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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

Archive for May, 2009

Circles, Circles everywhere

Posted by Barack Levin on 26th May 2009

My little girl is in a new phase. Just like Picasso’s Cubistic period, she is now into circles. Every time she draws, she draws circles. What’s interesting is that her circles are always one continuous line that creates circles within a circle, until the whole circle is completely covered and full.

I read some place that drawing circles shows that the infant is complete with herself and understands her fullness and identity.

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Arithmetic

Posted by Barack Levin on 23rd May 2009

I am always amazed at how some things that seem so simple to me, can be so complicated for my little ones. My son knows how to count to one hundred and has started adding numbers totaling no more than 10. When I ask him to add numbers, his little fingers work overtime.  

I introduced him to a workbook which had some arithmetic exercises, groups, bigger and smaller numbers, counting, etc.. He went through the addition exercises easily.

He then turned to the subtraction exercises. He saw a picture of 4 apples and 2 apples and in the middle he saw a minus sign. I explained that there were 4 apples minus 2 apples and asked him how many apples would be left. To my surprise he raised six little fingers.

I corrected him and tried to explain it in a different way, “If you have 4 apples and I take 2 apples, how many apples do you have left?” This time he knew that the answer was 2 apples. I pointed at the page and asked him to try again, “Here are 4 apples, minus 2 apples. How many apples are left?” His mind worked and he lifted his six fingers again. I thought it would help if I could figure out his reasoning, so  I asked him how he got that answer. He answered, “There are 4 apples here and 2 apples here, and so together I see 6 apples.” He was so sweet.  I tried several more times, but he did not get the idea. “Well,” I thought,” tomorrow is another day.”

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Doctor Visit

Posted by Barack Levin on 13th May 2009

My son went for a routine “five year old” medical exam at his doctor’s office yesterday with my wife. They went through the routine questions about his activity, sleeping time, abilities and other issues. My boy’s weight and height are in the sixty percentile and his BMI is 50%. It was good news.

The doctor then asked my wife if we give him supplements such as vitamins and minerals. When she said that we do not, he was very surprised and actually strongly suggested that we start giving them to him. When she told me that, I could not believe what I was hearing.

Our society has gotten to the point that parents don’t feed their children correctly and doctors  recommend and actually try to enforce the practice of parents giving supplements to their kids. We are, of course, against it. We feed our kids with mostly organic food, lots of vegetables and fruits and very few candies or other sweets.

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Teacher – Parent Conference

Posted by Barack Levin on 13th May 2009

Last night, I asked my three and a half year old daughter what she thought that her teacher would tell me when I met with her the next day at a parent-teacher conference.  My daughter said that the teacher would say that my daughter is “a good girl.”

When I met with her teacher today, she told me that she had no negative issues with my daughter. She is right where she is suppose to be and in many aspects, she is ahead of her classmates. She also told me that my daughter is the most popular kid in her class. Everyone wants to play with her and she plays with everyone. She continued telling me that my daughter is also the favorite among the teachers. She behaves well, helps others, listens in circle time and is overall a joy to be with. It was a very short meeting because the teacher didn’t have a list of negative issues that she needed to discuss with me concerning my daughter.

When I finished talking to the teacher, I went back to my daughter’s class and asked her what did she thought her teacher told me. She asked if the teacher had said that she is “a good girl” and I said, “Yes!” Then, I gave her a big kiss and a hug. My alternative parenting methods do pay off.

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Baseball, anyone?

Posted by Barack Levin on 13th May 2009

My son turned five years old last week. We decided that he was old enough to pick his own present, so my wife took him to the toy store and told him to roam around and pick a present. He walked up and down the aisles and chose a baseball bat and swimming goggles. He did not want any computer games, electronic games, movies or CD’s.

 I was happy about his choice because it showed me that he prefers to be involved in activities outside rather to spend his time in front a TV screen or computer monitor. As soon as he got home, we took out the bat and started practicing.

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Listerine

Posted by Barack Levin on 3rd May 2009

Ever since I was a young child, I had problems with my teeth. Every time I went to the dentist, he would discover a cavity or had to treat another tooth or gum issue. Throughout the years my mom always told me that this was probably hereditary because she suffered from the same problem. I accepted my fate and continued to brush constantly and forcefully and dreaded the trip to the dentist.

About seven years ago, I was introduced to Listerine, a mouthwash that promises to sanitize and clean. I thought that I had nothing to lose and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, ever since I started using it, I have never had any work done at the dentist except the occasional cleaning and check up.

Now that my kids are old enough to understand mouth hygiene, I decided to go ahead and have them use Listerine as well. I found a new Listerine geared for kids with a wonderful strawberry smell and taste and brought it home.

A week before I started them on Listerine, I showed them how I use it and asked them if they want to be grown-up and use it also.  They agreed and we got started. I poured some of the newly bought Listerine into a small plastic cup and added a drop of water to dilute it. I did not want to have them hate it if it was too strong. I told them what to do and demonstrated how to swash the product in the mouth.

My boy went first. He sipped the product and started swashing it. I told him  to count to fifteen and he did. As he reached fifteen, he spit it out and rinsed. I asked to see his teeth and he proudly presented them to me. Now it was my girl’s turn. She got up on a chair and sipped the Listerine.  My boy counted to twenty and my girl spit and rinsed. A short check of her mouth and she was all done.

Since then, they insist on using Listerine every morning and evening and I oblige.

Since I was a young child I have had problems with my teeth. Every time I went to the dentist, he would discover a cavity or had to treat my teeth. Throughout the years my mom always told me that this is probably hereditary because she was suffering from the same problem.

I accepted my fate and continued to brush constantly and forcefully and dreaded the trip to the dentist.

About 7 years ago, I was introduced to Listerine. A mouthwash that promises to sanitize and clean your mouth. I thought that I had nothing to lose and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, since I started using it, I have never had any work done at the dentist. Only the occasional cleaning and check up.

Now that my kids are old enough to understand mouth hygiene, I have decided to go ahead and have them use Listerine as well. I did find a new Listerine geared for kids with a wonderful strawberry smell and taste and brought it home.

In order to start them on Listerine, a week before, I showed them how I use it and asked them if they want to be grown ups like me and use it as well. They agreed and off we go.

I poured some of the new bought Listerine into a small plastic cup and added a drop of water to dilute it. I did not want to have them hate it if it was too strong. I told them what to do and demonstrated how to swash the product in the mouth.

My boy went first. He sipped the product and started swashing it. I told my little girl to count until 15 (some learning techniques can not hurt) and so she did. As she reached 15 he spitted it out and rinsed. I asked to see his teeth and he proudly presented them to me. Now it was my girl’s time. Up on the chair and sipping the product. My boy counted until 20 and she spitted and rinsed. A short check of her mouth and she was all done.

Since then, they insist every morning and evening to use Listerine and I oblige.

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