Friday, June 15, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday (on Friday)

What a fun idea! After visiting Rocks in My Dryer (while you are there, be sure to vote for her kiddo in the Fruity Cheerios Contest) and adding this site to the Works-For-Me-Wednesday list, I realized I'd have to add my first WFMW post on Friday. That's what I get for not reading the directions.

Today, not only was it hot, it rained all day. After the boys grew tired of running in the rain, they came inside looking for something to do. They both love crafty things, so we pulled out our collection of activity books and they decided to make a Tie Card from "Things to Make for Dads". It will be a fun surprise for Father's Day and the boys are so proud of their work and that they made it themselves. Nicholas, our 7 year old made the card on the left with all of the bright colors and Andrew, our 4 year old made the "blue" card (with Andrew, everything is blue). It still amazed me that a simple and fun activity can draw out so much concentration and attention to detail. They guys happily created for over 45 minutes and here is the result of their hard work:

By the way, the tab at the top is to fold down so that Dad can wear his tie. And the kiddos wrote their messages on the back of the tie. Hubby is going to love them!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Getting outside with kids

My kids smell like onions! We've been outside playing in the garden, thanks to this post. Our green onions were a little overgrown and so this time, instead of stopping my boys from pulling some out, I let them. What fun! First, the onions were characters from Veggie Tales, and once that grew old, they got out the scissors and cut them up into small pieces. What a fun way to get some cutting practice! Sure beats cutting construction paper :-) Stinky kids are worth it for such great fun!

Thoughts on the Dynamic Learning Environment

Wow! That sounds so cool; a dynamic learning environment. But what exactly is it? Well, it is an environment that incorporates all of the senses to create a rich learning experience. Here are some ideas for incorporating the sense of hearing into your home or classroom.

Put together a listening center with a CD player and headphones. Stock it with books on tape, music cd’s, educational cd’s like School House Rock and Math Rap.

Set aside lots of time for reading aloud. Choose both fiction and non-fiction for your read alouds.

Put out a basket of musical instruments and some books with easy lessons on how to play.

Make available a tape recorder so that your child can record themselves talking or playing music and play it back as they please.

6 Steps to Taming the TV Monster

Okay, so I still haven't really figured out this blogging thing. I have an audio available that I'd love to post here. If you know how to upload an MP3 to a blog - I'd love to share in your knowledge. Until then, you can receive an MP3 of my audio 6 Steps to Taming the TV Monster by subscribing to my e-zine. Enjoy :o)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Robots, Electricity and Boys

My 7 year old is wild about robots. He's talking MIT for college (which cracks me up - better get a scholarship, son), planning to commission plating from a metalworker for his robots and wants to make one that cleans house and babysit for free(wouldn't that be great!). Looking around for some projects to help encourage him, I found our copy of "Science with Batteries" from "Science Activites" book. He's learning about circuits and having fun making blinking light houses, emergency vehicles with flashing lights and many more fun things. Its amazing how much a motivated 7 year old can learn! I guess next, we'll have to learn about attaching motors to our circuits. Wish us luck!

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Book Lady Online Newsletter

Hi Friends,

I publish a monthly newsletter for my Usborne Business. I just moved it to a new service and thought I'd share the first issue here. It has a new format, too, including "Ask The Book Lady" and "Guest Author". If you have a question for me, and I use it in a newsletter, you will receive a free book! I'll also send you a free book if I use your article in the newsletter, so please send them. I'd love to have you all join my list to receive the newsletter every month. If any of the links aren't clickable, feel free to email me for a copy that works :o)
Creating a Dynamic Learning Environment in Your Home
Lori Babineaux (The Book Lady)

A dynamic learning environment is one that will incorporate all of the learning styles, visual, auditory and kinesthetic (and in babies, olfactory and taste). Each child favors one or more of these styles, and so to help them thrive in their educational experiences, all three learning styles can be represented in the home to maximize the learning experience. So how do you incorporate all of the learning styles in your home?

