Friday, February 13, 2009

Learning the Words

Has anyone out there seen the commercial for Your Baby Can Read? I saw this infomercial and I was very intrigued. As you know, I love anything and everything infomercial. The next thing on my wishlist is the Kymaro Body Shaper. But, I digress...

This morning was not a good morning in the Texan Household. Linus is my stubborn one. He's the one who can't hold his temper and trouble just seems to find him somehow. Yesterday we went to CVS, to get the new Madagascar DVD for only $4.99 (after spending $20 on P&G products that I'd buy anyway, like Tide & Pampers - both of which I had coupons for. Woo Hoo. Oops, digressing again.) And he wanted some M&M's. I said, "no, sweetie, you had fruit snacks in the car, and we'll have dinner right after we get home. He complained, and whined, and drug his feet, and generally caused a scene. He wailed, "you never get me anything!!!" I'm all, WTF? I'm getting you a DVD RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. Of course, Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown are just standing back, silent, with a nervous look on their faces, like they are waiting for the bomb to explode which is otherwise known as Texan Mama and Linus butting heads. They've seen it before. They were just standing clear to avoid getting hit by schrapnel. And, how fair would it have been for me to put the DVD back and punish all 3 kids, when only Linus was being the pain in the ass difficult one?

So, his punishment was, no computer. He was mad. This morning he wanted to play computer and I told him, NO because of the way you acted at CVS yesterday. Of course he stomped off to his room, slamming his door, screaming that he hates Mom and he isn't going to school until he gets to play computer.

LOVING this kid right now.

I put soap in his mouth. More screaming. He goes to his room. I explain that FINE he doesn't have to go to school but if he stays home he will be in his room all day with no lunch, no tv, and only bathroom breaks. He says, fine he'll go to school. Here is the part when my heart melted...

Linus tells me that he doesn't want to go to school because it's just so much work and they don't get enough recess time. That he loves his friends and just wants to play with them. And he hates all the work, work, work. He said, "Mom, maybe in college will I get 2 recesses every day?" THAT broke my heart.

Linus does not have a love for learning the way PP and CB do. My older two, they always absorbed all I showed them. They loved to do puzzles, look at books, play with letter magnets, the whole nine yards. They always were engrossed in the baby vocabulary DVD's I'd put on the TV. They loved flash cards. They showed interest in reading early.

Linus was speech delayed and I wonder if this is part of his problem with learning, or if it is the cause of his learning. He has never really shown any signs of learning disabilities, but we have not had him formally tested. In Kindergarten, I was already reading before I got there. By contrast, Texan Papa had dyslexia and still had trouble reading in 3rd grade. Now, Linus does fine in school, but I think his problem is just that he's not interested! He always says, "Why do I have to learn to read??" I explained that if he did, he'd have a magical key to understand all the notes home from school and street signs and Pokemon Cards, etc. He didn't seem to care.

Now Baby Sally is 16 months old and her vocabulary? is one word. "da". That means, Dad. She does communicate through grunts and pointing, but this worries me. I am NOT trying to compare my child to some arbitrary goal for number of words a 16-month old should know. I just want her to succeed. And this is why I'm concerned: PP and CB never had speech delay and they love learning and read really well. they both get good grades in school. Linus WAS speech delayed and now hates learning. I am worried that the same will happen for Baby Sally.

So, I've been thinking about getting that Your Baby Can Read program. Sure, it's like $200. Sure, I'd have to spend all the remaining Christmas money and birthday money on it. But maybe it would be worth it? I dont' want to put all my hopes in an inanimate object, but I want to give my child the best tools to help her learn. I don't really want her to be reading by age 2, but I want her to love learning.

I'm not looking for a magic bullet to solve anything. And I don't want my kids to be Einsteins or anything. Actually, I would prefer that they enjoy the grade they're in, but not have to struggle while learning. I want to help in any way I can, and I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty. But, I haven't had this experience with school before. It's all so new to me. I loved learning. My first two kids LOVE school and look forward to going. Linus? Has never liked school. Never wanted to go to Preschool. Still never wants to go to Kindergarten. His teacher says that once he's there, he works hard, never has to be told to finish because he stays on task, and seems to enjoy doing his work. Actually, she said that he often surprises himself that he is able to read and spell words correctly.

So, I don't know if his problem is that he doesn't like school? Or doesn't like leaving me in the morning? Or is having trouble learning? Or maybe his problem is that he has a neurotic mom.


Hot Tub Lizzy said...

My gut reaction? Linus is just different than PP and CB... I'm not sure it has anything to do with being "speach delayed"... I think it's pretty typical for kids with older siblings to not talk as soon... they've got more people to interpret and do their bidding. I would say that just reading to her would be a huge step towards talking and loving to learn.

I may not be making any sense... things are work are getting raunchy and funny and I'm having trouble paying attention :)

Jennifer said...

All kids are different. I loved school, my brother hated it. I'm no sure it has as much to do with a speech delay as it does with the fact that he is just different. And he probably learns in a different way from his brother and sister and school tends to only teach things one way.

anymommy said...

I have no idea, but if you figure it out, can you let me know? My 18 month old seems to be speech delayed. He says 'NO.' That's about it. I worry too. I don't need brilliant children, just happy and not perpetually frustrated.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

All kids are different. I would not worry too much. My oldest is speech delayed and I have noticed if I make our 'work' related to CARS, he does a little bit better.
My oldest hates school too--and she was speaking in full sentences before she was 12 months old--she just doesn't enjoy learning, esp. math. Now she does like reading but more for pleasure.
Hope this comment made a little sense!

Chris said...

First, TOTALLY loving the new layout!!!

Linus sounds a lot like my 8 year old. He doesn't like school but is a total genius. His problem is that everything bores him because his mind works so quickly.

Bridgett said...

When I got to the paragraph about language delay, that got me. That's Sophia--sans tantrums, but similar results about school. We're lucky enough to have a school that is sensitive to needs like hers--at a more traditional school, I'm sure she'd have an IEP by now.

raerenner said...

I agree that the third child doesn't need to talk as his siblings do it for him. Dyslexia
is a male trait, I believe. My husband and nephew are both dyslexic. My nephew is 30 and my husband is 50 so they have figured out how to make things work for them that makes sense. I have a daughter who is not dyslexic and my nephew has a baby girl. Time will tell but it is a heredity thing. I am no expert as it really hasn't affected me as I haven't raised a child who has it. If Linus writes letters backwards on a regular basis or shows
problems with reading you need to have him tested.

Natalie said...

my second one does not talk as much as my first one because my first one does it for him. he points and grunts and she says "mommy, brother wants an apple." he claps like she is a genius. he may never talk. agh.

if you do decide to buy the program (which i have also considered...tempting, i agree), i will be waiting anxiously on your review!