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Our Long, Winding Road to Reading

07 Mar

Firstly, thanks to everyone for their kind birthday wishes. 🙂

We’ve switched from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to The Road to Reading by T.H. MacDonald which I bought (for £3) when I first started out homeschooling, but that Stiggy and I both found very dull. The beginning lessons are about teaching the child the individual phonemes, then two-letter blends like this:

ba be bi bo bu
ca ce ci co cu
and so on

Boring, boring, boring…but effective. A few of these blends were something Stiggy still struggled with. He would sound out ‘but’ like this: ‘buh-uh-t,’ instead of ‘buh-t.’ And I had taught him the consonants ‘purely,’ so that wasn’t to blame. But not anymore. After one week of drills, he’s got it down pat.

I’ve also been drilling him on vowels. I pulled out the magnetic letters, had him put them into alphabetical order, then asked him to remove the vowels. I asked him to tell me the vowels, the short vowel sounds, and long vowel sounds. Each day I had him tell me the vowels and short/long vowel sounds. He could now rattle them off in his sleep. He KNOWS them.

All of this may sound like montonous drill…and it is, but it works. It’s only for a few minutes each day, and actually, he really enjoys it because he’s able to shine. Children love to be able to show off newly acquired skills. He gets excited now when I pull out R2R. So, I plan to work through it slowly and allow him to get a firm foundation in each skill before moving on. I think EZL may have been moving too quickly for him. I didn’t actually realise it until now. I think he needs time to learn a new concept, practice it, and revel in it before moving on. The programme also has the child do easy dictation. This can always be skipped if a child isn’t ready for writing. For his phonics workbook, I’ve been allowing him to choose a page. He’s covered most of the topics in level A, so it’s just practice and fun now.

This week was purple week in art. We read Harold and the Purple Crayon and listened to ‘Purple People Eater’ on Youtube. Stiggy learned how to mix blue and red to make purple and he added this to his colour mixing chart. Last week was green week; we read Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni.

I’m also teaching Stiggy my mobile number. I want him to memorise this. I’ve also told him if he ever gets lost in a shop, he needs to find a shop worker, or a lady, and tell her he’s lost but he knows his mummy’s mobile number. We’ve been doing role play for this. Once he’s got this down, I’ll be teaching him his address and home number.

For math, we read ‘Alfie’s Numbers’ by Shirley Hughes. I thought this would be a simple counting book, but actually lots of concepts are covered. This is a great book.

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Posted by on March 7, 2009 in Kindergarten, Learning to Read, Math

 

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