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1/05/12 Well..we made it again, didn't we. Another - a new - year..just right for new beginnings - often - if not always, in the same situations as when the old year departed a few days ago. What can be different if nearly everything is the same? We may have received a lot of new "stuff"..some useful and easily loved, some ready for the return line or the closet in the basement. What we can do no matter what "it" is - is to express our gratitude. You, I - we- may not feel so grateful for things we don't want or can't use, but we can be happy that we were thought of. And more than just thinking of us, someone acted on their thoughts of us and presented us with a gift. What a gift it is to be thought of with enough caring that another person actually went out and found a gift just for you, me - us. Gifts of thought come from the heart and in all sorts of wrappings..maybe a card with a full bill folder tucked inside..or a pair of…

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  • Female
  • Born on December 27
  • Joined June 23, 2010

Favorite materials

Minky Dot 100 per cent polyester fabric, cotton fabrics, foam board and Phonics for Reading Preparation

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About

1/05/12 Well..we made it again, didn't we. Another - a new - year..just right for new beginnings - often - if not always, in the same situations as when the old year departed a few days ago. What can be different if nearly everything is the same? We may have received a lot of new "stuff"..some useful and easily loved, some ready for the return line or the closet in the basement. What we can do no matter what "it" is - is to express our gratitude. You, I - we- may not feel so grateful for things we don't want or can't use, but we can be happy that we were thought of. And more than just thinking of us, someone acted on their thoughts of us and presented us with a gift. What a gift it is to be thought of with enough caring that another person actually went out and found a gift just for you, me - us. Gifts of thought come from the heart and in all sorts of wrappings..maybe a card with a full bill folder tucked inside..or a pair of striped sox with kitten heads attached to the heels. Perhaps a child's drawing is now stuck to the fridge with magnets or tape. A shiny new car in the driveway? Or seat covers for an old one. A gift of the heart could be a story written and illustrated by a parent or friend for the kids in her life..or an adorable if rather messy puppy. Maybe you don't desire a new car or a puppy, but sure and you are glad to be held in someone's heart! Gratitude makes the new year bright..night and day after night and day.. God Bless us all in 2012... Catz

10/22/11
please look below the 9/17/11 entry for this one.

9/17/11 I am grateful for the huge outpouring of love and patriotsm that accompanied our country's 9/11 10th Anniversary. The memorials established will keep us in touch with those who still suffer for their lost loved ones and will give us a place to come to refresh our sincere desire for peace here and in all the world. Let us look forward with determination - to see ourselves in our neighbors and to treat them well. Only a few people have a wish to cause pain for others - most of us hope to comfort and aid and live side by side, enjoying our friends, relatives and newcomers in our midsts. Be the latter, yourself, and so deny the former.
The seasons for fun and joy are fast approaching..look to your giving heart and be refreshed in the anticipation of bringing happiness to those within the circle of your relationships whether close or far. Despite the fact that HeavenlyKidz is a shop, bringing this happiness is an internal rather than an external process - it does not rely on material gifts. What then...?

October 22, 2011
What then..? Not the material? I asked myself..it depends on how much or even, whether, we are willing to try to forget our personal self..not our real needs or hopes, but our extraneous, our frivolous, our self-centered desires. Those wants which always put me before you. Put you before your neighbor.. We are now entering the time of year when we are most torn.. between giving and receiving. We think of our family and our near relations easily enough and that is very good. So..How can we reach out beyond those dear to us to touch and ease the pain others, whom we may not know, feel and perhaps can not find a way to heal. There are so many..the elderly who are often alone, the men and women in the military, orphans, prisoners, the "challenged" of every variety. Also there are the battered, the refugees and the simply impoverished. What can we do for the newly homeless, much less the habitually homeless? The addicted and those estranged from loved ones due to a mistake or rebeliousness? This list can continue, but perhaps, instead, we can make a suggestion or two. Donations are always valuable, large and often or small and only once given, coats or dollars. Voluneering our most precious commodities: time, experience, and expertise, in one of dozens of opportunities for helping others from soup kitchens, to schools, to pro bono professional advice and service is always in demand. Visiting those who are alone, ill, or incapacitated brings joy and comfort to both parties. Take along a puppy! You can certainly come up with more categories of reaching out. There is still another opportunity that extends itself to all of the above. We can pray. Let it take the form you like..on your knees.. in your bed.. as you read the holy book your culture and/or religion have provided you, or as your concscience desires you to do. Pray as you pause before you take a bite of food or a drink of water.. as you swallow your meds or receive your radiation treatment..before the most exciting sporting event of the season, as you get into your car or onto the bus, the train, a plane, the subway.. or use the rest room. If we think of all we do each day and night..every act or thought is an opportunity to say thanks and the additional chance to mention that someone else may need that very thing or certainly has need of just about anything a mind can think of. Practical, daily wants and needs, desperate needs - like a heart for a transplant or a heart to care about the man sitting at the light with a sign, or for peace in the World or peace of heart and mind, are all opportunities to pray. All that prayer adds up. When our prayer for others outweighs the need for "me", goodness will outweigh evil and we will see a different World rising before our eyes. The act of prayer is our chance..our very best chance, along with any physical, practical good we can manage, to tip the scales in favor of accomplishing the real purpose of our life on Earth. "Tis the Season.. God Bless Catz


