Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Practical Academic Teaching for Moms: Part 3


Before Mom passed away, we had talked about different aspects of Addie's education that I wanted her to cover. My mother had taught me to read by the time I was 2 1/2 and had tutored so many children in reading and math that I knew there would be no one better than her to teach my daughter. As you know, that never hapened.

I had no idea how to go about teaching a child, let alone a toddler, how to read.

Then one day I saw the info-mercial for Your Baby Can Read. At first I was skeptical, but after watching these babies and toddlers reading words that some school aged children have a hard time with, I knew it was worth a shot.
We ordered the program, and the day it came in the mail, I was overly excited. I decided to read the instructional material before doing anything because I didn't want to teach Addie anything incorrectly. Once again, the importance of repetition and consistency was emphasized. There is a series of 5 DVDs- each one is viewed twice a day for a month except for number four which is viewed for two months. Each DVD has an accompanying book with words, flash cards, and slide cards. There is also a game of matching words and a book which reviews many of the words that your child learns throughout the program.
In all honesty, it took between 6-8 months for Addie to show that she could read the words on her own. The author of the program had mentioned that it would initially take that long, but after the first 50 words had been learned, reading would come easier for the child.
I will never forget the first day Addie read a few words without any help from me. The day before was Sunday, and we had spent the afternoon with relatives. Because Addie was not eating "real" food at the time and her younger cousin was, I felt like a horrible mother (this past week my sister-in-law told me about the correlation between Addie's food issue and acid reflux- which she had for a while). I went home rather down that evening.

The next day, when we sat down to do our school time, I felt that little voice say, "Don't tell Addie what the word is. Let her tell you." I wasn't sure if it was me or if God was speaking to my heart, but because I was still a bit down from the night before and the wind had been let out of my sail, I just pointed to the words "arms up" and asked her what it said. I was floored when Addie put her arms in the air and said, "aaaahm uhhh". I just started thanking God, hugging Addie, and calling Brian to let him know what had happened. The call was premature because she went on to read several other words that morning.
This program does require that you participate in your child's learning. The first few times we watched each DVD, I would sit with her in the living room and read the words and move her arms, hands, and feet along with what the narrator said to do. After the first few times, I would give Addie a snack or juice to drink while she watched her "show". We would also look through and read the book and flashcards at different points throughout the day. It did not take a lot of time, but there is an investment of time that you will need to make.

We have already been through the DVDs three times. Every day during her snack time, I sit her in her chair, put a snack and sippy cup on her tray, and put on the DVD. She now interacts with the narrator, reads the words, repeats what the narrator says, follows the directions given, and does the movements with the songs.

If you are able to, this program is definitely well worth it. Kristi from Team Mac has also done this program with her daughter, who is two months older than Addie. Julia is also reading and has been for some time now. As I said in Monday's post, I am just passing this information along. I am getting nothing for this. It is just one mom sharing what has worked for her with other moms.

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