Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Nicky is Blowing My Mind

With his alphabet skills! The kid has somehow learned all but 5 of 26 of his letters! And 3 of those 5 he just mixes up and sometimes gets right and the other two he just has a hard time saying. I am so surprised because we sing the alphabet song a bit but really, I have not been working on it with him at all.

You know how he learned them? I swear it was the little preschool computer my MIL bought him last Xmas. For the most part, he was just using it to copy Mom and Dad typing on their computers, but in the last few months he's figure out the Letters and Numbers function where he pushes a key and the computer says the letter and 2 words the begin with that letter. Nicky basically repeated what the computer said. Computer: "B.....butterfly......banjo..... Please press a button!" Nicky: "B!!!!!!" and then presses another button, and so it continues. Cute, but I didn't realize he was actually putting it all together and learning the letters! Between that and his Leap Frog alphabet magnets that he uses the same way, he taught himself the alphabet. He's walking around pointing out letters and naming them wherever he goes. Crazy!

It miffs me a bit that an electronic toy was a more efficient teacher for my child than I was but, really, it worked because Nicky was working at his own pace and because of his own interest. Completely self led learning. So cool!

I am so surprised since Nicky is still having so much trouble with pronunciation and his vocab is not that great, but both are getting so much better every single day now. He is really taking off:) And I feel like all I really need to do it get out of his way, LOL. I keep trying to explain to my impatient husband that so much of child development is preprogrammed and biological and each kid has his/her own pace. As parents, we need to follow their lead. They will show us what they are interested in and what they want to work on and what they are still struggling with and need more time to master. Each kid will have different skills they excel in and others they lag a bit behind on. The range of what is "normal" development is so wide and varies so much between each kid.

Nicky is also working on his numbers and shapes and colors. He's got counting 1 to 5 down now (up from 1 to 3) and tries to get to 10 but often gets fouled up in the order. He likes the concept of counting (1, 2, 3, 4, 5!!!!!!) more than identifying the written numbers themselves. His favorite color seems to be yellow right now and its the color he identifies correctly the most often, but he really doesn't have colors down yet. Shapes he's bit farther on. He identifies ovals and circles and stars and sometimes squares but has troubles with rectangles and triangles but part of that is not being able to pronounce those words. He really has trouble saying 3 syllable words. Same thing with 3 word sentences so I guess that makes sense. He usually shortens both to 2 words or 2 syllables. Now, if I break down the word and have him repeat each syllable, he can pronounce all 3 most of the time, but still can't put them together.

Like I said, though, he's making so much progress! He loves reading books, and he is really showing a love for learning and doing new things. Its so much fun! He loves the pull-apart board books on numbers, shapes, and colors that I bought a long time ago at Target in the dollar bins. You can't beat that! And they are small and fit in the diaper bag. Nice!

We've spent the last 2 weeks traveling and visiting family for the holidays and he is really thriving on all the social interaction. He's still a little social butterfly:) I have noticed a jump in his vocabulary just in the past week alone here at my parent's house (we're hanging out for a week here while I work on my dissertation). He's even been sitting up in his sleep and saying words or just talking in his sleep. Too funny!

Nicky really moves faster than I do. No surprise there, he's 2, right?! But really what I mean is that his personality is very social and active and he doesn't like to stick with one activity for too long before trying something new, even for a 2 year old. He also really likes to be out and about. This can be hard for his homebody mama. So, for the new year, I have resolved to get us out of the house on a more consistent basis and to get Nicky the social interaction he craves more often. I have no idea how I'm gonna juggle this with my dissertation work, but I'm gonna work on it because he clearly needs it. I know I could probably use more social interaction, too, since I really really miss all my friends down in KC and all the activities and get togethers Nicky and I had down there before me moved.

I'll have to get a video up of Nicky identifying his letters for you all to enjoy:)

1 comment:

Sarah, Nathen, Aiden, and Evan said...

Yea it is amazing how our little ones learn. It seems Aiden learns something new everyday and I wonder how...they are sponges soaking up every little thing!!! I thought I'd share with you that I didnt talk until I was 3, like you said children have develop at their own pace. I wanted to share that with you just as an example of that, and that you have nothing to worry about--easier said than done as parents:)