HeavenlyKidzPhonics begins here:
3/8/11 Hi Parents, welcome all..
Since this is a Kidz' Shop..I think I'd like to write about Kidz and Reading. You may have seen somewhere in my Profile that I was a Montessori Pre-K and K-4 thru Grade 2 teacher for quite a few years. Having had this experience, I'd like to encourage any parents who would like their kidz to learn phonics at home to please check in here for the next few days and weeks as I share a few tips for starting your kidz off to a real enjoyment of reading. Here is what I wrote last night when the inspiration hit.:

I just realized that this online shop is a great opportunity to talk about children and reading. Can't help it..I am, in essence, still just a pre-school teacher dressed up in a shop keeper's apron..

Do you remember your first true reading experience? I do..it was first grade..we had, as a class, struggled long and hard with the sight reading program. But, finally, we were really reading and our class took a trip to the school library..I made my first "personal" book choice that morning and I'll always remember..I opened it and . . POOF! . . it was time to leave the library. An hour had passed and I was deep in the world of Billy and his new horse, Blaze..I still remember my confusion when I looked up and found myself in the Washington Elementary School Library instead of in the woods with Billy and Blaze. It was a totally new experience for me. As I think about it.. very few things have come up to that first mind opening hour of reading. At that age (and now you will all know how old I am :) we didn't even have a TV yet. Sputnik was soon to be launched..hmm what other generational stuff happened then? Oh yeah- penicillin shots had recently become available if we caught a cold. Ouch! I hope all children can have and remember their own special first experience with reading.

When I mentioned that my classmates and I struggled to learn to read - it was because we did not have the benefit, any longer, of learning to read using phonics. My first year in school marked the beginning of a new program that only taught reading by memorizing each word. We used the famous (infamous?) See Jane Run. books. What a pity. And sad to say, it is still a pity, because unless you put your child into a school other than most public schools, your child will most likely not use phonics to learn to read. The consequences are sadder still..very few children are reading at grade level. Many children graduate high school (if they manage to stick it out that long, and it is not easy at all, if one can not read well enough) still not reading at grade level..many are not actually capable of the reading level necessary to fill out basic job applications. We have heard all of this before..or you will hear it if your children are still little now.

As a Montessori Pre-K and K-4 teacher, I found that most of the kidz in my K-4 were reading sentences which included five to ten letter words and complete sentences by K4 "Graduation" . We taught reading using phonics.

Montessori is great, but costly and not always available..so.. Why on Earth are we not teaching phonics in our public schools? That is a question you can ask your local school..or a friend who teaches. Many teachers agree that we should be using phonics.

Soo..What can you do at home? There are a number of possibilities..things you can make or purchase at a teacher supply store.. a simple song..a few games..next time, I'll write about what you can do at home to help your three to four year old be more ready to read.. Hope to see you here..God Bless, Catz

3/9/11
Well..this is "Next Time". I think I'll start with an old standard known to nearly everyone who was a child in the US. The Alphabet Song. What is so helpful about this old song? There is a simple change that, once it is made, will be of great value to your child's reading readiness. We sang this song to learn the NAMES of the letters. Now I'd like to introduce it to teach you the SOUNDS of the letters. Names are important..your child will be asked to recite the alphabet, of course, and in alphabetizing, the names are also necessary. To read, though, your child needs to know the sounds the letters make. Here is a list of the letters and the "clue words" that tell you the sound of each: at this point - these are for you, the parent - if you say them aloud a few times, you will be better able to share them with your child when the time comes.

a in apple
b in baby
c in cat
d in dog
e in egg
f in fox
g in goat
h in horse ( h is a breathy sound - like blowing out a candle)
i in India (if English is your second language, please try to avoid saying"i" as "ee" in wheel).
j in jump
k in kite
l in lamp (if you originally speak a language where "R" and "L" can be reversed, when saying "L" put the tip of your tongue up behind your top front teeth to say "L".)
m in mitten
n in neck (say "n" like "un"
o in otter
p in pin ("p" is short and quick)
qu in queen (u always follows q in English)
r in ring ("r" is "er")
s in seal ("s" is quickly spoken, but in the Song it is held for few seconds)
t in tip ("t" is spoken quickly)
u in umbrella
v in vixen
w in wood ("w" is said like "Wuh")
x in x-ray (it is said as "ks" like kiss without the "i" )
y in yellow ("y" sounds like ("yuh')
z in zebra ("z" sounds like "zuh")
Here is the new end to the Alphabet Song:

Now we've learned our letters' sounds,
Reading soon will come around.

