Reading at 3 Years Old

I remember a conversation I had with Beejay 3 years ago, Monica was just less than a year old; “Love, bibili tayo ulit ng books, parang ang dami na?” Beej answered “Love, ‘wag na ‘wag tayong manghihinayang sa books.”

Since then, books became a staple in Monica’s routines; she would choose books over her toys. We read books everyday, no fail. She would point at something and we will tell her what it was. She learned about letters. numbers, shapes, and colors at 1 year and 3 months; with no pressure nor force. Monica was just really interested which made it easy for her to absorb and understand.♥️

So How Did We Enable Monica To Read?

I’ve always believed that reading doesn’t start and end with just plain “reading”. At 2 years old, Monica can already “read” traffic and road signs and that’s good enough for us. We just continued with storytelling, nurturing her interests, and so on without the pressure on making her read early.

When she entered preschool at 3 years old, her interest on letters became more evident; I noticed she can already read sight words but I didn’t really make a big deal out of it because I know that kids learn fast. As days went by, Monica got better with phonics. Credits to her Teacher Lex of Golden Values School because I know she played a big part as Monica will always tell me about school and how she enjoyed making the “letter sounds”.

It was middle of the school year when I confirmed she’s really trying to read on her own; she has gotten better with sight words and she would try to read the words based on how they sound. That’s when we became involved – we practiced and read things together. Until one day, she started reading in sentences all on her own and she would read 5 books every night before she sleeps. What makes it more special? She understands what she reads and she enjoys doing it. It is very important that she’s not only reading but comprehending as well. How do I know? We will talk about the book as soon as she’s done reading it. And voila, she can answer my questions correctly.



Fast forward to these days, she keeps reading and reading – I would give her anything with letters and she would read it. Just recently, she has started reading in Filipino. I was so surprised to witness her reading and finishing the Bahay Kubo book. She is turning 4 years old next month and her reading and comprehension is improving everyday. I can’t be more excited to witness the things she will do and discover.

Alongside her developing reading skills is the improvement on how she writes and spells words. Whatever she reads, she can easily translate into writing. Note that she doesn’t have correct spelling all the time. But we just let her do inventive spelling as it helps her decipher sounds and understand words better. I guess these things work hand in hand because Monica’s vocabulary grows each day.

Tips on How to ENABLE Your Child Read

These tips are based on our experience; I am not in any way a formal educator and I don’t claim to be one. Haha. Just sharing what worked FOR US.😉

  1. DON’T PRESSURE, DON’T FORCE. WHEN THE CHILD IS READY, IT WILL JUST BE EASY. I can’t stress this enough. A lot have been asking me on why and how Monica is able to read already and I keep answering that “because she likes it, that’s why it’s easy for her.”
  2. Make the books accessible. Monica’s books are just within her reach; I guess this is why a day doesn’t go by without reading or holding a book. This helped Monica in getting interested.
  3. Master the phonetics. Monica’s school did a really great job on this. I don’t really teach her at home, I just do some follow-through’s. All her lessons came from school and I think they have a big impact on Monica. If you can’t enroll your kid yet, I guess, you can learn the phonics together. Again, ONLY WHEN YOUR CHILD IS READY.
  4. Practice Most Common Sight Words. This is easy to do, just make sure you don’t overdo it as your kid might get tired of this. Start with simple and rhyming words. Read aloud.
  5. Don’t correct right away. Build your child’s confidence. When Monica doesn’t read some words correctly, I would ask her to repeat and she will figure out on her own. I only correct when she asks me to.
  6. Make reading a fun experience for you and your child. In our case, we maximized different activities to nurture her reading skills. We tried Word Hunt, Match The Words, Color the Word, Reading and Comprehension activities and so on. (Tip: Check @thecrafterteacher on IG for free worksheet printables) 😉
  7. Zero to Less Gadget Use. THIS WORKS FOR US but of course I cannot force this on anyone. Monica has not had any gadget use for over a year now. I noticed that her focus is very good and that she can handle her emotions well. I think this helps in her being interested in reading as her energy gets diverted into learning instead of just watching and playing with a gadget.

