Monday, August 18, 2014

O is for Obedience

I've been blogging through the alphabet for a while now. You can read the rest of my A to Z homeschool posts here. Thank you for stopping by.

O is for Obedience

Obedience has become a battle ground in our home. IntelliGent is under the mistaken impression that he is in charge and has the final say in every decision. I'm not sure when this idea became lodged in his mind, but the fallout has not been pleasant.

Until recant weeks, IntelliGent has been a fairly easy two-year-old. Sure, we've had our share of tyrannical moments, but over all he has been sweet and obedient. I'm beginning to wonder if he didn't lull me into a false sense of security.

IntelliGent has started to use the word "no" with alarming frequency. After realizing a straight "no" did not produce the desired result, he modified to "no, thank you" thus reducing my words to a request that could be ignored. While I appreciate his attempts to be polite, I still expect him to obey and tell him such. Eventually he acquiesces.

Last week, I was preparing lunch while IntelliGent played with his train track. While spreading peanut butter across a slice of bread, I was interrupted with an engine being thrust into my hand. The following conversation ensued.
"You have very nice engines." I handed the train back to him. 
"Chase my engine around the track, Mommy." The engine is shoved toward me again, narrowly missing the glob of peanut butter on the knife. 
"Right now I'm making lunch. Maybe we can play trains together after we eat." 
"You want to play engines now." 
"No, thank you." I hand the engine back to him. 
"I appreciate you are trying to be sweet, but you need to obey. Say 'yes, IntelliGent' then we will play engines."
He's still confused on how this obedience thing works, but at least I know he's listening. Now to convince him that he is not in charge.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

N is for Nap

We've now made it half way through the alphabet. You can read the rest of my A to Z posts here.

N is for Nap

With IntelliGent's third birthday looming on the horizon, we are transitioning into a new phase. Last week, he made it very clear he no longer needed his nap time. Little does he understand, I still need him to take a nap. Those two hours of silence daily was my chance to be me - and not Mommy - for a few moments.

With this change, we are reevaluating our schedule and routine. I still insist he take a rest period every day. Some days, despite his insistence that he's not tired, IntelliGent takes a nap. But most days, he just sits in bed and reads quietly for a while. He's discovered the joys of afternoon playtime after being released from bed after rest time.

As with IntelliGent's education, this transition has come sooner than I would have liked. And like his education, we are learning how to do this one day at a time.

Monday, July 28, 2014

M is for Monkey

I'm half way through blogging the alphabet. You can read more A to Z homeschool posts here. Thank you for stopping by.

M is for Monkey

Before IntelliGent was born, we lovingly called him our little monkey. Dr. Dad would use the term of endearment as he spoke to him in the womb. Once IntelliGent was born, the name stuck. He wore monkey outfits and played with monkey toys. Any time we saw something with a monkey on it, I was tempted to purchase it. This love for all things monkey was fitting since Dr. Dad has enjoyed monkeys since he was a child.

So Many Monkeys - 4 weeks old
Our little monkey - 3 months old

There is one monkey that has taken precedence over all the others. This monkey has become IntelliGent's best friend and is never far away. Whenever IntelliGent is upset or sad, this little blanket monkey helps provide comfort and security. There are days, I almost think IntelliGent loves that monkey more than Dr. Dad or me.

But I know better.

Monkey Photo Bomb

Friday, July 25, 2014

L is for Lightbulb

I've been blogging through the alphabet here on A Yearning 4 Learning. You can read more of my homeschool A to Z posts. Feel free to leave a comment.

L is for Lightbulb

Earlier this week, Dr. Dad and I went for our six month hygiene appointment at the dentist. We purposefully staggered our appointments so IntelliGent could come with us for a few minutes.

Six months ago, when IntelliGent first joined us at the dentist, he was fascinated with the waiting room. He talked about all the chairs and counted them. He mentioned repeatedly the circle lights in the ceiling. I had completely forgotten about those conversations until we entered the building together for my appointment.

The first thing IntelliGent noticed when we entered the waiting room was bank of lights over the reception area. "Look, Mommy. Someone changed the lightbulb." On our last visit, he had been so concerned about the burnt out lightbulb. Obviously, it left a bigger impression on him than I realized. All was right in the world now that the lightbulb had been replaced.

Only a moment later, he pointed to the bank of lights over the man waiting in the room with us. "I sat in that chair." It took a minute for me to recall that trivial information, but IntelliGent was right. He had sat in that seat six months ago. Who remembers stuff like that?

