Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How I “Homeschool” My 9-Month Old

Ok! Ok! I do realize you can't actually homeschool a 9-month old. But, I do a few things that help her learn and grow into a productive, creative and imaginative child. I want Bumblebee to be able to use her imagination and creativity as she gets older and enters school. Plus, I use these opportunities to build a closer bond with my daughter.

One thing my daughter absolutely loves is when I read to her. Right now, her favorites are the stories by Dr. Seuss and anything from the Bible. She really enjoys the colorful pictures and silliness of Dr. Seuss. She loves to touch the pictures, and she smiles and giggles when I read them to her. When I read her Bible stories at night before bed, she seems to be really enthralled by the stories. I have a Bible Stories for Children Bible from when I was little. It takes the stories and puts them into digestible words for children. Plus, there are plenty of colorful full-page pictures at which she can look. She loves to pet the pictures. I've noticed she can distinguish between the different shapes and colors, as she'll touch one thing and then another.

We also play on her blanket. I put some of her toys on her play blanket and I will pick one up and tell her its name (i.e. monkey, elephant, lion, giraffe, etc.). She seems to be really engaged when we do this. She often reaches for the toy as I say its name. Today, I swear she was trying to say "book" and "monkey". She watches my mouth and tries to imitate what I'm doing. Although she's not really saying any words yet, she is mimicking sounds and mouth shapes. She's working her mouth and tongue more and more every day.

Watching her learn and grow as the day's progress towards her first birthday is exciting and full of wonder. When she figures something out, she is always so excited. She always gets a huge smile on her face and looks at me expectantly. I always praise her and tell her what a good job she's done. Then she giggles her extremely contagious giggle, and tries to clap her hands. Clapping is still a little hit or miss for us, more hit than miss though!

Although I know this isn't homeschooling in the traditional sense, it is still learning for Bumblebee. She is learning language skills, color and shape differentiation, names of different objects, and is participating in sensory play. All very important for her development. I am very proud of her accomplishments and progress, and she seems to be having a lot of fun in the process.