Warning: This post is full of shameless bragging about my super smart children! If you are not a grandparent, aunt or uncle, you have our permission to skip this post if the nature of such contents makes you ill.
Caleb, our first grader, is doing so well academically. He is reading at a mid-second grade reading level - not bad for the youngest kid in the class! He is bringing home chapter books to read every night. He also takes every possible opportunity to write - usually stories about and letters for his dad. The other day he wrote a book called "Me and My Dad" and even dedicated it to him on the inside cover. The storyline went something like this: I love my dad. We are best friends. We like to go bike riding together. We have a lot of fun when we play... (Now contrast that to the last time he wrote about me: My mom is so mean. She makes me work all the time!) Caleb is also a super math whiz, doing addition and subtraction in his head at the dinner table for me! He really likes to do math - likely because his teacher makes it really fun for him with lots of manipulatives.
Camille will be four right before Christmas. I wanted to put her in preschool this year, but since we've been trying to move we held off and the spots in the school we liked filled up. I went to check out the other preschool in town and was very unimpressed. We'd have to put her in the three year old class, which is fine except their goal is to get the kids to start writing their names by the end of the year. She's been doing that for months now. There were some other things that unsettled me about the school so we've opted to keep her home for now. Fortunately she is happy with it and told me that she never wants to leave me. Anyway, I figure since she's home with me all day and interested then I should maybe teach her how to read. She already knows her letters and the sounds that most of them make. We've had a couple of reading lessons so far and she is amazing. She can look at a word, and read it by saying the sounds all of the letters make until she blends them together to actually make the word. We have this fun puzzle where you have to match the picture with the word and she did about half of it today with very little help from me. If I give her a letter, she can rattle off a list of words that start with that sound, have that sound in it and words that rhyme with those words. She loves to rhyme.
Chloe, at 17 months, is finally talking! She has been communicating very well with body language for months but now is taking the leap into oral communication. The following is the short list of words she has started to say in the last week: bye-bye, hi, yes, no, mama, dada, Caleb, please, thank you, more, noodle, cracker, apple, milk, juice, book, ball, baby, I love you, cup, Nana, Papa, cheese, all done, up, down, bath, banana, cook, color, paper, bubble, water, car... I had forgotten how quickly babies learn. They're pretty amazing people!