Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too

Owen's preschool teacher, Ms. Speck*, is simply put, a genius. She uses her preschool voodoo powers to teach my kid all sorts of useful things, things I should have gotten around to teaching him, had I not been too busy painting my toenails or peeling Joel off of the ceiling fan.

One of her secret talents is the ability to sing a song for virtually every action. Whenever my son washes his hands, we always hear this catchy jingle: (It's to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" Come on, everybody sing along!)
Wash, wash, wash your hands,
Soap will make them clean!
Wash away, wash away,
Germs that are unseen!

The only song I knew when I was Owen's age was a public health announcement they played on local Arizona TV to prevent the spread of hepatitis. I still know it. Do you want to hear it?

Hepatitis has some symptoms you should learn to recognize
Like fever, feeling very tired, and a loss of appetitie. 
Your tummy hurts, you feel real sick, 
You will not eat a bite. 
Your eyes sometimes turn yellow, when you know they should be white. 
So wash your hands, after going to the bathroom!
Wash your hands, after changing baby too. 
'Cause you don't want to catch hepatitis. 
And you don't want hepatitis to catch you!
Who? YOU! 

I swear I am not making this up. If anybody from the Phoenix area is reading this (and you were a kid in the early '80s) , please make a comment verifying the existence of this song. 

Besides the songs, Miss Speck** knows how to make fun, educational, interesting activities that Owen just adores. Preschool is his drug of choice, and I'm happy to be his enabler.

Totally stealing her idea, I made this parking lot for Owen. We talked about numbers, and where the cars wanted to park. For example, Tow Mater wanted to park in spot #4. Miss Speck*** actually put numbers on the Matchbox cars, so the kids could match the car to the spot, but I thought that might offend Owen's sensibilities. 

Then, Owen told me that I needed to make garages that popped up, just like Miss Speck**** So, using random craft materials, we made this:

Again, the garages all had their numbers. Seriously entertaining. I feel so smart. Thank you Miss Speck*****

And THEN, in the re-certification class from Hades, I learned about sight words from the elementary school folk. I downloaded some sight word cards and now have the following in my kitchen:

And, I swear on a stack of phone books, that Owen sounded out the "g" and the "o" sounds to read the word "go."

Now, before you UNFOLLOW me because I'm one of those braggy mothers that think her son poops solid gold nuggets, let me share this tidbit with you: I caught him eating a bowl of applesauce out of a bowl on the floor. Like a dog. Did you know how far applesauce can travel up a child's nostrils?

Miss Speck******, you've been slacking in the applesauce department.

Finally, lest you think that Joel has been neglected in all of this, check this out:

Yes, it's an empty vitamin bottle. (I like the Gummy Vitamins. Shut up!) I filled it with black beans. Now, it's a rattle. Hells. Yeah.  Try that, Miss Speck*******

*Not her real name. But close.
**Still not her real name.
***If you don't get it by now, I don't know what to tell you...
****Maybe her name is Miss Speck and I've been effing with you all this time.
*****I like Chef Boyardee. Yum.
******Did you know that people think I look like Miranda from "Sex in the City?" You know, the red-headed bitchy one?
*******I need to pluck my eyebrows before they reach Andy Rooney proportions.


Jen said...

I can't remember breakfast and you remember a hepatitis PSA from the early 80s. LOL!
My kids don't poop solid gold nuggets, just the occasional flake. ;)
And Miss Speck is a treasure. We had one too, and both boys went to kinder OVER-prepared. I still razz her about it. LOL

Coby Goesling said...

I LOVE the parking lot/numbers idea! I'm SO stealing that!

Mama Zen said...

Has anybody told you lately that you have great asterisks?

Michelle said...

The hepatitis song is hilarious!

Unknown Mami said...

Miranda would not sing a Hep song.

When did I become my Mom said...

Hey those garages are a good idea. My little girl likes cars. Might be because she has 2 older bros. And she steals their cars. And they let her, and tell her she's cute.

I digress.

Good for u and Mrs Speck!

blueviolet said...

I did that parking lot thing with my kids. Dang it, I didn't think of making covered carports though!