Further observances were cut short as the hygienist called me back to the room. As she worked on my teeth, I thought about the clear and detailed memories my son carried inside his head. It's a little frightening to think about.

I'm going to have to be extremely careful what I say and do, because this boy will remember it FOREVER.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

K is for Kid

Thank you for visiting my homeschool blog. I've been blogging through the alphabet. You can read more of my homeschool A to Z posts here. Feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

K is for Kid

One big challenge of having a small scholar is convince IntelliGent there is more to life than learning letters and numbers. He loves to learn, but I know he also needs time to just be a little boy. He needs to run and play. He needs to climb and throw balls. I try to encourage those activities by taking him to the park or letting him play in the back yard. We also do movement activities during our school time.

While camping in Michigan, IntelliGent got to be a kid. He didn't insist on school (though he asked about it a few times). Instead he ran around, played ball, and watched his cousins. He was a happy carefree child. If I didn't know better, I would have thought he was a normal 2 year old. It did my heart good to see him so happy being a boy.

Running through bubbles

Rolling balls down the hill

Learning to catch

Playing putt-putt golf

I've noticed, since returning from our camping trip, IntelliGent is far more confident in his physical abilities. That confidence shows up in other areas as well - most noticeably in his potty training efforts.

IntelliGent is a wonderful gift. I am learning to balance his need for learning with his need to play. I often have to remind myself though he's in kindergarten, he is only two.

Friday, July 18, 2014

J is for Journey

Thank you for joining me for another AtoZ homeschool post. I'd love to hear what you have to say. Please feel free to leave a comment.

J is for Journey

June and July has been months of adventure for our family. IntelliGent, Dr. Dad and I have travelled over 6,500 km and seen many members of our scattered family.

IntelliGent has proved to be an excellent traveller and is already asking when we'll go on our next "long ride."


The first of our adventures took us to the south of Virginia to spend a week with Dr. Dad's sister, her husband, and their new baby. It was interesting to see IntelliGent interact with his new cousin. He was a sweet boy, wanting to hold the baby right away, then was gentle with her throughout the week. I was anticipating some jealousy as I held the baby, but IntelliGent was more curious than anything. He loved sharing his toys with her, and spent some time examining her toys as well. He has already declared that the baby is his best friend.


On our way home from Virginia, we stopped in Pennsylvania to visit Dr. Dad's brother and his family. Once again, IntelliGent enjoyed a chance to be with his cousins - this time a group of four older boys. It was a blessing to see the loving interaction between these cousins. The cousins - wowed by IntelliGent's script of questions - discovered an unfortunate truth: IntelliGent does not preform on demand. I discovered the fearlessness of IntelliGent as he handled his cousin's salamanders and frogs. It is nice to know he is a true boy.


We were only home a day before driving into Ottawa for my Canadian citizenship ceremony. This was the culmination of a long process - starting with my wedding vows over six years ago. What a blessing to have our whole family be duel citizens between the USA and Canada. Yesterday, my Canadian passport came in the mail. Our whole family can travel with the same country's travel documents. Dr. Dad and IntelliGent took me out to a nice restaurant to celebrate the accomplishment. I celebrated by voting the following day in the provincial elections.


Less than a week later, we were on the road again. Dr. Dad had a science conference in Sudbury, ON. IntelliGent and I spent four days enjoying Science North - a wonderful science center in Sudbury. We saw butterflies, beetles, cockroaches, turtles, flying squirrels, owls, beaver, porcupine, and snakes. While I love biology and could spend all my time studying the different animal exhibits, IntelliGent proved to be more like his father. He gravitated toward the different Physics interactive displays. His favorite was the gravity well - sending various size metal balls spinning around the circle and down the hole. He kept many of the "Blue Coats" entertained with his antics.


IntelliGent had been looking forward to visiting Granma and Granpa in Michigan for weeks. He loved being outside with Granpa. Most of all, he enjoyed camping with his cousins from Washington. My parents enjoyed having all the grandchildren together, and the kids did so well playing with each other. IntelliGent learned a few things from the girls - like how to say "I love you" with no prompting. While playing at camp, he was a feisty two-year-old. While I love the scholar, it does my heart good to see the little boy at play.

Our summer journeying is now finished and it is time to get back into our schedule and routine. IntelliGent spent the morning begging to do school.

I obliged.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I is for Imagination

Thank you for joining me as I blog through the alphabet. You can read more of my homeschool AtoZ posts.

