He Wants to Read!

02 May

We’ve had a real breakthrough in our house…Esa is wanting to read. A couple of weeks ago during lessons he asked to do his reading first thing. And he’s been asking if it’s time for lessons so that he can read. So I broke the great news to him: it doesn’t have to be lessons-time to do some reading…you can read whenever you want!

He’s particularly taken with the Mr. Men books and has begun collecting them. He’s giggled his way through Mr. Bump and is now guffawing through Mr. Tickle. There are some big words in these books (“extraordinary” comes to mind) and they are great for beginners who are looking for a challenge.

He’s also been picking up the Usborne Beginngers from the library. These are fantastic non-fiction books for “beginner” readers. I say “beginner” because they are quite challenging. But they’re a nice length, they’re visually appealing, and cover lots of great topics.

What I’m particularly ecstatic about is that his reading comprehension seems to be great. He isn’t simply reading the words; he’s understanding, enjoying, and even laughing at the written message. He’s learned a fair bit from the Usborne books and he’s discussing with me what he reads.

Our read-alouds are still greatly enjoyed. We’re currently reading theΒ  Tumtum and Nutmeg series. These are lovely books, and even though they are a series, they’re not twaddle. They’re not what I would call “literature,” but they are fun, wholesome, and have a good vocabulary. The story lines are exciting and even I enjoy them.

My only quibble is that the author has employed the use of the inept parent, which has become increasingly prevalent in children’s books as of late.

A math update: we’ve ditched Singapore for the time being. We spent a lovely week just playing around with math. We worked on larger number-recognition using the dry-erase board. I would ask him to write a number, say 24, and then ask him how we would make that number read 124. He really enjoyed this game and wanted to take it into the thousands and ten-thousands. We also read Less Than Zero for the 4th time (he’s got a thing for negative numbers…he doesn’t totally get it, but he’s fascinated by them.) I’m not a huge fan of the Math Start books; I think they’re too “teachy” sometimes, but this one’s pretty good.

We’ve begun working on a personal record book. He has to take lots of measurements of himself, some of which will be long-running, such as height and weight, and record them. This coming week he’ll take his temperature every hour and then create a graph.

He also counted from 500 to 600 while tossing a beanbag.

And that was math for the week. Easy, fun, and lots of learning without the tedious workbooks and lessons.


7 responses to “He Wants to Read!

  1. Kez

    May 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Sounds like a great week – yay Esa for catching the reading bug!!

  2. shana donohue

    May 3, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I’m so [strangely, I know] happy to hear your son likes negative numbers! I teach high school math and the #1 stumbling block for my students is… negative numbers. I teach Advanced Algebra so you’d think the answer to -13 + 7 would come naturally to my students. If doesn’t. It’s sad, i’ve seen it every year that I’ve taught, and it’s a concept introduced here in Boston forst in 3rd grade. So why is it still such taboo?

    I belive it’s the way we teach negatives. If we’re asked, “how much do I still owe you if I borrowd $13 and paid you back 7?” we’d of course know the answer. We’d count up from 7 to 13 and keep a tally of how many numbers we passed. But in school, kids are told to “find -13 in the number line and count 7 to the right.” This isn’t how we think.

    I developed the ZeroSum ruler to let kids solve negative integer problems the way we think about them. I hope you check out my blog and comment on your own experiences with your son!

  3. Jennifer

    May 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    We like the Stuart J Murphy books for just the reason you stated. You can actually skip over the problem solving parts until they are ready for the concept. In the meantime, they are fun stories that begin to get the concept into the subconscious. For example, we have now read Earth Day Hooray for 3 earth days. The first time he was four. The concept is place value. He had no idea about place value and I thought 4 was too young, so I just skipped over that part. This year he learned place value and wanted to solve the problems.

  4. Clare

    May 4, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Yey Esa! That must be so exciting for you Michelle. Brilliant πŸ™‚

    • whimsyway

      May 4, 2010 at 5:03 am

      Thanks, Clare. Yes, I’m very excited πŸ™‚

  5. Suji

    May 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Wooooohoooo Esa!! πŸ™‚ Lovely news and it sounds like you had such a delightful week too. Thanks for sharing Michelle!

    • whimsyway

      May 5, 2010 at 5:14 am

      Thanks, Suji. πŸ™‚


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