Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm Learning!

Teaching Addie to read has been my primary focus (educationally) for some time now. I have looked high and low, online and in stores for resources to help her learn to read.

I first started with the Your Baby Can Read program right after she turned one. It was successful in the sense that she memorized the words in the first video, could identify those words in the book and on the cards, BUT that is where it stopped. When I would show her one of the words that she "new" in a "real" book, she had no idea what I was showing her or what she was supposed to say. She also became confused by words. For instance, because the first word on the video is "hi" when she saw a word that began with an "h" she assumed it was the word "hi".

I also found that as I was trying to teach her how to read phonetically, if she looked at a word she would get discouraged because she didn't "know that word." In other words, because she could not identify it just by looking at it, she couldn't read it.

Needless to say, I won't be using this program with Ian.

We then began using Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. This is the book my mother used to teach me how to read when I was 2 1/2 years old. I personally like it, but I was seeing Addie become overwhelmed because of the length of the lessons. However, it did help her to begin putting sounds together in order to read words by saying them slow and then saying them fast.

Recently we added the ABeka Handbook For Reading and accompanying charts to our lessons and in one week everything came together.

The book begins by using short vowels sounds with a consonant sound. After practicing many combinations, they give 6 three letters words for the child to put together. When Addie read these words she lit up!

That same evening, we were all on the floor in the living room playing with foam Eric Carle bath letters that we had. I decided to show Brian what Addie had learned that day. I put together words that we had not read earlier and Addie read them.

"I'm learning! Do another one, Mommy!"

I think we went on for 20 minutes. Addie was excited. Daddy was impressed. I was proud and thankful.

What Addie doesn't know is that I'm learning, too. I'm learning what works for her. I'm learning that just because something worked for me as a child doesn't mean it will work for Addie or Ian. And I am learning how wonderful it is to see my child learn and know that God is using me to make that happen.


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