Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We have a reader!

It's been a couple months since my last post, and I have lots that I could write about (and want to!). But it's past bed-time and last night included only about 3 consecutive hours of sleep, so I'm keeping it short and sweet :)

We have an exciting new development on the homeschool front. In my last post I mentioned a phonics book that I was going to start next semester, in order to deliberately move towards reading. However, I decided to go ahead and start introducing those concepts now since Anna seemed ready for that. She has been writing words for several months, some from memory and others with spelling help, and even makes up some short phrases here and there. So I pulled out my phonics book and yesterday we got started. And boy was she ready to go!

We started by defining vowels. Then we learned that although each vowel has multiple was of being pronounced, we would be starting with each of their short sounds. Starting with A for Anna :)

I made these little laminated letter cards the night before, and within about 2 minutes she was making up three-letter words with a short A in the middle and reading them on the first try:

We started with -at words, and changed out the first letter to create about a half dozen different rhyming words.  I made it into a little game, so we each had a pile of letter cards and took turns trading out starting letters, and then Anna would read the new words we created.

So far we've covered the short A and E sounds this week; my plan is to spend the rest of this week consolidating those letters and then move onto the other vowels next week. I used different coloured card stock for vowels and consonants, but she seems to have a good grasp on which is which by paying attention to what her mouth is doing when she says the letter. (The definition I used for vowels included that when saying their sounds, your tongue doesn't contact any part of the inside of your mouth, which is not the case for consonants.)

Obviously, since I'm blogging about this, I am so excited to watch her learn to read! I think because I love reading so much, I'm excited to see that she gets it; the concept of reading is one that clicks for her, and she is excited about it too. (Her anticipated application of her new-found skill was that soon she'd be able to read Frog and Toad to Levi :) )

So, we have a little reader. And school is still going well overall, plus it was pretty sweet to be able to pack up our books, spend a month in England and come home without having missed a day of school. I am pretty sold on this homeschooling idea - at least at Kindergarten level :)