Babies are born using all or most of their senses to learn about their world. They look, listen, touch and even taste and smell their environment and anything they can get into their hands (and mouth). Babies and toddlers especially, need to stimulate as many of their sense as possible in order to learn. It is important that you talk to them as often as possible throughout the day. Read to them and talk about the pictures in the book. Tell them what you are doing as you do it. Read interactive books to them, ones that ask for them to participate and respond to you as you read. Play music for them, books on tape and books with sound buttons and on a limited basis, interactive videos. You will be helping to build their vocabulary at the same time you help them develop their auditory learning abilities.

Babies and toddlers need to touch the things they are playing with in order to learn about their world. Books with textured patches are always well loved with babies and small children. Recall the joy on the faces of a child the first time they saw, touched and heard the story in a texture filled book. Children thrive with this type of book in their home. They will probably want to put it into their mouth as well as touch it. For a "chewable" book, you might want to investigate cloth books and vinyl bath books. These will allow your little one to explore with their sense of taste and smell without "eating" the book.

Some children are visually stimulated. The learn by seeing and remember best, those things they have seen. These children learn best by reading, playing educational games and video games, watching educational videos and looking at educational websites.

There are many Usborne Books that are ideal for Visual Learners as they are lavishly illustrated and include bite sized bits of information situated next to the illustrations (and often right on the illustration) , thus encouraging a visual connection between the words and the pictures.

Where most books illustrate by having the reader refer to a table on another page causing the reader to have to flip back and forth while reading, Usborne encourage comprehension and cohesion for the reader. In addition, many of our books are internet linked, including age appropriate websites to further bring to life the amazing photographs and exciting text of the wonderful Usborne Books.

Kinesthetic learners, those who learn by touching or doing things, need to actually see how its done in order to learn and understand. They need books with projects and experiments built into them. They need cutaway pictures so that they can "see inside". They need puzzles to solve and things to build. They learn best by using their hands. Usborne has a product called Learning Wrap Ups that appeal especially to kinesthetic learners. These wrap ups allow them to practice their math facts by wrapping a string around a key, thus making the inactive (math drills), active (wrapping the string).

Auditory learners thrive on hearing things. They can memorize a list after hearing it only once or twice. They can repeat back to you everything you’ve said verbatim (“but Mom, you promised I could ________ “). My oldest son is an auditory learner. When he was less than 2 years old, I began to wonder if he might not be a lawyer when he’s an adult. He could remember everything ever said to him and make a case based on what he remembered (by his non-auditory mom, had long forgotten). So, how do you create an audio rich environment? Read aloud from books, newspapers, really anything your child finds interesting. Get them books on tape. They will love to hear their favorites stories and may exhaust you with their insatiable appetite for the spoken word (mine sure does!!). In addition, because some auditory learners are late bloomers as readers, having a book on tape will allow them to hear the story and follow along with the book, thus increasing their association between the spoken word and written word. Remember, though, to be gentle with your auditory learner. They will learn to read and enjoy reading if you gently encourage them to read on their own while you continue to supply them with many opportunities to hear read-alouds.

Creating a dynamic learning environment can be a rewarding experience both for you and your child. Watch for more articles on this and other topics related to education and children coming soon.

See complementary books by clicking this link.

Lori Babineaux is a Catholic wife and homeschooling mom who is also an Usborne Books Educational Supervisor and owner of www.TheBookLadyOnli .

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Fun Stuff:

A kinesthetic outdoor activity that is fun and educational is to crush a few pieces of colored chalk in each of 5 different colors and mix it with a little water to form a “paint”. Using paint brushes, have your child paint 2 stick men (or any other easy picture like a sword or flower) on the driveway or sidewalk in each color, leaving lots of space between colors. Once he’s done, count by twos. He can then add one of each color and count by 3’s. He can continue adding and counting for as long as this activity is still fun. And remember, bigger kids enjoy these fun activities, too.

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Ask The Booklady:

Please send your questions to When your question is used, you will receive a FREE BOOK!

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Guest Author:

You could be published here! Send your articles to When your article is published, you will receive a FREE BOOK!

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Internet Special:

A Kinesthetic learner’s dream! Several Kid Kits (books with corresponding activities) are 40-50% off on my website! In addition, so are Jigsaw puzzles and a bath book! Take advantage of this special now through June 11th and when you order through The Book Lady Newsletter e-show, you will receive a special gift from me in the mail!

Want more than 50% off? Host an e-show and share these specials with your friends and you could earn some books FREE!! Click here to get started today!

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