Listening to Myself

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Learning to Read, Day 1

Because of Mrs. Darwin's discussions of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons I decided to borrow a copy from my library and take a look at it. In the fall, I bought another book about teaching your child to read but I haven't done much with it because they want the child to know all their letters and most of the letter sounds before you start it. Also, they don't give all that much aid to the parent/instructor, so I felt a little lost with it. I didn't get 100 Easy Lessons at the time because the reviews were somewhat mixed for it - some calling it too repetitive and too scripted. Well, it turns out that I think that's exactly what we need so I think that this book is going to be the right one for us.

I read through the introduction and the first couple lessons last night, and we did the first lesson this morning. I am reasonably pleased with how it went, and I think Emma has the general idea of how it is supposed to work. I think the main complication is that when she is doing the letter sounds, she starts off looking at the page, then looks up at my face (for approval, I suppose) and doesn't see when she is supposed to stop making the sound. Telling her to watch the page made her want to put her face right up to the page, so I think that is going to take a little work. She also had some trouble repeating the word slowly to me, drawing out the sounds of the letters. She just wanted to say the word quickly - am rather than aaammm, for example.

All in all, it went well for a first lesson I think. I'll do some review this afternoon and try doing the writing portion then. The hardest part of the morning was when she asked if she could do more learning games with me, so I suggested a number game that we have and that she usually enjoys. It started out ok, but then she starting having trouble doing things that she was doing earlier, and trouble remembering a number from one moment to the next. I don't know if we had just reached saturation point or if she was getting bored or what, but it was extremely difficult to play the game with her when she all of sudden could no longer count to 8 and when she did manage to do so, could not remember that she had just counted to 8 about 2 seconds later. I was trying to end the game on a positive note, but things just were deteriorating so fast that finally I had to just call it quits before I tore my hair out. I'm not sure how to recover from this sort of situation - I'll have to give it some thought.

OK, time to make lunch for a hungry little girl (and mommy!)


  • Oh, good -- I was just wondering how your first lesson had gone. Do you think that she'd find it easier to watch the page if you guided her finger under the sound instead of using your finger?

    At first I thought that the lessons were almost too short, but then I realized that it was best to end before enthusiasm wore off. I give Noogs a page to write on, we make the assigned letters for the day, and then I let her write whatever she wants on the rest of the page and help her with other letters if she asks. That way she has fun with writing without it becoming too onerous.

    I'm interested to keep up with your progress and compare notes!

    By Blogger MrsDarwin, at 12:13 PM  

  • One of my favorite mentors says, "When they're happy, they're learning; when they're learning, they're happy."

    When the eyes start to glaze over, or the frustration begins to burble up (for either of you), it's time for a wrestling match or a tea party or some singing and dancing in the living room. At this age, it's about the exploration and the joy of discovery.

    What an exciting beginning to a wonderful journey!!!


    By Blogger Dy, at 7:19 AM  

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