Remember..say the letter as a SOUND..not as the familiar name..

When you've practiced it a bit yourself, you can put your Alphabet Song experience to work..same tune, just change out the names for the sounds of each letter. If you are unfamiliar with the song, ask a friend. Practice til you are confident..slowly is good.. so when you teach your youngster, he or she can hear the sounds clearly. When you are ready, be sure to explain about names and sounds being for different purposes and that the sounds will help them to read, because they may object that they know it already or "you aren't doing it right". One more thing..very important..let this "work" be play. Keep it light..sing the song to your child several times, invite her to sing along, then just sing it at odd moments, include it at bed time and/or at story time or while you are in the kitchen, park, bath, etc. Don't worry if your child takes some time to get it down. He is young. Time is available now..no need to hurry..and... this is never a test. Also..the developing brain likes to mull things over and chew on them..this takes time. Even for adults. When the brain has digested this little song.. your child will begin to sing it all by him or herself..when alone or when you are doing something together. Just join in..no need to correct mistakes..they will correct themselves as time and singing goes on. Try to make sure that you are saying the sounds correctly..look at the list again..and then just enjoy yourself with your sweet child.
Next time...a game to play.. God Bless..Catz

3/18/11
Back again! Have you had a chance to sing the Alphabet Sound Song? I hope so. If you have had the opportunity to share it with your child and s/he is comfortable singing part or all of it with you (don't think you have to have it ALL down perfectly to go to this next step..just keep singing as part of what you do together) there is a simple and fun game to play in the car or the grocery store or even with a magazine or book. It is a variation on "I spy.." where you are each looking for something (anything) that is a specific - color- or shape, etc. In this case YOU start by saying, "I spy something that starts with .." and you say the sound of a letter and its Clue Word. It is helpful to start with an object that is abundant. "C" would be a great sound to start with while driving since there are cars everywhere. Your child will enjoy the search..though he may not wish to be the one to choose the sound at first. That's ok..either end of this game helps a child connect the starting sound of an object with the object itself. If he finds a goat when you say "C in cat" just say.."oops - that's "G in goat". As with the Song..let this be fun and relaxed..no need to hurry it or keep it going after she is tired of playing. She will be happy to play again another time. I remember wanting my first child to accomplish MY goals for him..but he really could accomplish those milestones only when he and his developmental level were ready. This takes time and fun works better than pressure. I can remember my very great excitement and pleasure when one little guy in my class..he was actually a PreK'er at three years old..bit into a pretzel, then held up the rest and said, "Look, look, it's "E in egg!" The class got into it and processed a lot of those pretzels into letters while saying their sounds and clue words over the next several days. This experience leads us into the next step toward actual reading, which is letter shape recognition. Enjoy playing "I Spy.." with your boy or girl and in a week or two, I'll be back with some plans and ideas for leading your child into recognizing the letters a few at a time.

I hope you are excited..I'm having a great time..Thanks and God Bless.. Catz

9/18/11 Sorry to any of you who were waiting for the next installation of phonics work at home. It's been a busy half year. To continue, I mentioned I would show you how to help your child with letter recognition. A simple way to begin is to use the magnetic alphabet letters that cling so well to the "fridge". Arrange them in a-z order (preferably use all small letters to start) with a little space between them. Now is a chance to make use of your Alphabet Sound Song practice by pointing at or touching (first you and, later, your child) the "a" and slowly moving from letter to letter as you touch each letter and sing it at the same time. Soon your child will be singing along with you..that is when you invite your child to do the pointing or touching as you sing together. Keep in mind that development does not ever follow along exactly with the "book". S/he may be ahead or behind the "book" or other children the same age, but that is not a problem unless you are upset and start to criticize and/or pressure your child. Development goes on night and day and is mostly an invisible work. A happy, friendly, flexible parent enhances what is already growing in your child's mind, heart, and body. Give it a try and don't worry, you'll be fine..

Next time we will look at several ways to help your son and daughter recognize the letters and to associate their sounds and the "clue words" accompanying each. We will do some art work (that is hand/eye coordination art work) and then begin to write the letters. Take care all and God Bless. Catz

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