Leah's Goals for Samuel and Joel

Posted by  | Saturday, February 13, 2010  at 9:55 AM  

A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming is SUCH a good book and I love the idea she gave to make goals for your children and to pray over them. Ed and I try to sit down and talk about our boys every 6 months or so. We discuss their strengths and weaknesses. We pick what things we want to encourage them on and what things need some work. Here are some things we're working on at our house:

1. Good Manners. This is for both boys and sort of an ongoing goal for our children. We started with simple "Please" and "Thank You" signs before they could even talk. Now that Joel is almost 2 and Samuel is 3 1/2, we've raised our expectations. We focus on table manners (sit in your seat, eat with utensils, ask to be excused, clear your plate), general manners (please, thank you, excuse me, cough/sneeze into your elbow), playtime manners (sharing, asking "may I have ___ please?", taking turns), and interaction manners (say hello, nice to meet you, have a nice day). I just read a great book about manners that I'm going to post for Book Review week next week.

2. Potty Training. This is actually for both boys too! Samuel potty trained when he was 2y2m, but he hasn't been independent on the potty. He still has to tell us that he has to go and we take him in and hold him up to the potty. He's totally inept at pulling his pants up/down and he was too short to get the pee into the toilet (and the stool made him TOO high up and he peed everywhere!). He's tall enough now to saddle up to the potty by himself and he definitely needs to learn independence on the pants thing. So we are working on this. He's getting better but definitely prefers us to help him. I just keep praising him for doing a good job and we don't punish for not doing it himself. We're just focusing on baby steps. As for Joel, I am prepping to potty train him next month. He will turn 2 March 18 and I want him out of diapers. I'm going to send Samuel to his grandparents and spend a few days potty training Joel. I did Potty Training in a Day with Samuel. You can read about our experience here. To prep for this day, I've been talking to Joel about the potty, having him watch Sammy go, and having him sit on the Baby Bjorn potty so he's not scared. I've also been working on getting him attached to Kitty (a stuffed animal) so that we can potty train Kitty just like I did with Bear for Samuel. I'm going to check the book out from the library to familiarize myself with the plan again.

3. Pre-Reading Skills. This is a goal for Samuel, but Joel is learning so much just by being around us while we work on this stuff. Samuel learned all of his letter names and sounds by watching LeapFrog Talking Letter Factory (I super highly recommend this video!). We started borrowing LeapFrog Talking Words Factory from the library next and Samuel learned about rhyming words. Now we practice rhyming words at home. Samuel is crazy good at this. He can think of long lists of rhyming words and comes up with some that even I didn't think of! :) My mom just bought this great See & Spell set from Melissa & Doug, and we use it to practice letters and making words. This is where we are working now. Samuel can do the rhymes aloud, but he hasn't transferred that to spelling out words with letters yet. So we practice and practice and try to make games out of it. And he has learned to sing his ABCs. Joel can sing from A to G. I'm also patiently waiting for Samuel to get an interest in writing his letters. He is not one to color/write/anything. Neither of my boys are that into those things. Samuel is still young and I don't want to force him into this at all. So I just patiently wait for him to start showing an interest in this area. Samuel won't start kindergarten for 2 1/2 more years, so there's no rush here. I also just read a good book about reading that I'll share next week.

4. Scripture Memory. This is our weakest goal area right now. We have the goal for Samuel, but I am not consistent in working on this with him. AWANA is great in the sense that it gives us a verse each week to learn. My weakness is that I usually wait until Tuesday to give Samuel the verse he needs for Wednesday night. We were really consistent in the beginning and Samuel still knows those verses. But he doesn't remember the later ones. It is great to have your child memorize Scripture because it can be really handy in discipline (and I mean discipline in the true sense of the word - both training and punishment). I can use the Scripture Samuel has hidden in his heart to both encourage/praise him and also when I am punishing him. I made a prompt question for each Scripture and I can use the prompt question to get him to tell me the verse. For example, I can say, "Samuel, who sins?" and Samuel will reply "All have sinned" (Romans 3:23). Or I can say, "Samuel, who is God?" and he will reply "God is love". He has since had some great AWANA verses and I wish I would have been more diligent in practising them. I guess this is a goal for both him and me!

That's about it for our house! Please ask questions if you have any.

1 comment:

Christina said...

Leah - total confession that I'm just now reading your blog post. But I was going to tell you that I took our Cubbies verses (how fun that our boys are learning the same verses!?) and wrote each out on an index card (adding the Bear Hug number so I'd know at quick glance which verse for which week). I took all the index cards and put them together with a ring. They hang on our fridge so I can quick reference the one for the week and previous ones too. This has really helped them be more visible to us! We too do our lesson usually on Monday or Tuesday and I hate that!!!

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