Yesterday was Mom's birthday (I told you birthday season had begun). She got her cards from my brother, myself, and grace. Grace made her a collage from the 'nature walk' we took (which was really walking in the far back yard and her picking up leaves, hickory nuts, black walnuts, the occasional bug or bird feather). She did pick out some very beautiful leaves, though. The girl has an eye for the unique. At sales (garage, yard, rummage, and church) she only buys little toys or ceramic animals. She never goes for the typical things other kids do. You wouldn't believe all the tiny animals she has, not to mention an entire miniature Pooh set (it is really neat..it has all these little pieces, a tiny birthday cake with tiny candles that come out--about the size of a small needle..lots of teeny tiny things that I have since put away...lol) she got the owner to sell her for $5.00!! It was marked $15 and Gracie only had $7.00 in her purse (mostly change, too).
She was only 2 1/2 then and kind of hard to resist when she poured on her charm. So, here's this little girl struggling to lug this box full of Pooh things across the lawn to the owner. She drops the edge of the box by the porch step, picks up her bag o'money and dumps it on the step. She then proceeds to take the dollar her Aunt Nancy had sent her for her 2nd birthday and four quarters (I guess she just wanted to keep) and put them back into her purse. The woman running the show is just laughing her head off at all this, so when Grace climbed the other step to pay her, she happily accepted the price Gracie was willing to pay..$5.00. I offered to pay her another $5 for it, but she said 'no honey, that made my year right there.' So, I'm glad my baby can make people happy with her innocence.
I have worked with Grace since she was a baby on reading, counting, etc. I made 10 flash cards (mom, dad, baby, Grace, nana, papa, cat, dog, bird, car) for her when she was about 4 months old, and we did her cards each meal time starting about 6 months. She had them memorized by 8 months old. I also used sign language before she could talk (I don't know why I don't keep teaching her that?!?!! D'uh). Signs for eat, tired, more, please, thank you, mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, and drink. It worked too. She could communicate with us and not get so frustrated when we didn't understand her.
We started adding 5 flash cards every few months so now she has over 250 words she can 'read'. She hasn't picked them up in books though, so I think that may be because her cards are in my hand writing (printed, of course). My next course here is to type all her words on the 'puter and print them out. I know she isn't really reading, but has memorized the cards. What else is reading but memorizing the letters that make the words? Come to think of it, everything one knows is something they have memorized.
Anyway, along with getting her to read print, we are starting on addition. She can count to twenty and recognizes digits to 10 (she counts how many things she wants on each finger..'I want one, two, three, sor, sive cookies'). I make it a game. Here's how this mornings game went: (I had 4 cookies for visual aids and she pays more attention if she can eat her work ;)
Me: "if mom has two cookies and Gracie has two cookies, how many cookies are on the table?"
Me: "Right! there are four cookies. Now if Poppy (my dad) comes in and eats one, how many cookies will we have left?"
Gracie: "I have two cookies and you have one"