Monday, November 5, 2012

Big Kid Skills: learning to whistle, learning to knit, learning to read

I've spent this morning brainstorming birthday/Christmas/knitting ideas for my soon to be five year old.

Birthday and Christmas because, well, they're coming up. Knitting because this weekend K asked me if she could please learn to do that thing with the needle thing where you make things, which I determined to be either knitting, crocheting or sewing based on her hand gestures.

I was already thinking of getting her a children's knitting kit, actually, but then I would also have to get her a person who knows how to knit in order to teach her. I like the idea of knitting but am not very, ah, coordinated. I also have my doubts as to how well she would handle the needles. She is currently learning to tie her shoes but hasn't mastered it. (Though she has only had shoes with laces for a week or so.)

Then I had the inspiration of finger knitting! No needles and a relatively fast payoff, right? I remember doing it as a child and making endless chains. If and when she masters that we can look into something more involved.

Is that a good idea?

Is there anything else in this area that would be suitable for a five year old with an unskilled parent?

I'm also considering getting a learn-to-read book (we have some workbooks but they are more about individual letters or doing mazes and other tasks) or some other kindergarten materials. This is still a problem, but I hope that in the next year it will be easier to find a few minutes here and there for some English learning activities.

Is THAT a good idea? Does anyone have a recommended book/curriculum or should I not even use a formal curriculum and just continue freestyling and/or letting K learn to read on her own?

Anything else I should buy while I have the chance?


  1. So exciting all that growing and challenging!!

    I can't knit either. My kids both like knitting/stringing activities though, it's just right for 4/5. This kit is a big hit in our house right now.

    Also, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons is an amazing book. My son is on lesson 95 and my daughter is on lesson 3. :)

    We combine that with various workbooks, and skip the writing practice in that book. We use a couple different ones, the kids like the Big Workbooks from SchoolZone but I prefer the American Education ones (they have Canadian curriculum ones with Canadian money and u's!)
    I like to have a few activities and I keep them all with sharpened pencils in their own baskets beside the kitchen table so they can choose themselves what to do while I start supper. It's nice, just to get them into the habit of doing homework. Of course lots of reading aloud goes on too!!

    Hope you update with what you decide to do, I love chatting about this stuff!

  2. Thanks! I was hoping you might comment with some suggestions, since you always have so many great resources on your blog.

    The 100 Lessons book is the one I was looking at most, since a friend recommended it by name several years ago. I wasn't sure if it would be the right approach though - if you like it, too, then I will go for it.

    I like the idea of baskets prepared by the table. I really want to set up an art/writing corner for K (similar concept, things to choose from), but that's a no-go until M finishes the into-everything stage.

    I'll definitely write about what we end up getting and how it works out. Mostly I just hope that we manage to find some time for it in the next year!

  3. Ah yes, it ruins everything when someone gets into it and chews all the pencils/glue/stickers. :)

    The 100 lessons one seems weird at first, since you read right off the same page and it is not set up workbook style, but it was really intuitive for my littles. More than me anyway!



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