Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beginning Reading Instruction Part 2

After our inital lesson at learning the words from the first page of, The Little Red Hen by sight, we worked on the word families associated with the words for a couple of days.

We learned the -ed, -eed, -en, -eat, and -ound word families. The initial lessons took a couple of days. We spent about three more days in review. We made our own books using the new words, we made lots of new sentences with the word cards and we did word work on the wipe board. (I would write the word and Bo would change the first letter to make the new word I read.)

We have since learned the words from the second and third pages of the story and he is getting much better at blending the word families.

At first he was guessing when he came to a word he did not know. I asked him to look for anything familiar in the word. He would find the part he new and add the new sounds. After instructing him a couple of time he doesn't seem to guess as much.

I am proud of his progress and he is so excited to be on the road to reading.


Helping a Home Run Smoothly

As a mommy to four little ones five and under, I could find myself picking up after everyone all day everyday. But, I have tried to teach my littles to clean up after themselves. I find that little ones can be quite helpful when trained how to do chores properly.

Each time they help, I try to praise them for a job well done. If a job is not completed joyfully and correctly, they have to start all over again. I had to only make them start over about two times and since then they work quickly and joyfully.

What can a four and five year old do to help a home run more smoothly?
*The boys are required to do their eye game several times everyday. I may declare eye game time at any moment. They have to go from room to room and look for things to put away.
*The boys can make their beds. I don't require this yet, because they still nap.
*My five year old cleans their bathroom counter and commode.
*My four year old vacuums the floor.
*Both boys can fold and put away the towels.
*The boys gather the eggs, and feed the dogs and cats.
*Sometimes the boys help with the dishes.
*Take the garbage out and gather the cans after garbage day.

I worked with them a couple of times while they folded clothes, cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed. They are fairly independent when doing the tasks now. There are times I have to gently remind them to finish part of their tasks, but they seem to enjoy being helpers.

What can a two year old do to help?
*Our little one loves to feed the cat and dogs. (If I can keep her from eating the food herself)
*She loves to help me sweep and wash dishes.
*She can pick her toys up.
*She likes putting the clothes in the dryer.
*She can also put her clothes away after I have folded them.

When everyone works together our days run much more smoothly.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beginning Reading Instruction

After spending four weeks on phonemic awareness type activities (rhyming, syllables, counting sounds in words, beginning/ending sounds) I began reading instruction with Bo last week.

Bo's background was fairly strong in letter and sound recognition. He had picked this information up effortlessly during reading and asking me what certain letters were. We did make an alphabet book earlier this year when he was really asking to do some school work. This was my effort at holding him off a little longer on any formal instruction.

So, after feeling he had pre-reading skills in place we jumped into reading as outlined in Home Education on pages 217-222. This was a new concept for me because of my background in education. I was used to teaching one or two sight words per week along with one word family.

Teaching the way CM recommends in Home Education gives the child a much larger reading vocabulary after the first week of instruction.

In a nutshell, I taught reading by sight the first day, using the first page of The Little Red Hen. The next day we worked with word families with some of the words we had learned.

Here is our first reading lesson in pictures:

Here I introduced the new word. He was studying the word so he could make a picture of the word in his mind.

The next step was for Bo to remember the word from the picture he had in his mind and use the letter tiles to spell the word. (the picture is of the word red, I forgot to take one with the)

After spelling the word with the letter tiles, Bo looked through the word cards and found the word.

The last step was to look through the page of words and locate the word in the story.

I was very pleased with Bo's progress. There are a few considerations I need to make for next time.
*The lesson was too long. We learned eleven words the first day. I considered stopping halfway through, but he was very eager to read the page when we were finished so I continued. He was so very proud at the end of the lesson. He was able to read the first page of the story.
*I might consider omitting either finding the word from the word cards or finding it in the story. It seems a bit repetitive.
*This story was new to Bo, he had not heard it before.
coming soon...
our word family lesson

Monday, September 7, 2009

Enjoying the Mountains

snack time on the hiking trail...taking a break at Cataract Falls

He didn't want to use his pillow against the window, I guess he thought this was more comfortable

playing in the creek near the falls

posing on the rock with dad

posing on the rock with mom

We have been vacationing in Gatlinburg for a few days. We are enjoying hiking in the beautiful mountains. We have a book of scavenger hike adventures we are doing with the little ones.