.@TeddyOutReady: July 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

K5 Learning Program Review

By the time we discovered K5 Learning program, Teddy already learned numbers and the alphabet.I was very excited to find out what K5 Learning program had to offer to preschooler level students. Of course, we had some learning books and dvds but none of them gave Teddy a feeling of a real school learning process with assessments, lessons, progress charts on the first most important subjects as reading and math.

I like this system because we can have classes any time of the day, week-end or working day at home. The time we spend learning totally depends on us, we can learn then play, go to sleep and then have our classes again. This flexibility is a great addition to the simple and interactive lessons.

Teddy loved animated characters and was eager to hear and watch them again and again. Since Teddy was too little to use the program independently so I had to teach him some computer basics too.

Teddy’s favorites were Basic Sight Words, Reading Vocabulary and Phonics. More difficult were Reading Comprehension Sequencing and Story Element. Math facts were interesting to learn too.

We did not take Spelling lessons; it turned out to be very difficult for Teddy (I think a little bit later).
All the interactive characters are very supportive and encouraging.They are not irritated and ready to repeat the task multiple times.

Overall K5 is a great program, me and Teddy like its design, interactivity and easy control features. There are over 3,000 online lessons and activities so no way to be bored. And as Teddy does not go to school yet K5Learning Program is a perfect learning tool at home.

 K5 Learning (www.k5learning.com) is an online reading and math program for kids from kindergarten through grade 5. Our intent is to help kids build reading, math and study skills through independent study. K5 is designed for home use and can be used for after-school, weekend and summertime supplemental study or in conjunction with a homeschooling program.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Teddy Little Fish

When is the right time to introduce infant to the swimming?

We thought it should be around 1 year or so. We were surprised to learn that our friends started taking swimming lessons when their daughter turned 4 months. So when Teddy was 7 months old and we decided to give swimming a try.

The first available program was Parent-and-Tot 1 and we started in fall 2010 our aqua-journey. Teddy liked water from the beginning and by the end of fall session (10 classes, 30 min. per week) got used to water and felt quite comfortable in the pool.

Parent-and-Tot 2 requires child to be at least 1 year old and we had to attend Parent-and-Tot 1 again in winter 2010 to strengthen Teddy's swimming skills. When we returned to the pool after Christmas holidays, we realised that Teddy forgot everything that he could do just month ago. Moreover he cried first two lessons. However after fifth lesson he got all previously skills back and started learning new one.

In spring, fall 2011 and winter 2012 Teddy took three Parent-and-Tot 2 classes, because a child  has to be 2+  for being eligible to take Parent-and-Tot 3. Starting from summer 2011 we decided to spend one more evening per week in the pool and swim during recreational swimming hours without instructor. We got armbands for him and he was able to swim by himself. This spring we finished Parent-and-Tot 3 but Teddy can go to Preschooler program only when he turns three – next spring.

If was amazing to witness all his achievements and struggles. Gradually week by week we worked on simple tasks like blowing bubbles, jumping from pool borders, holding breath under the water for 5-10 seconds, getting a rubber ring from the bottom of the pool. Teddy nailed all required activities to graduate Parent-and-Tot 3. He can not swim yet, but he can stay on the top of the water for few seconds without any help, kicking his legs and splashing water by his arms. We would like him to start swimming within next six month and are working together on it. Good thing that he likes it and can stay and stare for minutes at swimming people learning their moves.

The biggest accolade for Teddy was compliment from the safeguard: “Who is a little fish swimming here?”

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