More than all these things, what really matters is how your child responds to whatever we teach them. Let’s respect when they are ready; I tell you, when that time comes, everything will be easy.

I hope you find this useful or helpful. On my next blog, I will share about Monica’s progress in writing and spelling. ☺️

Thank you for reading. 😘

Din

Monica’s Recognition Day – ECQ Style 😊

It may not be the Recognition Day that we expected, but it still felt special nevertheless. Congrats to our little girl for finishing her first-ever preschool year with flying colors.

These could have been photos from a legit Recognition Day, but we’re not complaining; this shoot at home will do.

So this is how it is! Nakaka-proud pala talaga. Haha! I know grades and awards should not define a child, but I can’t help being proud. She’s awarded as Star Kid 2nd place, Best in Reading, Best in Number Identification, and was given the Golden Ring award as well! Not only that, her behavioral recognition made me equally happy; Most Thoughtful, Most Cooperative, and Best Teacher’s Helper! Cuuute! That’s my baby!♥️

But more than her awards and recognition; what matters most to us is that she’s happy and enjoys being in school and that she goes along well with her teachers and classmates. That’s the very reason we enrolled her in preschool as early as 3 years old.🥳

Monica showed interest in learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colors at 1 year old – that’s without pressure nor force from our end. And bringing her to school nourished her interest further. Aside from that, she became more social, more expressive, and more emphatic. I really am convinced that half of what Monica is showing now is an influence from her school. 🥰

Thank you GVS for one whole year of being our partner in raising a happy child. Monica would always talk about her teachers and classmates every time I will pick her up and she always gets excited whenever we talk about her school. It was really a good move that we enrolled her there. 🤩

Thank you also for recognizing Monica’s efforts and acknowledging the her strengths both in behavior and academics. Even though we didn’t have a proper recognition day, you still found a way to make it special for the kids and parents.♥️ It may not be on a legit stage, but it sure felt like it and more.🤩♥️

House Quarantine 101

This quarantine season is honestly not so new to us. Since I am a stay-at-home mom, I am with Monica 24/7; the only thing that changed is, she doesn’t have 2.5-hrs in school and we can’t just go outside to go to the mall or park.

I’ve been seeing so many kiddie activities from my mommy friends and I really admire them for the creativity and the will to spend quality time with their child/children. As for me, I don’t really have a set of activities planned out for Monica to be honest. I am not built for that, I dont have the creativity lol. But if I may share, here are the things that keep Monica busy (because these make her happy) and mommy, sane. Haha.😋

▪️PLAY. I let her play all day. Since we are confined in a small condo unit, I allow her to play and make a mess. She can play with any toy she wants. I would often catch her making up stories and characters.

▪️DRAW AND COLOR. Monica’s pencils, crayons, and papers are all on her reach. I don’t give schedules but I would see her stop playing and go to her table to draw and color. All on her own. Most of the time she would draw what happened with her toys during her play (lately, it’s all about Paw Patrol). Or at times, she would draw something about a memorable experience, in our case, the recent travel to Cebu.

▪️WRITE. Another thing that she loves nowadays is to write. This is a sensitive period and a great opportunity to learn (as per teacher nanay Iam). I would ask her to write what’s on her mind, what she wants to do, who her friends are, what our menu for the week is, what color does she like, etc. Inventive spelling on the works and even though words are mispelled, I know that she is learning without force. I can see how much she is willing and how much she can comprehend, and that’s enough for me.

▪️READ. Monica has started reading already, both sight words and phonetics. She would spend time reading her books or even the papers or receipts that she sees at home. She would ask us when she can’t seem to read anymore then will continue reading again.

▪️ WATCH TV. No iPad or cellphone, but she’s allowed to watch TV. She wouldn’t stay glued for a long time though, she will just watch for a few minutes then play. And watch again then play.

▪️CHORES. Let her help in the chores. In the photo above, I let her organize her books. She arranged via size. I had to help her in the end because matatabunan naman kami hahaha!

▪️EAT. Well, she snacks a lot nowadays haha.