I is for Imagination

One worry I have about IntelliGent's rapid mental development is he will be so focused on academic learning that he misses cultivating his imagination.

While other children seem to be content playing, IntelliGent focuses on letters and numbers. Does he play? Yes. But even his self-directed games have an educational bent. He loves to count things, discuss the beginning sounds of words, and has recently taken an interest in spelling. All these things are wonderful, but it does leave me a little concerned. Imagination is such an important part of life.

I've encouraged IntelliGent to play imagination games. He loves his train set, and we make elaborate tracks for Thomas and his friends to go on. He'll reenact the adventures he's seen on the show, but doesn't make up his own story. He's only two-and-a-half, but I would love to see some original creativity come out of his playtime.

Last week, I finally saw the first real glimpse of his imagination. He was eating his Pb&J when he looked at the piece in his hand. "Look! It's a boat." He spent the next few moments pushing his boat along the table. I don't usually allow him to play with his food, but I was too excited to see his imagination at work to stop him. That time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

H is for Half

Thanks for stopping by. I'm currently blogging through the alphabet. Click on the link to read more of my homeschool AtoZ posts. Leave a comment; I'd love to hear what you have to say.

H is for Half

While IntelliGent constantly surprises me with his understanding of math concepts, I was dubious about teaching him about fractions in K4. I thought fractions were something to be taught in upper levels. But even fractions have a simple base that must be mastered before advanced concepts can be built on them.
Isaiah 28:10 - For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
I was impressed at how quickly IntelliGent embraced the concept of half. It might have helped that we used one of his favorite snacks (graham crackers) to illustrate the concept. Once he understood what I was talking about, he was finding halves everywhere we looked. It has been a theme in our conversations, especially at meal times.

"Look, Mommy. My cracker was whole, now I have two halves."

I pray his love for learning continues as we build on the concepts introduced in K4.

Monday, May 12, 2014

G is for Garden

Over the next few week's I'm blogging through the alphabet. I'd love for you to stop by my other homeschool AtoZ posts and leave a comment. Ideas of topics you'd like to read about are also appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to visit and read.

G is for Garden

Spring is finally upon us in the Ottawa valley. After a winter I thought would never end, the snow is gone and the temperatures have warmed. To my great delight, planting time is upon us.

I am not a fantastic gardener, but I do enjoy digging in the dirt and watching things grow. The spring after IntelliGent was born, I started a new kind of gardening. Instead of the traditional row planting, I now use the square foot gardening method.

Square foot gardens - July 2012

We began planting our gardens today. This is the first year that IntelliGent has helped. He loved the idea of planting his own vegetables. Of course, he is still of the opinion that he'll be eating carrots from the garden this evening for dinner.

I look forward to watching my son enjoy the growth process of the plants. While it took longer for IntelliGent to assist in the planting (and I had to get my own perfectionism under control when the seeds were not in perfect lines), I believe the extra time was well spent.

We have a lot more planting to do, but I plan to allow IntelliGent to help as much as he is able. Won't he be excited when the first of the crops are ready to harvest?

Square foot garden - August 2012

Thursday, May 8, 2014

F is for Finished

I'm blogging through the alphabet for the next few weeks. You can read more AtoZ posts by clicking here. Thank you for taking the time to read. I'd love for you to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

F is for Finished

Today, we finished our last lesson of K4. IntelliGent has done a fantastic job listening and learning. His reading has improved and I am amazed at how quickly he picked up on all the different concepts we've talked about.

It boggles my mind that we could complete the whole curriculum in six weeks. I may never get used to how quickly IntelliGent learns. I marvel at the gift of intelligence God has given to him, and pray that Dr. Dad and I can help him to learn to use that gift for God's honor and glory.

To celebrate, Dr. Dad and I are planning a picnic dinner at the park for IntelliGent. We'll take a three day weekend (summer break) before jumping into K5 on Monday. I have no plans to speed through K5 at the same pace as we did K4, but I'll be taking cues from IntelliGent to discover the correct pace for our situation.

Way to go, IntelliGent. Dr. Dad and I are so proud of you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

E is for EIEIO

Over the next few weeks, I am blogging through the alphabet. I am enjoying coming up with different topics to share. You can read more AtoZ posts by clicking here.

E is for EIEIO

We sing all the time. IntelliGent loves music and has a large repertoire of songs. Because of this, sometimes songs get mislaid and we stop singing them for a time. This week we discovered a lost song.

