It’s June once again, and I bet most of our parents who have schoolchildren have been working doubly hard in preparation for their kids’ school. I think kids should prepare, too, by setting their body clocks to usual school mode, and the usual school routine, especially the first-timers.

Have you heard about Singapore Math and Science? I heard some schools are already adapting this method. Hmmm makes me wonder what method will be taught when Aria is in school.

As you have read in my previous post, we didn’t push through with toddler school. I know, it’s not that expensive and just a hop away from home, but Aria might not be prepared for it. Besides, toddler school is just my excuse for taking away Aria from home. She has 24/7 access to TV, DVDs, iPad, and internet at home. She does have playmates on the condo playground but she could be really makulit especially when she’s sleepy.

To make up for the supposed two hours three times a week toddler school schedule, we make each day spent with Aria a learning experience. Thus, the Schatzi Homeschool is born!

We bought additional iPad applications like Little Reader and Little Math (www.brillkids.com), bought books, toys, musical instruments, DVDs. We repeatedly sang songs, danced with her, recited the alphabet and counted to twenty. She’s got an amazing memory, anticipating the next story sequence or reciting her flash cards and repeating what she hears.

So far, at 21 months, here’s what Aria can do:

Language: simple two-word phrases of instructions like Mommy, drink/eat/dede/sleep/watch, Open please, Sit down, Let’s go, Come. Says her name as Ananee Acantara (sometimes raising her hand then says Prishent! – just like in the TVC), completed the alphabet and words that start with those letters. Here’s the alphabet song which she memorized in a few days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BELlZKpi1Zs
What’s amazing with Aria is you have to catch a perfect timing for her to learn new things. Like recently, we were able to teach her opposites like up and down, small and big, in and out.

Numbers: counts to ten very clearly, tries to hold up fingers in twos or threes, counts 11-30 but skipping, she can count five to one and says “blastoff,” just like the Little Einsteins

Music: plays the maracas, tambourine, egg shaker and toy trumpet well in constant tempo of about four to eight beats, now she’s trying the soprano recorder, sings Twinkle Little Star completely and other nursery rhymes with a few missed words, has tried strumming the guitar to the tune of Twinkle Little Star in almost perfect rhythm with Daddy fretting the chords, can identify sounds of trumpet, guitar, drums, and piano (just last Sunday during children’s choir rehearsals!) when she hears it, can mimic how an instrument is played

Gross motor: walks, runs, often carelessly so we make sure she’s a hug’s reach from us, can kick a ball strongly, can climb in and out of the crib, can jump a little though not feet together in mid-air, claps, shakes body, dances

Fine motor: blowing, toothbrushing, combing hair, flipping books and magazines, holds crayons, positions her fingers in the recorder, shakes maracas and shakers, playing the piano with one finger each key–sometimes!

Values: we teach her the Filipino “mano po” which she does with the elders at home, she packs away her toys…and takes out more toys after a split second, we teach her limits–which she isn’t that good at yet. She always wants things her way at this toddler stage, which I will from now on call as Terrific Twos because she is terrific in her own way. Since it’s Independence Day on June 12, we bought her a small Philippine flag and had been singing the national anthem every morning. Now she puts her right hand on her tummy while waving the flag mightily on the left hand!

Prayer time: says the sign of the cross (she once said while she was confined in the hospital– Father, Son, Holy Sipit, Amen. Getting there, I thought) but still doesn’t attempt to do it, recites Angel of God one new word a day, morning prayer — joins in certain words like Papa Jesus (not that clear yet), day, me, Amen.

All of these we do upon waking up, lunch time when I’m at home, and before sleeping. More learning done with her Nonna — my mom, who is so patiently taking care of my rambunctious toddler when we’re at work of have church activities. Weekends and holidays are dedicated to Aria — we eat out, go to a different place so she could discover some more, hear Mass (though oftentimes she’d just run around the church, saying hello to other kids), watch shows and concerts when it’s outdoors (she’s really talkative and reacts loudly so she can’t go inside a theater yet).

Forget toddler school! Schatzi Homeschool has started school year 2012!

~ Touringkitty

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