▪️ Lots of hugs, kisses, I-love-yous, and argument in between.😛

So what role do I play in all these? I OBSERVE. I will intervene if she wants and if she asks me to. I realize it works better for her when she has control on what she can do. She thinks on her own and acts on it. This way I can do chores and watch my KDrama hehe. #SaTrueLang.

This method has been working well for us. Sharing with you in case you also want to know. Stay safe, happy, and healthy! <3

“Anak, fight back.” When do we need to say that?

This question has been bugging me the whole day. So let me ask you, when do we urge our kids to fight back and how? I honestly don’t know. I want to raise a kind human being but I don’t want her to be a push-over. It’s so much easier said than done. How do we discern?

I attended a mom and baby event yesterday – kids playing everywhere. It was fun of course. But then, Monica cried twice. Yes twice, different kids but same scenario. Inagawan ng laruan si Monica.

I was just observing as always – I know I am not in the position to meddle. Bata yan, syempre mag-aagawan sila ng laruan. Very normal. But observing how my Monica helplessly cried that time was just heartbreaking. I heard her say “hey that’s mine. Hey, can you please give it back to me? I am still playing.” She kept begging the other kid. Nakakaawa tapos umiyak na sya at lumapit sa akin when she saw me looking at her.

I don’t blame the other kid, what do they know right? Well Monica, as far as I know, never pa nang-agaw ng ganon and never rin naman sya nanakit pag may ginagawang hindi maganda sa kanya. Pero syempre bata sila. Sisishin ko ba yung isang bata? Hindi, diba?

But on the second instance, nangyari ulit. She kept saying “please give it back to me, I am still playing” tapos naiyak na naman at lumapit sa’kin. I told her, “Monica, you already asked them nicely, this time, you get it from them. Get it, it’s yours!” Tama ba ako? Mali ba? I don’t know.

In my mind, I should teach her how to assert herself and that she shouldn’t let others make her cry like that. That she can fight if she must. BUT mabait syang bata. She would rather cry and go to me kesa lumaban or manakit or whatever. Hay.

What do you do, moms, dads? Haha. I honestly don’t know. I want her to fight but I don’t want her to think it’s always good to fight. She’s 3 years old and whatever I teach and show her, she easily absorbs so I am extra careful. I don’t want her to be the kid moms are worried about. Gets?

Am I right? What is the better way to deal with this?

Thanks in advance! <3

4D Gummy: Play. Create. Eat.

Gummies itself are awesome, both for kids and kids at heart. So imagine if you can be playful, be creative, be imaginative using the gummies and eat them after? Amazing right? That’s why we love @4DGummyPH!

Monica always squeals with delight whenever I hand her 4D blocks and 4D fruits. She gets really excited to play with the gummies. One time she’s building a school, the next she’s building an ambulance. Endless possibilities! What a simple but fun way to develop imagination and creativity! Bonus is that, she can eat them after! What a joy!!

Monica as Blippi for Halloween 2019

Blippi has been Monica’s next most favorite human being (next to us) for the past two years. He has been instrumental as to why Monica has developed love for construction vehicles and fire trucks. Lol. At first I didn’t understand why Monica got so hooked but because of the countless times I have seen him sing and dance, I finally understood why. So safe to say, Beej and I love Blippi as well!

We never thought of dressing up Monica as Blippi for Halloween but when my good momma friend shared that she got a Blippi costume, I immediately asked if I can borrow even just for photoshoot. She generously said yes and it made Monica the happiest! THANKS ANGGE!!! Labyuuuuu <3

Little Blippi with the favorite, Excavator!

But wait there’s more! This Blippi costume prompted Beej to follow his dream of becoming…… BLIPPI as well. HAHAHAHAHAHA. He DIYed the cap and bought polo, suspenders, jeans, and glasses. Wahahahhaa. SULIT!

The LEGIT twins. HAY. Hahahaha

Ang kulet! But I love! <3

Happy 3rd Birthday Monica

#DearMonica

Happy 3rd birthday anak!

Celebrating you today and everyday as you’ve been a constant source of joy and pride to your daddy and I. Forever you will be, remember that.