How we could lose Old McDonald is beyond me. It is such a classic children's song, but IntelliGent moved on from animal sounds almost a year ago. He's current song list revolves around Sunday school songs.
IntelliGent with Grandpa's chickens

We learned about the farm earlier this week. As we talked about the different animals, IntelliGent had the joy of reviewing some of those old animal sounds. It has also sparked a new interest in his stuffed animal collection.

There was delight written on IntelliGent's face as I started to sing Old McDonald. He jumped in immediately, requesting that we sing it over and over again.

I would love to take IntelliGent to a petting zoo in the near future. I think he would benefit from seeing the animals in person, instead of just as a picture. He knows about chickens from visiting his grandparents, but I would like to introduce him to goats, sheep, and cows. Of course, there is always the possibility of over stimulation at a petting zoo, but I'm willing to chance it.

Now for your enjoyment. Two verses of Old McDonald sang by my favorite tot.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

D is for Diapers

Over the next few weeks I'm blogging through the alphabet. You can read more AtoZ posts by clicking here.

D is for Diapers

When IntelliGent was six months old, Dr. Dad and I took a big step and decided to start cloth diapering. He's been wearing the same diapers for the last two years. There are many reasons why we chose cloth.
IntelliGent's first cloth diaper

Saving Money

I'll admit, while not adding to land fills is a good thing, environmental concerns were not our number one reason for switching to cloth. We wanted to save money. Disposable diapers are so expensive. I was appalled at how quickly IntelliGent when through a big box. It seemed that we were buying diapers and wipes every week.

At first, I thought diapers were just a necessary evil, but then I took an honest look at our alternatives. Sure, setting up a diaper stash is a lot of money up front, but it is cheaper in the long run.

No Pins

A sample of our stash
When I was pregnant with IntelliGent I clearly remember my disparaging comments about how I would never use cloth diapers. I didn't want to deal with the mess. Reality check. Even with disposables I was dealing with the mess. There is nothing romantic about baby poo.

Thinking about cloth diapering always conjured images of stabbing my child with a pin. Not any more. Our cloth diapers have not pins, just a row of snaps to aid in sizing. Honestly, its as easy as putting on a disposable diaper. IntelliGent loves listening for all six snaps as I secure the diaper at his waist. Looking back, I wonder why I held such a prejudice against cloth. I was simply uninformed.

Baby Legs and Cloth Diapers
Cute Factor

One of the best things about cloth diapers is the colorful patters and solids available. These diapers aren't just something you hide under a child's pants, but often they become part of the outfit. My favorite accessory to go with cloth diapers are baby legs. These cute leggings add to already adorable outfits and make diaper changes a breeze.

I have never regretted my decision to go with cloth diapers, but after two years it is time to move on to a new phase. Yesterday, we took the first steps in breaking IntelliGent's dependence on diapers. Potty training is in full swing, and I am happy to announce it has been going very well.

Will I miss seeing that little bum in diapers? Yes, because they are so cute. Will I miss cleaning poo out of cloth diapers? Not at all.

Now the big question is, will he be day time potty trained before he starts K5?

Monday, May 5, 2014

C is for Cookies

Over the next few weeks I will be blogging through the alphabet. You can read more AtoZ posts by clicking here.

C is for Cookies

I'll freely admit that I do not enjoy cooking. Making a meal on the stove is something I do because it must be done.

Baking on the other hand is a different story. I love to make yummy brownies and cookies. I don't do it as often as I would like, simply because my waist and hips already too wide.

As a girl, I remember my grandmother baking pies and allowing me to play with the leftover crust dough. She'd even bake my then gray colored creations. No one ever ate my baked pieces of dough (looking back, I don't blame them) but I thought they were wonderful. Was that the beginning of my enjoyment of baking? Perhaps. I do know those are some of my favorite young memories of times spent with my grandma.

Fast-forward to present.

IntelliGent is often curious about what is happening in the kitchen. I likes to be picked up to see the water boiling in a pot, or meat sizzling in the fry pan. I try to include him in these activities by talking as I work or, if appropriate and safe, placing him on the counter to watch.

Watching the Mixer

When we started the K4 curriculum, one of the early lessons talked about the Gingerbread Man. I decided to make some cookies with IntelliGent. Was I insane? My mother never baked with me and Grandma only let me play with the leftovers. Still, I grabbed our aprons and got to work.

