Our son has been trying to eat solids for a number of months now. His initial interest in food only extended to his fingertips. Once he figured out the whole “hand to mouth” thing he really became interested in food. What started out with a protruding lower lip and a confused look (avocado) has since turned into a monster who rapidly crawls towards any plate or utensil he sees. He carelessly abandons toys to one side or the other and monstrously crushes all others in his path. He moves as the monster truck: directly on top of his barriers. His … Continue reading

Big Day On Campus

The day after my dual-presentation nightmare signaling the end of my semester as a student (though grades still needed to be entered for my students as an instructor) my wife was tasked with taking her students to an event on my campus for the entire day. This meant I’d have to go back and spend the day in the place where just yesterday I had been anxiously preparing to pass or fail evaluations of my intelligence. I would have rather sat at home. That last day was exhausting. This was not going to be possible, though, because baby needed to … Continue reading

A True Artist

Is your preschooler an artist? Tonight my daughter sat at the dining room table painting. She was mixing colors. She said that she was trying to make gold. Since she was dumping all of the colors into a big container and stirring, I can only assume that she meant brown, which is exactly what she made. Pressing blobs of paint onto green paper, she looked proud and said, “An artist takes care in her work.” Then she presented her father with her paintings as a birthday present. I wish that I had such confidence. At the moment I am taking … Continue reading

Toddler Speech Evaluations

My son had a speech evaluation this past week. It has been determined that he needs to attend speech therapy twice a week. My cousin attended speech therapy when he was my son’s age. From what I’ve heard, speech therapy is very helpful for late talkers. I was very apprehensive before my son’s evaluation. I didn’t know what to expect. I went to the speech and hearing center, which is on a college campus about fifteen miles from our home. I took my son in and filled out the registration papers. When it was time for us to go back … Continue reading

Dogs Are as Smart as Toddlers (When it Comes to Hand Signals)

Two different studies recently took a look at how well dogs learn and understand hand signals. The first study (from Eotvos University) tested dogs against two-year-old children and three year old children. Testers used a variety of gestures like finger pointing, elbow pointing, and leg pointing to help the kids find a favorite toy… and help the dogs find tasty treats. Both the dogs and the two-year-olds had no problem with the majority of the gestures. Pointing with a knee gave both groups a little trouble, as did an arm pointing one way with a finger pointing a different way … Continue reading

Learning about Horses and Ponies

Yesterday I wrote about how shopping for a birthday present for a friend’s daughter made me realize how many types of horses there are. Growing up, our family had a horse for all of about five minutes. His name was Saberjolt and I was over the moon for him. But, thanks to my allergies, we had to give Saberjolt up. (At least that’s how family legend tells it. More than likely it was because we couldn’t afford him. I don’t remember ever coughing, sneezing or wheezing either during or after any Saberjolt outings.) However, I couldn’t tell you what kind … Continue reading

Ask Your Child Hard Questions Too

There are times when our children can throw us for a loop with their tough, complicated questions. Many of us realized our children were leaving the baby stages behind when they started asking us “why” and “how” for everything. The children are not the only ones who can ask the hard questions, however, and it is actually stimulating and good for our children if we ask them some challenging questions once in a while too… Instead of automatically explaining or teaching our children as we go along, asking them questions and encouraging them to come up with the answers is … Continue reading

Kids Learn from ALL Their Friends

I have written previously about what a challenge it can be when our children bring home friends that we are not to crazy for. The truth is, however, that ALL of our children’s friends, peers and acquaintances have lessons to teach them. When you think back over your own life, it may just be the most challenging people that taught you the most poignant lessons. Our children will gain experience and learn valuable life lessons from all of their friends—even the ones who are temporary or turn out to NOT be the greatest of friends after all. We may know … Continue reading

Can You Get Better at What You Do?

Many of us start home businesses in industries where we already feel like experts. Whether we have adequate education, tons of experience, or a combination of both—it is often only after several years of working in a particular industry that we start to feel like we have enough expertise to go solo. Once we start our businesses, however, we may start to feel a bit inadequate (often for the first time in years.) After all, we are being called upon to use skill sets that we may not have needed in previous, more traditional jobs—and we are the only one … Continue reading

Learning is What we Think, Know, Do and Say

As parents, most of us think of ourselves also as teachers and we are concerned with what sort of lessons our children are learning. I think it is good to remind ourselves that learning is more than just being able to recite the alphabet or writing symbols on paper and turning in our homework. Real learning involves everything—it is what we think, what we know, what we do and what we say… While we may understand that learning is a process, it is important to remember that it is often not a linear process. I know in watching my own … Continue reading