Tag Archives: Preschool

Teach your child to read!

The big announcement . . . (drum roll, please) . . .  

The Magic Forest Alphabet: Introducing Letter Sounds Welcome to the first ever book in The Magic Forest series. The Magic Forest Alphabet: Introducing Letter Sounds focuses on correct individual letter sounds. Yes, yes, I know alphabet books are everywhere, but sit down with a few preschool and kindergarten teachers, and ask them what their pet peeves are. I guarantee you one of them will be a child whom comes into their classroom at the beginning of the year, parent proudly announcing he/she knows all their letter sounds, and then a bunch of them are incorrect. (Yes, I hear what’s in your head. . .) How can one possibly get these sounds wrong? Because very often, us well-meaning parents don’t isolate the letter sound. Even when we think we are isolating a letter sound, most times we don’t. Go on – how do you pronounce the sound of the letter r? It’s not ‘ruh’ or ‘re’ or ‘er’.  I know because I’ve made these very same mistakes too. After you talk to a teacher, you realize that not only do they have to teach their classroom the basics, they have to undo what the parents have created.

So I felt it was appropriate to begin at the beginning. Here, I focus entirely on individual letter sounds and putting the basic sounds together. I know it sounds silly, but my goal is to teach a parent as much as a child. The reason being, as I navigate preschool and 1st grade with my own two children, I am confronted with these obstacles daily. It was quite staggering what I didn’t know and in order to support my kids through their school learning, I needed to get up to speed. I’ve got a note at the beginning of the book to show parents how to work through it.

So there you have it! The Introduction to Letter Sounds is now available at Amazon (paperback or ebook), iTunes, Kobo and more! I’ve also created a website just for The Magic Forest Series where you can sign up for my newsletter, which I will use to only announce new releases – http://www.littlegempublishing.org. And in case you prefer to just stay on Facebook, The Magic Forest has its own page there too!!

I’d love to have your feedback so please feel free to leave a review or contact me directly. Happy reading! <3

Shameful Mommy Confession.

Jack's Big Music ShowOver the past six years, I’ve watched the Nick Jr channel decline rapidly. I think back to when my paroled mental patient was 2 and all the great shows that used to be on, no advertising, no bs.

Now… it’s a disaster. Not only are there ads, for their new shows the sequence goes like this (I’ll use Paw Patrol as the example)

-Paw Patrol opening sequence (credits/song)
– 3 full minutes of ads.
– Part 1 of Paw Patrol show actually begins.
– Once part 1 has ended, there is now a solid FIVE minutes of advertising (I have timed it, since my fast forward button that jumps 30 seconds forward needs to be pressed 10 times).
– Part 2 of Paw Patrol starts.
– Part 2 Paw Patrol ends.
– More ads until the end the next show/cycle starts.

And it’s not like we’re talking innocent ads here. Covergirl makeup has absolutely NO place on a preschool channel. When my daughter asked me the other day if she could have that special hair straightener, I about lost my mind. So basically, if I want them to watch any of the newer shows, I have to be sitting there monitoring every minute of it and have my hand ready at the fast forward button.

Back in the day . .  .  there were awesome things on Nick Jr such as Moose & Z, Little Bear, Oswald. Shows that were fun, and filled with kindness, mellow and yet happy at the same time. While a couple of their news shows are good, this advertising stuff is sending me off the edge. We do like Paw Patrol for the mechanics and Wallyzakam for the reading. Don’t even get me started on that piece of crap called Nick Mom at Night or whatever it’s called. Oh lord!

Back to how awful Nick Jr is now. I recently discovered they launched an app called Noggin. The only appalling thing about this app is that it’s a subscription so it’s $5.99 a month. Initially outraged, I begrudgingly began the free trial because I wanted to see if we’d get any use out of it. Low and behold, there are all our old favorite shows on it – all of Oswald (the 3-year-old escaped mental patient’s favorite), Little Bear, Jack’s Big Music Show. I’ve not been feeling well and as it got worse over the weekend, I took myself off to the Minute Clinic in CVS to see a doctor. Brought the iPad and my phone (Noggin also installed there) since I had to lug the kids with me. During my almost 2hr wait, thanks to wifi everywhere, I was able to stream Noggin on both devices (still on one subscription). Here’s where the sun shone brightly. My 6-year old was scrolling through it and found Jack’s Big Music show. It’s always been my favorite of my kids’ shows, and I was so sad when it disappeared after two seasons. It’s been so long that she didn’t remember it at first. I reminded my girl how we used to watch it together, just me and her, and we’d sing and dance along to the music (great music, btw). That show also is the one that introduced us to Laurie Berkner to which my kids have spent many hours dancing the evening away to.

I confess, I bounced around the waiting room with the kids to the music (I love Dr. Strings) and loved being able to listen to Jack’s Big Music Show again. You can’t even get it on DVD so this is wonderful. The kids made a fort out of the couch cushions last night and I heard the girl tucked away in there watching Jack again. It made me happy.