Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Active Reading

The second biggest worry I hear from families who are considering homeschooling or say they can't homeschool is that they can't teach higher level math and science.

aside: the first worry I hear is that their children would drive them crazy if they were home all day every day. I get that and I have no solutions, because there are days when my kids DO drive me crazy. We do have a different routine and family dynamic because we homeschool though and it would be the same if your kids were with you all day.

Teaching math and science never worried me though. I have a biology degree. I remember how to do calculus (and certainly algebra, geometry and statistics). If there's a gap in my knowledge, I'm very capable of catching up quickly from reading a book. I look forward to those things. What worries me, and always has, is teaching a child how to read.

I LOVE to read. I also believe learning to read, comprehending what you read, and critically analyzing what you read are the most important things you learn in school. Once you can read well, you can learn about anything you need/want to learn.

So I always worried I would completely screw up this part of early childhood education. I didn't teach Sierra how to read, she learned at her Montessori pre-school. Teaching Sedona was the first time I was really on my own. Thankfully, it wasn't as hard as I thought.

We started out learning letter sounds (utilizing lower case letters, because that's what they see the most if they're reading a book) just by practicing them over and over and watching leap frog videos in the car. Then we moved on to BOB books. I go through them with her the same way I remember Sierra's teacher starting out with her. We sound out each letter, then put the sounds together.

The problem has been that Sedona is not as interested in reading as Sierra was. Sedona gets through one or two sentences and she can't sit still anymore. She gets frustrated, I get frustrated, and no one's enjoying it anymore. I finally had a light bulb moment and realized I needed to use her fidgeting to my advantage.
We moved our reading out to the driveway. At first I would write words, but we've moved on to sentences with cvc (consonant vowel consonant) words and one or two sight words. She walks from letter to letter saying the sound as she steps on the letter. After going through slowly, she goes back to the beginning and walks faster to actually read the word.
Last week, I had another idea I decided to try. I drew a hopscotch grid and wrote a cvc word in each square I handed her a rock and had her toss it to a square She had to read the word (which she often did without sounding out the letters...I think she knows more than she's letting on) and then she could do the hopscotch At the end, she'd gleefully run back to toss the rock on a new square.

Just a few ideas to work on reading with a kid who wants to read, but can't sit still! Looks like she's gonna be my kinesthetic learner!

1 comment:

Snyder Central said...

I did something similar with Mikayla and letters. She was very resistant to learning them so I drew them randomly on the the sidewalk and would have her jump to the right ones. Adding that physical element really helped seal it into her mind.

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