It’s been three years of being with you 24/7. I guess I have taught you a lot of things but you have no idea how much I’ve changed because of what I learned from you.

You taught me how to do multiple things all at once and even though I get tired often, I get things done. All because of you. Because you are the reminder that I have to go on.

I know I lose my cool often and sometimes I forget that you are just a child but you’ve never shown me remorse, instead, you still cling to me and look at me as if I am the only one you need.

Anak, they say I make motherhood look so easy, but they don’t know it’s all you who makes it look and feel that way.♥️

Daddy and I love you so much anak.

Love,
Mommy

Hassle-free Potty Training

Found this image online. Credits to the owner! mastergolflivestream.com

Monica got potty-trained overnight. Well almost. For real.

Ever since Monica turned 2, I’ve been hearing comments saying that “oh naka-diaper pa rin ba sya? 2yo na ah. Dapat hindi na.” To which I will always answer with “Okay lang, ayoko mastress kami parehas.” My mom was one of those who kept on insisting that 2-year-olds should be potty trained already. I get it, she meant well for sure. Haha. But lagi ko sinasabi kay Mommy na antayin ko na lang maging ready si Monica.

Back in the day, kids get potty-trained pretty early just so they can save on diapers. Ngayon, because of Lazada sale (LOL), hindi namin issue ang Pampers. I’d rather spend than get stressed everyday. #SaTrueLang haha. You all know that we don’t have a helper nor yaya, Beej works almost the whole day, so that only means na ako lahat maglilinis at maglalaba kung ma-wiwi or ma-poops si Monica sa bed or floor diba? In short, I don’t like another chore. Ang convenient ng diaper, especially Pampers, very hiyang si Monica dun, bakit ako magdadagdag ng sakit ng ulo ko diba? Haha. I know my temper, it might get in the way and ma-trauma si Monica. Haha. So I stood firm and did not let the comments pressure me to train her.

So I just kept on waiting, I would tell her “Oh let mommy know if you want to wiwi okay?” or “So here’s where we pee and poop” but never really taught nor trained her. In my mind I know she will do it when she’s ready. Then the morning of April 19, Monica woke up not wanting to wear her diaper anymore. She immediately asked me to remove it and peed in the toilet. She’s 2 years and 9 months then. All of a sudden, she’s almost fully potty trained and it was me who’s left shocked and not ready. As in ako ang hindi ready. I was like, huh are you sure? Nakuu baka magkalat sa bed.

That day, we went to a party and I insisted to put a nappy on. She agreed though hesitant. While she was playing, dancing, she went to me and said she wants to pee. I told her she can pee in her diaper. She said “No mommy, I want to pee in the toilet,” OMG. Okay so I brought her to the toilet and she peed. The night came and I was still worried she will pee in bed so I had to put another nappy. The next day, she woke up with a dry nappy, no trace of pee and then she went to the bathroom and peed in her potty trainer (a gift given by my mom looooong time ago).

That’s the second day, totally diaper-free the whole day. On the 3rd day, I bravely decided not to put on diapers. She peed in bed around 12mn – I was like, okay not so bad. Not bad at all. On the fourth day, she said she wanted to poop and there she went, pooped in the toilet!

That day I decided to bring her to the mall, just the two of us. I wanted to see how it will go kung wala syang diaper. I brought a nappy with me in case need arises. Haha. So in the middle of fitting clothes, window shopping, twice sya nagsabi na maiihi sya. Yun ang stressful part – yung feel na feel mo na magsukat at bumili pero kailangan nyo maghanap ng CR! Kaloka. Pero to cut it short, it was a success! Whew. Good job anak!

Then for two weeks, I will wake up around 12:00-12:30 am just so I can bring her to the toilet. For two weeks, there’s a hit and miss and that’s normal. Puyat nga lang ako but then after two weeks of her being nappy-free, she learned how to control her bladder, it got more stabilized as days passed by.

So what did I do? NOTHING. See, wala akong ginawa, I just waited for her to be ready. That’s it. She did it all on her own. She even goes to her potty trainer and pee, she will wash her hands after, and wear her panty – again, sya lang mag-isa without me teaching her.

