Sunday, December 27, 2009


On one hand, Christmas week was very busy with Christmas preparations. On the other hand, I was home, so we had more time. Since we had Anna, we always celebrate Christmas at home with our three closest friends who also don’t have any immediate family nearby. I wish the whole time leading to Christmas stopped being so stressful. The stress definitely rubbed off on our daughter who was excited and nervous at the same time. We arrived to this “wonderful” phase of “terrific three” when she breaks into tears every time things are not “just so”. It makes any activity more challenging since she gets very upset when her projects don’t match her self-imposed standards. However, there are things that are going well, and I will write about them today.Little Puff

Reading and Phonics. I started to add early readers to our phonics exercises every evening. Now we do one blend from Progressive Phonics each evening (we finished book 10 from Intermediate series this week) and then she reads me (rather fluently) about 10 pages from Margaret Hillert early readers. They are rather ancient, but they are beautifully illustrated and not as mind-numbingly boring as Bob books or Dick and Jane. I am really looking for advice on other good early readers, because Hillert sight vocabulary is very controlled and eventually reading more books might become not so interesting for my daughter.


Prewriting. Anna’s writing box that I put together got some love this week. She was more interested in it when I put some cards and envelopes in it. She came with an idea of drawing a card for her friend and decorated the envelope. As with almost everything else, she is more interested in the activity if she is not presented with a blank page. For example, if I draw a circle on the page, she will draw a stick figure, but she won’t attempt it on her own.

The Story of Christmas

Social studies. History, geography and other subjects revolved heavily around Christmas and its history. I wrote about this book in the book reviews, and we both enjoyed reading it. By the end of the season Anna was saying confidently that Christmas is about love, giving and babies. Good enough for a three year old. We also watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town from her Christmas Classics DVD, and she hated it. She found it very scary and wanted the DVD donated at once “to children without parents”.


Fine Motor Skills. Following our recommendations, Oma and Opa gave their granddaughter Baufix Starter Set for Christmas. I just love this building set, because it’s great both for logical skills and for fine motor skills. Anna and papa spent a lot of time playing with it already, and she gets to practice a lot of new fine motor movements – screwing with a screwdriver, tightening with a wrench, selecting things of the right size, etc. I will definitely be reviewing this toy in more detail in my future posts.


MaryAnne said...

I was very tempted to by a toy similar to that Baufix set while we were in Austria... I think I've seen something similar at IKEA for a lower price, so I'll look into that the next time we are there.

Emma is increasingly interested in reading, so I think we'll start Progressive Phonics in the new year; I imagine I'll blog how it goes. Thanks for the recommendation, and I would love to hear about any other interesting early reader books!

Autumn said...

Something you can try for next year is setting a timeline for yourself. Starting soon after Thanksgiving, make a plan to have cards ordered by x-date, mailed by x-date, presents bought by x-date, etc. Also, just say "no" to social obligations that aren't completely necessary or totally enjoyable.

I did this for the first time this year and I can honestly say I had an enjoyable Christmas season. We didn't go to all the parties we normally do and didn't participate in some other holiday events, but we were able to slow down and enjoy ourselves for the first time in years!

btw, that Baufix set looks really interesting! So funny that she wanted her DVD donated to "kids without parents"!

Debbie said...

The Baufix looks very neat for fine motor skills.

I am with you on the "Terrific Threes". Selena for the first time in her life just melts down over the littlest thing.

How funny she wanted that movie donated. Selena didn't care for any Christmas movies, and really not many Christmas books.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

I've never seen the Baufix starter kit, but it looks great! I'm off to check it out.

You had a really busy week! I love that she wanted to draw a card for her friend. So sweet!

Ticia said...

You might like It's a subscription site for about $60 a year, I think, but you can download and print as many books as you want to during that time, and they have THOUSANDS at all different levels (going from pre-k up to 5th grade). I got a subscription last year, and I love it. I need to spend some time downloading before my subscription runs out, and they're constantly adding more to their site.

Susana said...

I am amazed you still did "school" this week with Christmas--good for you! And, you accomplished alot too.

Thanks for including the link to the Baufix set. I've never heard of it, but will check it out.

Anna's reading skills are awesome as always!