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Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer School

Andrew finished his 1st grade phonics and language arts programs, but we still have quite a bit of math to finish before we start his 2nd grade work this fall. Here's our plan for the summer:

Andrew will complete two math worksheets, a handwriting worksheet and practice writing every day. He completes the worksheets in less than 15-20 minutes. For writing practice, he started a blog.

Typing has helped reinforce the concepts of starting a sentence with a capital letter, ending it with a period, and actually leaving a SPACE between sentences. As a side benefit, he looks so cute pecking away at the keyboard!

I've noticed Andrew getting frustrated when he has to wait on me to help him spell certain words, so we'll probably work on spelling. I think this is one of the keys to learning - let your child see the need for a particular skill and then ask if he wants help working on it.

Two Ways to Teach Reading!

Jasmine has been asking me to teach her how to read, so this week I pulled out the Leap Frog fridge magnets. I took the M and the A, told her each sound, and showed her how to blend the sounds together. We then practiced using the A with the letters T, J and S.

She caught on within a few minutes, so I do believe she's ready to read. We'll keep practicing with 2 letters and then move on to 3. When she can handle 3 letters, I'll pull out the Bob books!

Jasmine is also learning to write her name, and she insists on doing "real school" using her Rod and Staff ABC workbooks. I love these workbooks because they are simple, biblically based, and have fine motor activities like cutting and pastng built into the lessons. We also love Kumon workbooks.

Now of course I can't leave Isaiah out of "skoo" so he's watching the Your Baby Can Read DVD's. Here he is in his "skoo" chair.

I am mostly of the Better Late Than Early mindset, and there are things I'd rather do than have my baby watch a 30 minute DVD twice per day. However, Usborne sells the YBCR program, and as a consultant, I felt I should try it. I believe in being totally honest about products I promote, so when someone asks me about YBCR, I want to be able to either honestly recommend it or say, "Girlfriend, save your money!"

I am going to write a thorough review later, but so far I can say the DVDs truly are interactive and they hold Isaiah's attention. He's memorized the sequence in which some of the words are displayed and I wonder if that is a precurser to him learning to recognize the words by sight.

I am strongly in the phonics camp in the whole "phonics vs. whole language" debate, but the program claims to teach phonics as well. If nothing else, I feel no harm is being done and the program is a great vocabulary builder. The videos of babies reading are truly amazing, so it will be interesting to see if we experience similar results.

Isaiah also uses a set of fridge magnets that a friend gave us when Jasmine was a baby. As with anything, he has to add a bit of danger to the activity.


Anonymous said...

Ah so so so cute! The last picture of your little Isaiah is adorable! Such a passion for learning huh!! I love it.

Mom Guide said...

Oh man I just ebayed (if that is indeed a word) 32 of those Leapfrog letters. LOL! That's how we learned how to read, but they collecting dust now.

To quote TS's favorite builder "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"