Name: Victoria Sanchez
Kids: two sons, ages 17 and 15
Works: Milwaukee Public Library Education Specialist
Favorite part about being a mom: Watching my children become young adults.
Least favorite part about being a mom: Letting go.
Famous for: Coordinating carpool, summer camps, music lessons and soccer practice with military precision.
Name: Mary Madigan
Kids: Colin (17), Kyle (15), Reilly (10), Keegan (7)
Works: Milwaukee Public Library’s Early Literacy Education Specialist
Favorite part of being a mom: Knowing I am developing boys who will become loving, communicative men someday.
Least favorite part of being a mom: Would you like some cheese with that whine?
Little known fact: Mary can write upside-down, backwards, and upside-down AND backwards.
The pumpkins have arrived. The hay bales are in place. The apples are ready for sauce-making. The musicians are tuning up and the story nook is all set. Now, we need you to help make this year’s Harvest Fest another smashing success! Join us for this free, family-friendly annual event when we celebrate all things fall.
814 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Saturday, September 29
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
For a complete list of events visit the Milwaukee Public Library webpage
Check out our own Kelly Hughbanks, Coordinator of Youth Services, talking about Harvest Fest on the Morning Blend earlier this week.
See you Saturday at the library!
When I got home from the library yesterday, I got to play the role of Proud Mom. I’ve noticed as my children age, this opportunity comes around a lot less often than when they were hitting all those early milestones, so I treasure these times more and more. I got the news that my 11 year old son had been cast as a principal role in the school musical after several years of being in the chorus. My son gets to play- (drumroll)- Humpty Dumpty! I always knew that boy was a good egg (nyuk nyuk).
But not everybody was as impressed as I was. After school, another child l asked him which part he got, and when he replied, “Humpty Dumpty,” the other child queried, “Who is that?”
Who is that!? Really? I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the conversation. At first I was simply surprised, but then I was feeling badly for the child who didn’t know about this clumsy egg man, and could only imagine what other colorful characters he never met as a preschooler. Nursery rhymes, those stories full of plot, character and setting all rolled up in a few lines, were a staple in my house and in my classroom when I was a preschool teacher. To me, it is a travesty when children are unfamiliar with them. I encourage you to share some with your child today. See how many you can remember!
Hearing or saying nursery rhymes can build a child’s phonological awareness. Sharing rhymes and singing songs are effective ways for your child to pick up on the fact that our language is made up of smaller sounds that are strung together, an important pre-reading skill. Nursery rhymes can be a springboard to so many other activities that build a little person’s skills in becoming an avid reader. After your child is familiar with some fun nursery rhymes, it’s time to play and have fun with them.
Sharing nursery rhymes isn’t for just the very young child. The activities you can do with them can be quite complex. Below are a few suggestions of how to “play” with nursery rhymes, while building your child’s phonological awareness. Many of these ideas are excerpted from the book, Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum by Marilyn Jager Adams.
Have your child sit down and close her eyes so that she can concentrate on what she will hear. Then recite or read aloud a familiar story or poem to her but, once in a while, change its sense to nonsense by changing its words or wording. Your child’s job is to pinpoint the “mistakes”. Here’s an example: “The first little piggy made his house of bricks.” Or: “Mary had a giant lamb, its fleece was purple as snow.” Your young child will delight in these more obvious changes, and think how fun it will be for her to correct you and help you get it right.
As your child becomes better at this skill, make more subtle changes, such as, “Little Miss Muffet, eating a tuffet, sat on her curds and whey;” “ The eensy weensy spider went up the spouter wat;” or even, “Humpty Dumpty wall on a sat.” You can see that these changes are a little more complex. I can pretty much guarantee these little listening sessions will end in fits of the giggles. By playing with nursery rhymes, you will be sharing an important genre of children’s literature, increasing your child’s phonological awareness, and giving your child background knowledge to draw upon, possibly in middle school and beyond!
