Thursday, September 20

Finding Our Groove...




I saw the light streaming into our playroom onto the Noah's Ark just right yesterday afternoon and ran for the camera to capture it.  Except for this little scene, the room was in a shambles with dress-up clothes strewn everywhere, blocks and vehicles dumped out, and baskets upended.  However, it was the first day since school has started that everyone was happily engaged in their activities.  Button was entertaining himself (and not screaming!) and Sugar Plum and Little Man were working on homemade books (Sugar Plum's was one of our wedding and Little Man's was on Saint George).  We were listening to My Name is Handel (Thanks, Ginny!!) and it was just a perfect moment. 

Sugar Plum has a lot of stress over learning how to read (she is doing well, she just doesn't like it), and I think that we've finally found a solution that is working for us.  We do our written work (Math, Phonics, Language Arts, etc.) in the morning and then Read-Alouds frequently throughout the day.   Once dinner is done, we put on a television show for Little Man and Button and Sugar Plum and I retreat to the big bed and snuggle in for some reading practice.  Separating the work that she finds easy and exciting from the difficulty of reading has done wonders for her willingness to learn and even her attitude towards me as her mother and teacher.  I wish that I had thought of it sooner!  Hopefully she'll develop some fluency soon and want to read.

I spent some time a few nights ago updating our lesson plans and thinking over some things that we want to tweak a little bit starting in October.  Fortunately, it is nothing earth-shattering.  I think that I will talk about some of those changes in another post soon.  I am really thankful that this year has started off so well and that our little family is settling back into the groove of learning.  It is also so nice to have Papa all to ourselves again! 


6 comments:

priest's wife said...

I just love that play set- so beautiful (I think I'll send my dad a pic of it...he's a woodworker)

If you can get your hands on components of 'Sing Spell read Write'- sugar plum might really enjoy it. Most of my friends use teach Your Child to read in 100 lessons...too black and white for me

Maria said...

I've had to learn the hard way that each child is different when it comes to learning to read. My first two daughters were motivated and learned to read early, each in her own way. They enjoyed working at it. My youngest is taking her time. She finds it much harder to sit still and focus on the page; she doesn't like the work of recognizing the characters on the page and recalling whether she already knows them (sight words) or sounding them out if she does not. She is very capable, just not motivated. I'm mentioning this because I've had to adjust my expectations to her personality and developmental readiness. We read in bed, too, but it's hard to keep her from sliding under the covers or doing somersaults to the end and back in between pages. She's seven, and we're working together on books like Henry and Mudge, where her sisters were already moving past independent reading of the Magic Tree House books at the same age. I'm sure my Lady and your Sugar Plum will be fine readers in time, just maybe in their own time.

Anna said...

seems like they all go through a difficult time with reading - I know with each of mine we would make great progress, then hit a real roadblock - they didn't want to do it and got frustrated. Best advice I ever took was to drop it for a few weeks. After 3-4 weeks, often we would pick it up again, and the frustration was gone, and whatever was keeping them from moving forward just seemed to have disappeared! Good luck with yours, and remember, it will come, it may be slow, it may be fast, but she will get it! And when she does, it will be the greatest moment you will experience as a homeschooling mama! It is a true joy to be the one to unlock the secrets of the written word to a child.

M. Emily said...

Thank you for all of the advice and encouragement, Friends! There is a lot of worry with being a homeschooling family that I didn't anticipate and you have alleviated a lot of it! :)

Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano said...

Are you using 100 EZ Lessons for reading?? I used this with Ben, and while it worked for him because 1. he was already reading on his own basically 2. he is a very eager learner and 3. he got his daddy's brains. I thought it was a far too cerebral approach, has no draw for the kids, and was overall dull and difficult. I don't see using it with Anna because she is just not a motivated learner like Ben and she needs to really be engaged. A long story to say have yuo thought of dumping it and trying a different program? Ben is now working Little Angel readers and they are delightful. Beautiful illustrations and sweet stories, accompanying workbooks. Also I have GREAT things about All About Reading.

Matushka Anna said...

All of ours learned to read (well, one is still learning) differently and at different ages. The oldest taught herself to read from being read to and saying, "what word is this? What word is this?" a thousand times. She wasn't even 4. The next one was a more reasonable almost-six and made more use of phonics and sounding-it-out. The next one was the most textbook perfect phonics pupil I've ever seen...and she wouldn't go faster than a snail's pace, lol. She was reading by the time she was six though. Our next one (first son) hated learning how to read, flipped all over the place, slid on the floor, etc. We just brought it up every few weeks and finally when he was seven he decided he wanted to read. Voila, he could read. Phew!! Our youngest is 5 1/2 and following somewhat in his brother's footsteps but I'm not worried. He'll get it together at some point. We just got some magnetic letters and numbers and use them on a cookie sheet in his lap. I am hoping that having something manipulable will help with vowel sounds (which seem to go in one ear and out the other). You're doing fine!

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