What makes me so happy is that we didn’t have to be stressed about it. We didn’t even have to buy fancy potty-training tools to entice her. If I wanted it my way, I could have forced her and that will probably leave her traumatized or worse, will hold her pee and that’s not okay! It really pays to wait for your child when he or she will be ready. Kids have their own pace and we all should consider and respect that. It will save us some stress and trouble.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to wait for the kids to be ready. They know better and if we do it that way, it will be easier. It will also make them confident and feel that they have autonomy over their body and their feelings. Who would want to be forced anyway, right? I have nothing against parents who want to potty-train early – that’s perfectly okay. It’s just that, in our case, the other way worked just fine.

Here are the things that we’ve been doing now that she’s nappy-free already:

  1. I time her liquid intake, usually she will pee after an hour (at least on the first weeks). So I make sure I time it and remind her if she wants to pee. Normally I do this but at times, she will tell me when she wants to pee or poo. Nowadays, she can control her bladder already and pee every 3-4hrs, except pag nag-buko juice! Haha
  2. At first, I joined her in peeing and made the pee sound. But now when she wants to go to the CR on her own, I let her. I just remind her to be careful especially when floor is wet.
  3. I affirm her, I validate her actions. Her face lights up when I do that. It’s such a feat for them and they deserve such recognition!
  4. Try going out without a nappy on, it will test the both of you. Don’t be scared. I swear. Only then you will both know what to do next. We traveled to and from Batangas via bus, without nappy on. Imagine my stress but then again, I trusted her and pull it through. No wiwi accidents! Hahaha

To this day, June 14, almost 3 months of zero diaper, and I can say things are so much better. We only had less than 10 accidents total and it’s all because we let Monica take her own sweet time. <3

What is your potty-training story? I hope our story helps! 🙂

Love,

Mommy Din

Twinning is a Thing

At least in our vocabulary. Yes I am that mom – the mommy who wants to twin with her daughter. Why, you would ask. I enjoy dressing up and have ourselves photographed. I feel this makes motherhood really fun.
I can clearly remember how my mom was like this to me and my brother before. She would always buy terno clothes for us. And as a grade school student, I did not appreciate, in fact I hated it. HAHA.
But look at me now, I grab every chance I get to wear matchy clothes with Monica even if it’s as simple as white shirt and denim shorts. Haha.
Since Monica is just 2 years old, I don’t often buy twinning clothes yet. I do, for special occasions, but most of the time, I just match what we have at home – may it be color or style. We don’t go twinning ALL the time but when we do, I make sure to have my husband take a photo of us. Haha. Because of this twinning thing, I came to follow and love different profiles on Instagram that showcase positivism in twinning. Thank you to the mommas who became my inspiration in this “twinning journey” haha. You guys know who you are. <3
Sharing twinning photos here!
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Bautistas in Boracay

This is a super late post but posting anyway! I am now motivated to update my blog haha. <3 :-p

So last February 27-March 1, we went to Boracay to celebrate our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. Why Boracay? We wanted Monica to enjoy the fine sands and see the beauty of Boracay – even if only a little or none probably will stay in her mind. Haha. Plus we’ve always wanted to go back ever since we spent our honeymoon there in 2015.

There were a lot of firsts for Monica – first plane ride, first boat experience! It was awesome! When we were at NAIA3, Monica kept saying “ehypleyn!” “wow many ehypleyn!” These simple moments really convinced me that traveling with Monica is a must for our little family (of course if resources permit).

We stayed in Ambassador Boracay in Station 1. We rate it 7/10. Location is great, food is uhmm, so-so, service, average only, room, good. But still, it was fun.
Sharing you guys our photos from this very memorable trip.


And Monica became Ariel! Hahahaha. Super cute crochet costume from Tina of Posh Dollies. We ordered a number of costumes from them for Monica’s monthly celebration before. <3

 
That’s it! Thank you to my husband for the beautiful photos and for booking this trip for us! More to come, baby! I love you and Monica! <3