My youngest son, who turns sixteen today, must have been bored one recent Saturday because he decided to clean and reorganize his bedroom. Without my asking even once! After spending several hours in his room he emerged with a box and stated, “Mom, I’m done with these—what should I do with them?” I peered over the rim and I caught a glimpse of paper and hardcover reminders of the books we’ve loved and shared through the years. Staring out at me were tokens of long-past interests, hobbies and favorites. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, several Gary Paulsen books, Pirateology, Spyology, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Lightening Thief, something by Mike Lupica, Dear Mr. Henshaw, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark……there they were stacked in neat piles, all ready to move on. I was struck with a pang of nostalgia.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that we read and re-read Goodnight Moon and The Grouchy Ladybug? Remember the truck book you were obsessed with? We both learned the names of every truck, digger and excavator during the hours we pored over that book (which I’ve safely tucked in your memory box). I remember that day in kindergarten when you read Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman all by yourself for the first time. First Grade—Junie B. Jones and The Magic Tree House series, how many of those did we read? Harry Potter (who was mercifully spared from this purge and still holds a place of honor in the bookcase), the list goes on. There are a host of books we shared through elementary and middle school. For me, they are a timeline.
Our taste in books has parted ways in recent years—I’m still solidly a fiction gal and he’s into non-fiction, sports, and history. But, how fortunate I am that books are one of the things we’ve shared and experienced together through the years. And he’s promised to see the Hunger Games movie with me—a book we listened to while on a family trip a few years ago.
Happy Birthday, son and thanks for sharing so many great books with me. Keep on reading!
Perhaps you have heard of Thing 1 and Thing 2, or Sneetches on beaches with stars upon thars?
Maybe you are more familiar with Sam-I-Am and his propensity for green eggs and ham. Whatever your exposure has been to the writings of Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, there’s no denying the impact he has had on children’s literature.
Have you had the chance to share your love of Seuss books with your children? Dr. Seuss books are a wonderful tool to build pre-reading skills while you have fun: to be silly, create chants while you read the rhyme, use different voices, and discuss all the amazing imaginary creatures that reside inside the pages. Help your children create their own fond memories while you build their phonological awareness, which is just one early literacy skill they will need to have before they are taught formal reading.
Reading Dr. Seuss books is a great way to introduce lots of rhyming words to your children! Focusing on rhyming words is important for kids because it helps them learn how to hear if beginning sounds and ending sounds of words are the same or different. This is part of phonological awareness. They will need to be able to hear the smaller sounds of words when they start sounding words out as they read. (Psst! It’s ok to read Dr. Seuss a few pages at a time or to skip around to the important parts.)
Come celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss with your Milwaukee Public Library! Join us as we celebrate this beloved author’s birthday with stories, music, a Horton-shaped birthday treat, and more.
Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Central Library 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
The fun will continue through mid-March at our neighborhood libraries! Click this link to find a birthday celebration in your area! http://www.mpl.org/file/kids_seuss_index.htm
Babies don’t come with instructions, but fortunately you’ve got many experienced people to help you along the way. Look, smile, talk, repeat – those ARE the directions for teaching your young child how to acquire language. And as a new study shows, this isn’t just for developing the teenie weenie newborns, this has lasting effects. More on that later.
Take time throughout the day to spend talking with your baby throughout his first year. Hold him close and make eye contact. Choose a time to tune in when your baby is not busy exploring other stimuli. If you hold your infant facing you and try to engage in "conversation" but he looks away, that is his way of telling you he is not interested at the moment. Maybe he is tuning in to the whirr of the washing machine or the dog barking down the street. He may be on the verge of becoming hungry, tired, overstimulated, etc. If he’s older, more physical pursuits may be in front of him, such as the cat! Make sure it’s the right time.
We all love those moments when we connect emotionally with our babies. We make eye contact, and baby’s whole face just seems to burst to life. These are not only heart-swelling experiences; they are the interactions that build the foundation for a successful, wonderful life. I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, Really? If I look at my baby, smile, talk, and he responds, he'll be at the top of his class, end up with a great career and make the world a better place?” Keep reading…
If you start when your baby is under 4 months old, after a few months, notice that your baby will actually start watching your lips, much like a lip reader, while you talk. Babies learn language, not just by hearing it, but by watching HOW the sounds are formed. In an “ABC News” report of a study published in the journal Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences, babies were found to lip-read and watch the eyes of people who conversed with them from age 6-12 months. So talking, singing, babbling and cooing to your baby are not just bonding experiences. It’s Communication 101 in the College of Good Parenting. It’s how your child learns to communicate.
The picture below shows the baby tuned into his mommy's mouth as she converses with him, rather than her eyes....
Here’s the domino effect- and it’s a good one!
Children with higher language skills tend to be better readers and writers. Children who are better readers and writers tend to do well in school. Children who do well in school tend to earn higher education degrees, which leads to a higher paying career in the long run. So, yes! Taking the time to babble, coo, smile, and talk to your baby throughout the day can have a profound effect on their future! Look. Smile. Talk. Repeat.