Monday, March 15, 2010

Learning to R-E-A-D

The Preschooler at my house is bored.
Probably because he isn't enrolled in Preschool. or mom's day out. or gymnastics. or any other myriad of activities that I could have him signed up for.

Am I too {choose your own adjective from the list provided, or feel free to think of your own} lazy, frugal, self involved, etc., etc.? 

No.  I am selfish.
I love this age.
Four year olds are awesome.  Especially when they are your own.
They are pretty much toilet trained.  Play independantly.  Have super fun imaginations.
And they still like you (me).
They don't back talk (at least the ones I have been around--no, I take that back-there was one of mine that did at that age, but I have blocked that memory fairly well-I fear I may have many blocked memories).

So, when said preschooler said, "I want to read." 
I said, "Go get a book & we can read." 
And he said, "No, I want to read."
And I said, "OK. We can make that happen."

Thank goodness a friend of mine in the great state of Texas once told me about her work with her last little preschooler and how they did it.
Find it here.

We are on lesson 13 tomorrow.  He already knows the sounds that correspond with the symbols (yes, letters are really just symbols or codes-think about that)  s, e (as in see), m, r, a (as in apple), t, and d (as in dog--who, if she is not given more attention by our family has threatened to dig out and find some better people).

Just so you know, I recieved my degree in elementary education in the era of "whole language."  Please come back after you click that link and read what "whole language" means.

I have problems with "whole language," but I do believe it is useful at appropriate times.

I like phonics. Please come back after you click that link and read what phonics means.
My opinion was not a popular one-but I believe it was a correct one.

(I also had a professor tell me that we couldn't teach values in the classroom.  Ha-I so wish I had the confidence and voice that I do now, so I could have told her what I really thought about that.  So many years later, just look at the programs that are running in the schools.)

I believe that to become educated in something, we (meaning all humans-and probably even our pain-in-the-neck dog) all need to have a firm foundation to lay the new knowledge on.  Think of it like a house.  If your brand new, rockin' awesome house has a crumbly foundation, is it going to stay strong? Most likely not. You will have to spend a lot of valuable time & effort that you could have used decorating that rockin' awesome house figuring out the problem and getting it fixed.

So, why not do it right the first time?

And so, I am working with a very cute little guy & he knows seven sounds & he especially likes the word "rat."
After we have the phonetic foundation, then we will start exploring the great big world of words (whole language).
PS-building that foundation also takes practice.
Please don't feel bad for the Preschooler. 
He is currently on a soccer team.
We are looking for swim lessons.
And he is going to Preschool next fall.
I am preparing to be lonely and to take a nap.

And the Preschooler and I talked about how, that when he is in real school, the teachers will be using a lot of time teaching the other kids to read & how he might get a little bored.  We talked about how he would handle that & I hope it turns out alright.  I think it will.

1 comment:

  1. I had to tutor 2 5th grade students when I was in college. They both had a hard time reading and didn't know how to sound out even one letter. Whole language works for some students, but these 2 kids were just lost and I had a difficult time helping them. It just broke my heart that these kids made it all the way through to 5th grade with such poor reading skills. Like you said, maybe a combination of programs would be better.
    K loves making all the letter sounds and telling me what letter they go to. =)


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