Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kindergarten has evolved

I do a very informal kindergarten.  I did it with Kayd and I've done it with Colton.  I have felt a bit more pressure with Colton though because with him I have had the task of teaching reading.  Kayd played on starfall and watched the original leap frog videos and mostly taught himself to read.

Colton though was a bit tougher.  Part of it I think is just that I had never taught anyone to read before so we were both inexperienced in this journey.  I tried ordinary parents guide to teaching reading - which I like and I suspect will work great with Sierra when the time comes.  But poor Colton just had a block when it came to blending.  So we tried just reading together with BOB books.  But again he just had a block.  I think part of it was confidence honestly.

A couple of months ago I happened upon a recommendation for Easy Peasy - all in one curriculum.  It's right online and it's all inclusive.  I began at the lesson they suggested for learning to read.  It was a system that honestly never occurred to me.  My brain thinks learning to read should be phonetic, but this system uses memorization.  Each day the child would look at digital flashcards of the few words their short three or four sentence story would include.  They see and hear the words three times a day and then read the story at the end of the third time.  This WORKED!  He was able to memorize the words by looking at them three times a day and thereby able to read the short stories each day.  His confidence grew and now he's able to read books outside of this computer curriculum.

We recently got him the first book in the Explode the Code series and he's begun working through that excitedly.  I'm thrilled with the progress he's made and excited that he's really starting to enjoy being able to read.

I really encourage you, esp in these early years, if something isn't clicking with your child seek out something else.  Each of our children just learns so differently and I have to remind myself that it's the one size fits all approach in our public school systems that annoys me so much and therefore it's silly for me to think it should work in our home.

So now Colton's kindergarten day looks like this:

two or three pages of explode the code
reading a short story aloud to/with me
math notebooking and living math activities

Short, simple, sweet and we're covering the three R's.

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