the daily mess

playing with kinetic sand

It’s hard to keep the house constantly clean with these two boys. Even though they have their own play area, they still love the dining table and occupy it whenever they could with their spread of hands-on play.

Some night I have to give up cleaning the messy table because I know they will be back at it once again the next day. I know I always complain about the mess, and get tired at yelling at them once or twice a day, but these will become great memories years later for me.

I also had my own mess making phở that day.

a brand new reader

My bed has become his favorite spot for reading. He can now read the basic on his own!

I am not an expert in teaching, but I only know what works for my boys in terms of teaching them how to read by using phonics method. What worked for PP did not quite work for Peanut. It took PP only a few days to pick up the trick; Peanut, not so much…it took me a few months to even get him interested.

A month ago or so I picked up a few free books from Trader Joe’s free-library for kids (I love Trader Joe’s even more for this idea!!!). A few books I picked up were called Bob’s Books Sight Words, and each has up to 12 pages, with basic CVC and three to four sight words at most.

Peanut became interested in that because it looked very easy to put together the sounds, and it’s easy to understand plot of the stories. To make the story short, as I have observed his keen interest in reading these few books, I decided to purchase three sets for him. The book arrived today and he started reading one book after another, on my bed.



I am so relieved!!!

So this is part of my summer bridge for him. I just hope that he will continue to show interest in these books and then move onto upper levels.

For those who have four- and five-year-olds, I would highly recommend these books for beginning readers like my Peanut. Of course, it must begin with reading to them daily, and engage them in environmental prints as well as helping them to recognize phonic sounds for each letter. I do this all the time, asking Peanut to tell me the beginning and ending sounds, and what the middle sound would be like, then teach him that those middle sounds are called vowels.

I also recommend the Hooked on Phonic app. I taught PP phonics using that app as a tool and that’s where he picked up the basic skills.

Anyway, I am ecstatic to share what I learn as I go along with teaching my kids supplement skills at home. As always, I am not an expert, and each kid has their own timing as well as level of interest, but these are just the basic of where to start if you are afraid of treading into the water.

The Bob’s Book I bought, three sets for about $39 from Amazon. The Hooked on Phonics was $39 when I bought it four years ago. They might have increased the price by now, but it’s worth it!

Parental duty

Darn that stubborn tooth that does not want to come out after many attempts. 

My boy has such a low level of pain tolerance. It’s a struggle for Mr. O every time he has to pull a tooth out. Yesterday PP screamed so hard and loud as Mr. O tried another attempt at pulling and ended up getting frustrated so Mr. O gave up and asked me to call the dentist today. 

PP does not believe in the tooth fairy tale anymore; this kid is becoming more pragmatic like I am. Not sure whether it is a good or bad thing. Oh well, he needs to face reality sooner or later, might as well!