Laughing Stars said...

I learned very early that my son would do ANYTHING that involved Hotwheels, and I remember using them for mathy things, too, when he was little.

Mrs4444 said...

You're funny...

And that rhyme you remembered (?) is a perfect example of how using songs to teach kids is brilliant :) I'm glad Joel has a great teacher :)

Nikia, May and da kids said...

My kid likes Hip Hop Harry and at 9 yrs she really is too old to be watching those DVDs. Anything you put to music, kids will remember it.

My dorky older boys watch Hip Hop Harry too and has all Harry's stuff memorized as well, but the dorks can't remember to do their own laundry and take out the trash. Maybe I should put it in a song. Something like ...

take out the trash,
or I'll kick your ***
do your laundry too,
or I'll beat you with a shoe.

Hey can you send Miss Sprck to help me out??


Iva said...

I love this parking lot/ garage game!! I will give it a go with my boy too! ;)

adrienzgirl said...

HEP C PSA song. Nice.
Love the wash your hands song though! :D

Tracy Johnston said...

Okay, my husband still sings the chorus to the Hep song around the house. It's very catchy.
Glad your kiddo is doing so good in pre-school. Mine has been head-butting kids in class and making them cry.
I'm secretly proud of his head-butting skills. That's my boy!

erika said...

I liked Miranda. And I also like gummy vitamins. For me, not for the Bean, as they would be hard to squeeze through the feeding tube.

AlliGrrl said...

OMG! That was the most annoying damn song. I remember the last 4 lines but I don't think I ever knew the rest. And I don't think you look like Miranda, you're way hotter.

Kristin said...

Holy creativity batman. My poor kid. I'm really gonna have to do some research as I fear I won't come up with cool stuff like that on my own!

mama-face said...

haha. I would have been all over those matchbox car garages. Genius.

Let's see; you were a child of the eighties...I could be your mother...therefore your child could be my grandchild. Which would explain why I was scared to death he had swallowed the entire bottle of vitamins.

The hepatitis song! If you hadn't sworn you were telling the truth I would not have believed you. :)

Busted Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Busted Kate said...

Hi Nancy! I'm sorry I was so late to reply to Nicole's FB Msg, but I am so glad she introduced us. I know already we will be good friends based on your posting of the hepatitis song, which also aired in Tucson in the early 80s. And if the hepatitis song didn't seal the deal for me, then your asterisked notes at the bottom would have. You're hysterical, so glad Nicole introduced us! :-) Kate

Cinda said...

This was great!!! Love, love good teachers (since I be in the biz). Even better are moms that enhance all the good ideas at home. And a gifted mom at that with an incredible memory! For some reason I thought of my "7-minute rumble" which I still do even by myself now that we are empty nesters. Husband will participate as well. I would tell the kids that we were going to do a 7-minute rumble, turn on something loud and wild by Bob Marley, set the timer for 7 mins, and everyone would run around the house like made picking up and putting away. In 7 minutes it looked presentable and when the timer went off we all cheered. Sometimes that is all I need for a quick pick up. Gets the blood moving as well. Sorry if I went on tooooooo long for just a comment! Thanks, your blog is wonderful, love it!

Bekah said...

Glad Joel has such an awesome teacher. Early GOOD school experiences are just so important. And, a facebook quiz told me I am just like Miranda, too. Without the red hair or high-paying job.

Cat said...

That's an AWESOME idea. I'm going to have to pull that out in a years or two!

I can't believe you remember that jingle.

Sarafree said...

Great ideas! That car garage one could be adapted to spell words. So cool. I need to get my butt in gear and make some activities for the kiddos.

Corrie Howe said...

I'm reading backwards (because I've been like Rip Van Winkle and asleep since 3:30 p.m. on Friday).

So I know that you should've fixed those eyebrows, now you'll have to pay a speeding ticket because you didn't.

Just thought I'd heckle you about this.

You're welcome.

kys said...

I've been told that if my friends and I were the SATC gals, I'd be Miranda. (Cuz of my sparkling personality.) Also, *someone* said that if we were the Golden Girls, I'd be Dorothy. (Must be my fabulous fashions.)