Friday, September 25, 2009

Back to Normal!!!

Things were pretty much back to normal this week!!  We still took things a bit easy (my mouth has still been a bit sore from my wisdom teeth extraction at the end of last week) but we did get back in our routine a good bit.  The boys were super excited about that!

Can you tell what Seth is learning?  Yep!  You got it!  We are starting to learn our sight words!!

You know that I am teaching Seth how to read, right?  Well we started with Hooked on Phonics and while I think there are some really good things about that program...Seth was not liking it as much as I had hoped.  I am learning pretty quickly that Seth is a logical learner, not an analytical learner.  He is not going to be one that is going to like memorization.  With Hooked on Phonics it is really nothing but drills (at least the version we have...I have heard that they revamped their Learning to Read Program).  The version we have will list the _at words for example and have you read them, and then read them again, and then read them again...  not really any variety in the drills...just read the words.  Probably partially due to Seth being a younger beginner reader, Seth does not like the monotony of these drills.  I had to come up with different ways to work on the words.

My mom is a seasoned elementary school teacher.  When she taught first grade she purchased the Scholastic Home Reading and Phonics Program.  She is no longer teaching that grade and told me I was welcome to use the program for Seth. At first I was thinking this was probably set up the same way of Hooked on Phonics and thought that I would just use it to supplement our Hooked on Phonics.  Then she brought it to me!  It didn't take long for me to realize that this is a totally different concept to teaching phonics than Hooked on Phonics!  This program provides the variety that Seth is wanting.  The neatest thing about it I think is the fact that everything is centered around the start the program reading your first book (it has picture clues for words).  We haven't even gotten to our first book with Hooked on Phonics and that is what Seth is wanting to do is read books! 

It was also super cool to see that the workbooks used some concepts that I had already come up with myself and was trying to use with Hooked on Phonics.  That is when I realized this may be the program for us!

On Monday I introduced the first reader to Seth!  He was super excited that he was able to help read the book!  He loved the first worksheets that we did.  We started learning our first sight words and by Wednesday he was reading that entire book by himself!!  And he was EXTREMELY proud of himself!!

Now the thing about sight words is it is a memorization thing!!  But remember...I have a kid that, at least right now, doesn't like the drills.  So I am trying to become as creative as I can to get these sight words learned (as seen in the photos above).  We have played with magnetic letters to spell our sight words, we have written them on our white board and I have also made a Mickey Mouse Memory game with them (you can make this too...just go to Home Depot and get the free Mickey Mouse Paint Sample cards!)  I am sure I will continue to come up with even more activities and games to learn these sight words!

I also have to say that Seth is doing really well already with his sounding out words as well!  He really impressed me this week!  I have felt for a while that he is going to be an early reader.  He really seems to have a passion for reading.  He just wants to read...not drill...not repeat lines of words over and over...he just wants to read!

Ok - so I didn't think this post would end up as a review on Hooked on Phonics and Scholastic Reading Program but I guess it kind of did.  I am hoping this may help someone else out there though that may be looking into what program to use to teach their child to read!

Next week we will be FULL STEAM back into schooling!!

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