Mar 6, 2014

How Did You Teach Your Child to Read?

The best way to teach a child to read is to give them a love of books, and the best way to do that is to read to them A LOT. In the early elementary years I would read to my children for an hour or two every day. Don't worry if they don't sit still, they can play with Legos and still listen. We have hardwood floors and my boys would often be on scooters or roller blades when I read. Later my son would be on the treadmill (my child who NEEDED to move) while I read to him. And of course there' are audio books that we listened to in the car.

We did use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and it did work, but I think giving a child the desire to read is more important than a structured program.

Now, I had one child who taught herself to read at 3. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. She is the youngest of four children and was surrounded by books. She spent her time from when she could talk asking what every word said, and someone always answered her. But by 10 she was just as good a reader as any other 10 year old. I don't think she gained an advantage in learning to read early.

If I homeschooled another child I wouldn't actively teach him to read, but let him learn by himself, at least in the early days. I think there's too much emphasis on children reading early and they all get there in the end. But what is important is to sew that seed of interest, and that lasts a lifetime.

Feb 27, 2014

Finally reading on his own

At nine o'clock at night, completely on his own, he read the first page of Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Cheerfully. He was panting to have time when he reads aloud to his big brother instead of the other way around. His big brother is crashed in bed and snoring by nine-thirty most nights!

Feb 20, 2014

Major Meltdown

I've been thinking about this for so long this weekend. Yes, both boys get a LOT of time off, completely unstructured, no chores, run through sprinklers and have squirt gun attacks with the neighbor's kids. I set down what I thought was a reasonable task and got a major meltdown.

Feb 13, 2014

Gently introduce a new topic

Instead of telling him, "We're going to learn about the Arctic today and I have lots of fun things planned!" (My ds would resist if I did this), maybe you could you just introduce the topic in a sneaky way--read the Polar Bear book as a bedtime story, then casually talk about the book over breakfast ("I wonder how many seals a polar bear eats in a week.") or ask him to draw a picture about the story the next morning (my ds LOVES the dry erase board!). Maybe go to the library and find a National Geographic video on the Arctic. I have discovered that if I put a poster on the wall, my ds memorizes it. It's weird, but it works. Maybe just explore and experiment with different ways of approaching education--to try to find what works best for him.

Maybe you could "pretend" and teach him--you could be a seal and he could be a polar bear and tell him that polar bears wait on the ice to see a seal and then the bear grabs it from the water!

Feb 6, 2014

When I'm not in the room

I have noticed that my son behaves well in a classroom setting or at his piano lesson if I’m not in the room. It's like he's preoccupied with pushing my buttons when I’m there. However, that doesn't mean that it would be like that all day every day if I were to enroll him in school. I’m certain that he would eventually get comfortable and develop a similar relationship with his teacher and be resistant, disruptive, etc.

Jan 30, 2014

Learning by Himself

I suggested my son watch the Discovery Channel for his TV time instead of Nick Jr. Anyway, he says, "I don't WANT to watch Discovery Channel--it's BORING!"  I told him I thought it was interesting and left it at that. Then he goes off and comes back about 15 minutes later and tells me some scientific fact about outer space and says, "I learned that on the Discovery Channel!" I believe that, for my ds anyway, he needs to feel like he has some sort of say in what we learn and how we learn it.

Jan 23, 2014

There are days...

There have been days when I, too, am thinking, "I don't know if I can do this anymore!" But then I back off, regroup, and try another approach.