Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We interrupt this testing week for an important announcement

I have to share what Reece has been doing the last few days because it is SO exciting!

She keeps reading stuff!! She's reading signs, reading parts of sentences on the Webkinz World website, words that she comes across when she's reading over my shoulder while I'm on the computer!

It started on Monday when she came to get me out of the living room and brought me to our bird poster (our nature study topic) and read "two legs, and two wings". Then this morning she had to interrupt Riley's testing to read to me a sentence that was on her Webkinz World page.

Maybe you're wondering what the big deal is? Or maybe you're thinking, "That's neat, but certainly not blog-worthy!"Oh but it is!! It IS for ME! Why?

Because I'm not using a phonics curriculum for Reece!! No Phonics Pathways, Abeka Handbook for Reading, Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading, Explode the Code. None of the things that I used in my attempts to teach Austin to read. Riley learned to read by accident. I was busy trying very hard to get Austin to understand phonics, and the poor child would SOB when we would move from 'oo' in book to 'oo' in food, "But you said it sounds like ____!" Meanwhile, Riley was begging me to teach her to read, too, but I was busy and she was only 4! So I showed her very hastily how to blend and handed her a stack of Bob books to look at, and went back to work with Austin. 18 months later, I sat down with her for her first phonics lesson, handed her the Abeka Phonics primer, she looked at it and read "The Abeka Phonics Program Handbook for Reading". Thus ended her phonics lessons! LOL I found out she was reading Little House on the Prairie in her bed at night, because during the day I was having her read the Calvert 1st grade reader and she was bored.

Goodness sakes, I'm so excited I can barely even sit still to type this out!! LOL

So with all of our new stuff going on RDI and CM-wise, I decided that I would try to teach Reece to read with real books, as naturally as possible, with the occasional "/ey/ can say a" to help her sound out a new word. We've been working very slowly through those Real Kids Phonics Readers. I want every lesson to end before she's tired out and frustrated. It means that I don't actually plan out her reading lessons. ::gasp:: I know?! Amazing, isn't it?

And I'm getting exactly what I wanted: I wanted reading to be something that she sees as life, not as school. Reading for MEANING! Reading because there are words all around us and they are telling us things. Reading because it unlocks exciting adventures, and because it's what you do when you are a 'big kid' like your siblings! Not reading because Mom is sitting me down here with these lists of words and workbook pages to do and it's so frustrating because the rules are all made to be broken. Oh what I wouldn't give to start back over with Austin!!! I would do it all so differently!

And I've been trying to decide if I would get Explode the Code for Reece to begin to help her see 'spelling'. And I don't think I'm going to! I'm going to keep plugging away at this natural method, and see if the results continue to accumulate! I'll focus on copywork for her next year: beautiful sentences from the great literature that I'm reading to her! :) And lots of real, meaningful reading!


JamBerry said...

Jen, that is SOOOO cool, and DEFINITELY blog-worthy!

Heather said...

WTG, Reece!!

Lil Sadie Homemaker said...

That is just SO awesome! I would love it if every child got to learn with that kind of laid-back approach.. it just sounds magical!

The Glasers said...

Hurray!!! I am so excited for you and Reece! Reading without tears!


I know the folks over at ChildLightUSA are going to be thrilled to know that autistic children are benefiting from Charlotte Mason's ideas!