June 11, 2010

The Feelings Book

Experience books played an enormous part in Hadley's early language development. As learning language concepts came more readily to her, we eased off on the daily entries, then left them behind entirely. When my sons were born (both hearing), I had a moment of guilt that I was not creating these masterpieces for them...then I got over it and got back into parenting a set of twins (which has its own set of obstacles and complications).

My kids are the ones that made me return to a kind of experience book...taking a favorite published book and recreating it with your own family. When my boys were 18 months old, they were obsessed with Todd Parr books, especially "The Feelings Book" . Hadley, then 6 1/2 years old, had a renewed interest in experience books and wanted to make her own. We spent an hour going through pictures, thinking of similarities between our family life and the themes from the book, and pretty soon had a final product .
Two years later, the kids still love to read their version, talking about what they see, remembering when they were little...in short, producing rich language connections. It's just as necessary for hearing kids as it is for those who hear with some extra technology behind their ears.

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