Thursday, February 21, 2013

Learning to Read

I mentioned last month that we took a break from everyday school to focus on reading in hope that Tristin would become more confident and actually enjoy reading.

I'm proud to say that it worked!

Tristin is one of those kids that learned the sounds of his letters in one week and is wonderful at math, so naturally I decided to teach him to read when he was 4.

I picked up the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and we took off. Only, he was in tears after the first few lessons.

We took a 6 month break, started the book again at 5. Same story.

And at age 6 I tried it again. We made it 70 lessons, and finally realized  it just wasn't clicking.

At the beginning of this school year, I picked up All About Spelling thinking if he learned the rules then it would make sense. It did! We were finally getting somewhere.

After evaluating (in my own head) the first semester, I felt he he needed a boost of confidence in reading. I wanted him comfortable with reading. And you know, not dreading it everyday. I dropped everything else. but reading, writing, and spelling for one month.

We continued with All About Spelling, and I added writing and copy work, sight words, and we added the last half of (yes again!) Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy lessons.

I had this Silly Starters flip book, where he would flip though it and have to write a story, poem, questions, or letter about whatever he flipped to. He loved this! He would make up a short story, and I would write it for him, and then he would copy it in his angry birds notebook.


Then we would work on a lesson of All About Spelling. (He finished level 1!)


I found a list at Jan Brett's website of Dolch Sight Words and we played the bang game with them. This worked like a charm.

*print one word on each index card
*make a few index cards with the word BANG on them
*put them in a box or coffee can
*mix around
*set the timer
*take turns pulling out a card. If he you get it correct keep the card. if not, put it back in. If you get a BANG card, all your cards go back in.

I used words that I thought he needed work on, and added a few new ones as he mastered some of the old ones.

I also used the list of words he was working on and made them his copywork some days, spelling words some days, and our own homemade crossword puzzles some days.


After all of that, we would go back to the Teach You Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (the last 50 lessons) and do 2 a day. I'm happy to report that he loves this as well! Whew!

We went to the library and I let him pick any books he wanted to read to me. I also picked chapter books I thought might interest him and we read, read, read. Turns out he LOVES Henry Huggins and Nate the Great! Those books made him love reading. He has always loved me reading to him, but now, he picks them up on his own and starts reading them.

We still have  a lot of work to go, but I'm so excited to see him interested and enjoying reading!

I will continue most of these things throughout the rest of the year. I'm considering adding the last 100 lessons or so of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading which I've heard takes reading a bit further than 100 Easy Lessons, or Reading Pathways.

I have also started the 100 Easy Lessons book with Brighton (just turned 5), and it's a whole new story with him. He loves it! Ha ha, you never know.

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