Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I just wanted to download our recent school activities.

The good first.

Math is great. Monday we received our order for the Rightstart materials. I ended up ordering the K kit, even though MB is working closer to a grade 1. After looking through it, I decided that the Level A will be great for us to work through this Spring and Summer. Even though it is a lot of review, it is hands on and moves fairly quickly to material that MB will need to absorb. Not to mention it will help both of us learn this particular approach towards early math. I figure we will probably finish sometime in early-mid fall and then she will move into Level B. MB is totally excited about it and is loving the Geoboard and Abacus.

MB has pulled out an introduction to Map Skills workbook that I had picked up at some time. She is enjoying working through that.

Learning to ride the bike has been great (see pic below). Everyday we have been out there. And now she is a full-fledged bicyclist. It was great watching her learn, I would describe what she needed to do then she would tell me to leave her alone and she would go and figure it out on her own. She had a lot of falls but she never became discouraged and kept at it. As she has been learning on the bike she has gotten a sense of achievement that is carrying over into her reading.

Now for the So-So

I am still struggling over the phonics. MB doesn't dislike actually doing the lesson, but struggles with it for some reason. We are using 100 Easy Lessons, she learns the sounds easy enough, then struggles with sounding out the words. She will sound out the individual sounds, then when she goes to say the word, says a word that doesn't even come close to sounding like the word. For example she sounds out "ear" then says the word "meat." This morning I became frustrated, so called a 10 minute break. Then as I was walking up the hall I heard her sound out and then read correctly without hesitation the sentence: "Mad at me". Grumble, Grumble.

All this taken into account her actual reading is coming along by leap and bounds. She is reading for me willingly and each day is reading more independently.

I had my mom, who was a 1st grade teacher before there was Kindergarten, observe us these past few days while she was here. I wanted to know if I was doing something wrong, or if I needed to try a new approach. Her review was that MB is using the phonics lesson as a control issue. She also believes, like I do, that MB is actually learning to read through a more whole word, memorization technique that she herself has developed. So we are going to finish out 100 Easy Lessons since she does not actually balk at them. At the same time we are just going to keep reading and do more work with sight words.

More importantly I need to become more relaxed over the whole reading thing. It has become too important for me, personally. I am a reader. I don't remember learning how to read, because I learned so early that to my memory I have always read. It just blows my mind that my daughter who can remember just about everything that is ever said around her, have a vocabulary of a much older child, and enjoys solving puzzles in her free time, should struggle so much over reading. This is totally the wrong attitude and that is up to me to change!

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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.