing the game where he gives you a toy, takes it back, and gives it to you, repeat. When he hands it to us, we all (including Addie) do the sign for "thank you" as we say the phrase. He is not only learning the sign but when to use it (manners).

These are the signs I intend to teach over the next three months:
  • please
  • milk
  • eat
  • I'm sorry
  • bath
  • blanket
  • ball
  • play

Because most baby toys are in the primary colors, it is easy to use these to teach colors. Ian has a set of nesting cups that m dear friend Cathy R gave us for Addie. It was a favorite for Addie and now it is for Ian. While we play with them, we tell him the colors of the cups he is holding or that we are showing him. The same goes for the lego blocks pictured above.

I am hoping to teach him the follow colors over the next three months:
  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • purple
  • black
  • white
  • brown

Shapes are also a part of everything. On the high chair in the photo above or the doll house furniture in the photo below, there are circles and squares. Using everyday items that he loves playing with, I can easily teach him some of the basic shapes. Circles, squares and triangles are my goals.

And of course, songs are great for teaching babies how to follow visual directions, copying, and they look so adorable playing along with songs. It is also a great way to start introducing them to Jesus.

These are the five songs I plan on singing with Ian over and over and over and.......
  • "Zaccheaus"
  • "Deep and Wide"
  • "If You're Happy and You Know It"
  • "Itsy Bitsy Spider"
  • "Head and Should"
Babies can learn. God wired them to. So take advantage of this time with them.


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