Archive | June 2012

The Significant Other

“In psychology, a significant other is any person who has great importance to an individual’s life or well-being. In sociology, it describes any person or persons with a strong influence on an individual’s self concept. ” (From Wikipedia ‘Significant Other’)

The arrival of my daughter changed me and my self concept for good, and as she has grown and realised the nature of my difference (we live in Japan, I am not Japanese), I believe that I have become a fairly significant other for her, too. How does my difference affect her, and to what extent should I let it do so? Read More…

The Gruffalo

Perhaps living in Japan means I’m a little off the beaten path when it comes to popular children’s literature in English. The Gruffalo was first released in 2009 and came to our house early this year. It’s a well illustrated book with smooth rhyming prose and a nice twist at the end. Even after 6 months of using this story at bedtime I still enjoy reading this to my daughter. Read More…

Phonics in Your Pocket

Previously I wrote about using free online resources on the P.C to practice reading skills. For those using ‘smart phones’, there is also the option (though not always free) of exposing your child to a whole world of language experience on the go. Today I downloaded a new application that is still in the testing stages, but whose simplicity and relevance to all I have written about so far in relation to my daughter prompted me to add yet more coin to Apple’s coffers.

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Do it Online

Once you have the phonic alphabet under your belt, there is a world of free materials online to help the young one practice their reading skills. I’d like to introduce one page that has provided a variety of fun (for a four-year old at least) reading activities that my daughter keeps wanting to go back to. Read More…

Spells

Add a little magic to story time! Author Emily Gravett describes the book ‘Spells’ as the story of “A love torn frog and some very mixed up spells!”. If you are hoping to make reading books as appealing and enjoyable an activity as possible and use your story at bedtime to help the little person practice their reading, this is one book to add to your collection.

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Reading for Sprogs (download available)

Last year, I realised that my daughter would probably not achieve native level use of English if I didn’t try something different. I work full-time, she speaks to her mother in Japanese and we simply can’t afford an international nursery or to fly to the UK for a holiday every year.

I resolved to give her the skills she will need to develop her language ability herself. I decided to teach her to read. Read More…

Something New

Last year I took my daughter to England for her second visit to my home country. While there, a friend’s daughter gave her a beautiful book of puzzles. At 3 years old, I knew she was too young for that difficult a puzzle and kept it in storage until today.

Now 4 years old, she still struggled with the puzzles themselves. It was her first attempt at something so complicated. She dove into the pile of pieces, randomly matching and becoming frustrated when they wouldn’t fit together. I did wonder whether I had been too optimistic, but the hour we spent at the kitchen table gave us a great chance for meaningful and productive communication. Read More…