Tag Archives: Family Life

Labels, Labels Everywhere!

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Raising a Writer

room labelLast night, Z came into my office and snatched a post-it and ran out of the room. Later after the kids were in bad, I found this on my bedroom door. After having a good laugh, I went and opened a new package of post-it notes and wrote him a note on the top one and left it along with a pen on the built in shelf on the headboard of his bed.dsc03734

This morning I found labels on several things, and I encouraged him to keep doing it.

Why? wow, I am so thankful that I am not scrubbing these marks of the walls right now I just want to dance, and I will go and buy a whole box of post-it notes to keep him happy if I have to!

One of the ways that I have learned that parents can create a ‘print rich environment’ is to label things so that your kids can see the labels and then learn the words for things. I did label things when my oldest was learning to read, but that was 10 years ago. The difference is that this time, Z did it on his own. I know he would have loved if I had labeled things for him, but it is just so much more meaningful this way. And, I should have known that he would crave this kind of input, since he learned to read all of our family’s names from the chore chart in the halway when he was 3.

Here are some of the other labels he made:

Z's Bed

B's Dresser

Jeep

I am putting this in with my “Raising a Writer” series, because I think that this (writing things down) is really one of the first steps after books. If a child learns to love the printed word, and feels confident in his/her ability to read, write, and understand it, then they will really blossom and there will not be that intimidation and fear of making mistakes. They will already know that they can do it, and that if they don’t get it right the first time they can go back and fix it and it is no big deal.

Some other ways to create a ‘print rich environment’ for early readers:

  • Make sure there are lots of books available and that your kids can reach them.
  • Create a reading center with a comfy chair in a well lit area.
  • Have paper and writing utensils available and let them write letters. They can ‘write’ using pictures if they still are not writing letters.

Looks Like Lunch to Me

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Backyard Chickens

Since our chicks have been out of the coop more and more in this nice sunny weather we’ve been hpicture-054aving, I have had to be extra watchful of the cat . . . the chicks are pets, but they look like lunch to her. This is our cat Peppermint Schnapps, so named because of her shockingly green eyes and the fact that we rescued her from a bar where the drunks were making a game of trying to throw her into the rottweiler kennel that was next door. After a few nights of this, the bar owner called me and asked if I would please take her before she was killed. She is very independent and takes care of herself, but she also wants to be where people are, which explains why she didn’t just run away from the bar . . . it was the only inhabited building for quite a distance.

picture-0591One of the first things she did after we moved here was to make a quick dinner out of a nest of baby robins that I had been watching for a few days with the hopes that I could use the experience as a kind of science-project-from-a-distance for my kids — I imagined letting them watch while the birds grew and finally left the nest. No such luck with this little preditor running about. But the fact that she is so self sufficient, and yet kid friendly it is exactly the thing that makes her such a great pet.  I was really disappointed but I should have known that a nest low enough for me to see was not safe with our cat around.  Which brings me back to where I started . . . here she is watching the pigeons on the roof.