IntelliGent stirs the dry ingredients together

It was a wonderful experience - one we have repeated a few times. IntelliGent was involved in every part of the process. He helped me read the recipe, stir the dough, use the mixer, cut out the cookies, and decorate them.

Can you tell which ones IntelliGent decorated?

Baking with a toddler does take longer, but I am impressed with IntelliGent's willingness to help and I believe he is learning important lessons as we measure, pour, mix, stir, and cook together. We both agree the best part is enjoying the yummy goodies at the end.

Friday, May 2, 2014

B is for Bible School

For the next few weeks, I'm blogging through the alphabet. You can read read more AtoZ posts by clicking here.

B is for Bible School

I'm beginning to think that "school" is IntelliGent's favorite word. He loves school in all its shapes, from Sunday school to letter school. One of his favorite's is "Bible School" with Dr. Dad.

IntelliGent has been attending Sunday School with the older children in our church since he turned two. He has a fantastic memory and we spend a lot of time practicing memory verses. He loves reading story books about the Bible. 

We have talked with IntelliGent about the Bible and God since before his birth, but it wasn't until recently that we decided to add some formal Bible instruction in the home.

Dr. Dad and I bought the BJU Bible Truths curriculum (Walking God's Way) at the same time we purchased the K4 materials. We chose not to work through the Bible curriculum at an accelerated rate. The biggest reason for this decision is that Dr. Dad is teaching the material, and Dr. Dad doesn't have a lot of extra time on his hands to prepare lessons.

I love watching these two work through the lessons and talk about the Bible together.  

Could there be a sweeter sight?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A is for Attitude

Over the next several weeks, I will be blogging through the alphabet. It seems appropriate with this being a homeschool blog. I hope you'll join me on the journey from A to Z and leave a comment on the way.

A is for Attitude

IntelliGent is an only child. He believes the world revolves around him. In some ways he is right. Our day does revolve around his needs. If he needs a diaper change, everything stops to take care of the stinky bum. When he is tired, we stop and take a nap.

With no siblings, Dr. Dad and I are his playmates. He loves the attention, but it is becoming increasingly clear that IntelliGent does not like to share. He doesn't want to share his toys and he doesn't want to share his playmates. Too often we've had to remind IntelliGent to be sweet when he tries to get between us as we hug. We have made him share toys with us, just so he understands he is not in control of the world.

These lessons are hard. His feelings get hurt. He whines and fusses, he screams and throws a fit. And then we correct the attitude. Sometimes it involves sitting in a chair, or on his bed, until he calms down.

Some days, "be sweet" are repeated every five minutes. I wonder if he is even listening.

IntelliGent is a perfectionist. Nothing is more frustrating to him than things not working like he thinks they should. His perfectionism means we can go from calm to screaming in a moment. Usually the offending toy is flung across the room in the process. These angry outburst have been a huge source of concern for Dr. Dad and I as we try to help IntelliGent learn to regulate his emotions.

Being perfect is stressful, I understand that. I was an oldest child with perfectionistic tendencies. I would rather not do something than face the prospect of failing. It is hard to see those traits magnified in my son. How can I help him with his attitude, when I constantly have to check my own?

Some days, "be sweet" is my mantra. Not just for him, but for me as well.

IntelliGent is getting it. With all the harping we do about being sweet and obeying from the heart, it is sometimes hard to know if IntelliGent is even listening. Then I hear him instructing MagnifiCat. "You have to be sweet. Now say, 'sorry for bumping the tower over.'" Apology accepted. A gentle hand pats MagnifiCat's dark fur.

It does my mommy heart good to see him living out the instruction he's been given. Are we done with attitude problems? No, but at least I know the idea is working inside of him. He really is a sweet boy, when he wants to be.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Follow the Script

IntelliGent loves routine. Our day goes much better if we follow the same schedule. If IntelliGent knows what to expect, he moves confidently through the transitions between activities.

This holds true with conversations as well. IntelliGent loves when we follow a script. His favorite script is a series of question and answers. It goes something like this.

What is your name?
My name is (first name)

What is your big name?
(first, middle, last name)

How do you spell (first name)? (last name)?
(spells correctly)

How old are you?
I'm two years old

Where do you live?
(names house number and street)

In what town? province? country? continent? planet?
(provides correct answer to each)

What is your post box number? What is your phone number?
(again providing correct numbers)

Who is the Prime Minister?
Steven Harper

Who is the Queen?
Queen Elizabeth II

Who is the President of the United States?
Barack Obama

The script continues to lengthen as we add new questions. He loves it. If Dr. Dad or I don't ask, IntelliGent will prompt us with the first question. And don't think you can get away with skipping a question. He will remind you how things are supposed to go, if you don't ask them in the right order.

