I realized I needed to make a change if I was going to try to accomplish some of the things I'm trying to accomplish with the kids. We've been sick the past few weeks, so school's been out the window, but I'm finally feeling a bit better and so I started with my niece yesterday.
She's 4, a cutey-patootey and smart as a whip. Which makes me feel very guilty for neglecting her. It hit me that when she gets here, until the 17yo is here and I'm full-time busy, is an ideal time to work with her. We have about an hour, provided I don't have other things I need to get done.
Yesterday, she told me she didn't know what to do. I suggested the sandpaper letters--it had been a while. So we did the letters from her name and I noticed that for the life of her, she could not follow how I was doing the j (cursive). I'll have to slow down or something next time I present it to her. She also couldn't remember some of the letter sounds (3rd stage) no matter how many times we played. Sooooo, I decided to play letter hide-and-seek with her. She LOVED it. A couple of mistakes in recognition the first time, but after that, smooth sailing. :)
Today, I invited her to help me fill the dog's dish with food, which she did, then we did sandpaper numbers, starting with 1-5 (she already knew 1-4). We traced them, did a few of the typical 3-part games and then hide-and-seek. After a round or two of that, I added 6, then we added 7. She LOVES this kind of hide-and-seek. It has changed her interactions with me already. It's so interesting. She is much more talkative now, like this work has cemented a bond or something or open a door and the connection is good, so she's talking.
The hide-and-seek isn't difficult: I place the cards out in the open in different places around the living room. When she picks up one that's wrong, I say, "No, that's ____. Leave that there (or put it back) and find (repeat what I had asked her to find." It just occurred to me that it might be better to leave off the no and just say, "That's such-and-such. Find me ____."
I'm guessing this hide-and-seek is going to be a regular part of our morning routine. Think we can do hide-and-seek with the puzzle map pieces? ;D