This love for frequent repetition has been useful for reviewing bible verses and other facts he has learned. I'm always thinking about what other useful information would fit in our script.

What should we add to the conversation next?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Humor Me

Yesterday started a new stage of communication in our home. IntelliGent started telling jokes. His delight in being silly and playing with language kept Dr. Dad and I grinning.

Currently, IntelliGent's jokes revolve around changing the words of familiar nursery rhymes. He thinks it is hilarious. Here are a few of his favorites.

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a car."

"Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of juice."

"Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as ice."

"Little Miss Muffet sat on a mountain."

Each time he follows with a "ha ha. I chose a joke." I know, I'll probably get tired of hearing these eventually, but for now it is fun. It makes me remember the days when simple things brought so much joy. Wouldn't you be happy if "the dish ran away with the carrot" at the end of Hey Diddle Diddle?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sing Me a Song

As I write this post, IntelliGent is supposed to be napping. Instead, he is singing the alphabet song over and over. Moments ago, I reminded him to be quiet and go to sleep.

I love to hear my son sing. There was a time, not too long ago, that I worried I would never hear his voice raised in song. It seems like a silly worry now as I wait for the silence of sleep to claim him.

IntelliGent has loved music from the womb. I am a trumpeteer. I continued to play trumpet, while expecting IntelliGent, until I could no longer get the air support needed to produce a steady tone. He was always excited at community band practice, doing flips and twists in the womb while I played.

That love for music continued after birth. When IntelliGent was very small, often, the only thing that could console him was singing loud and long. Dr. Dad and I spent a lot of time in song.

When IntelliGent started to talk, he would specifically ask for certain songs to be sung. He has a whole list of favorites, most he's learned in Sunday School. He would smile as I sang, but nothing could convince him to try and sing the song with me.

Then something changed in February. Dr. Dad and I were sitting at the table after dinner singing the songs IntelliGent requested when we tried something different. I held a note, Dr. Dad added to the chord, and out of the blue a sweet little voice added a third note. We were all so shocked and excited that a rediculous amount of clapping ensued.

For some reason, singing that note unlocked whatever was inhibiting IntelliGent from joining the music. Suddenly, he wanted to sing every song we knew.


The joy of music is evident on my son's face as he sings with me.

I wonder what took him so long, but then I remember. IntelliGent has strong perfectionistic tendencies. He wants to do things exactly right and is acutely aware of his limitations. I believe the perfectionism, couple with his awareness of limitations, is what has caused some of his delays.

My job is to help him learn how to modify his expectations to something more reasonable than perfection. Trust me, it's a full time occupation.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Read Me a Story

IntelliGent loves to read. His morning routine includes reading books to himself in his room. While he can't read yet, he knows these stories well enough to "read" some of them out loud. Most mornings he goes through at least two dozen books before breakfast.

Dr. Dad and I have read to IntelliGent from the beginning. I will to admit to reading aloud from books before he was born.

Did those moments in womb listening to my voice help cultivate his love for stories?

I have no idea.

I do know, this child has a great interest in books. We often curl up together with a pile of books and just enjoy the cadence of the words. IntelliGent comprehends most of what we read, and these stories often come up again at later times, in unusual ways.

Fox in Socks is one of IntelliGent's favorite books. Dr. Dad and I have read that book to him often enough to have the rhymes memorized. Some months ago IntelliGent was playing with his magnetic letters in the kitchen while I worked on dinner. He showed me the letter B.

"B says b, like Bim and Ben lead bands with brooms."

Though I shouldn't have been, I was a bit surprised. We hadn't read Fox in Socks in weeks, but he was able to make the connection between the B sound and the alliteration in the rhyme.

Yesterday, IntelliGent read his first book in school. It was a simple four picture booklet with the same word printed below each picture. Before giving him the booklet to read, we wrote the word on the chalk board. IntelliGent sounded out the word phonetically and then put the sounds together. We were both pretty excited when the word "Dad" came out of his mouth.

We are still a long way from independent reading, but today was another exciting step in that direction. In the mean time, we will continue spending time together reading stories and learning things from books.

IntelliGent isn't the only one in the family who loves books.