Teaching Reading

Posted by  | Thursday, May 12, 2011  at 8:00 AM  
Though I am a trained teacher, I never taught my students how to read. I taught 4th grade and they came to me already reading. So, having the priviledge of teaching Lydia how to read is not something I've ever done before. (Oh, but it is so amazing to watch my own child learn - and especially learn how to read!!)

In November I started working with Lydia out of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We got to lesson 19 and it became obvious it was not working. She would cry, stall, fidget, turn around in her seat, and a 15 minute lesson would easily take us 45 minutes to an hour! Though she had shown many readiness signs for reading (pretending to read, asking to read, asking how to spell words, making words out of letter beads, and so on) she was not ready for this step yet. One thing I am learning about Lydia is that, if she perceives something as hard or challenging, she would rather not do it at all than potentially not succeed. It was like this when she was learning to write her name. She really wanted to learn, but as soon as we started she got stuck on "y" (which I found out later is a hard letter for preschoolers!) and didn't want to continue. Later, we started again and I made a chart with stickers and everytime she wrote a letter in her name she got a sticker. She skipped "y" learned the other letters in one setting, and then became totally motivated to learn "y" so she could complete her sticker chart. (Though we had promised her a toy when the chart was full, we found the motivation for her was in filling the chart, not the prize when it was complete.)

Looking back to this time beginning TYCTR, it was filled with transitions - arriving in a new country and moving three times over a 2 month period. Not the best timing to start reading lessons as well! A little before Christmas we put the book aside and didn't pick it back up until April. I just matter-of-factly told her we were going to start lessons again and we got started. Though there was, and sometimes is, a little grumbling, it is an overall different experience this time. Partly, I think, it is because we are more settled (we did move to yet another country after Christmas so this is a whole new place than before) and partly because she had six more months to mature. Though she still doesn't love her reading lesson, she does love being able to pick up a book and read it.

I've also learned that simply using TYCTR is not enough for Lydia (though I know many children it has been plenty sufficient for). It is an excellent curriculum that I am very impressed with it, but, for Lydia, it has been incredibly helpful to supplement it with flashcards I've made and Bob Books. For flash cards, I've done things like "at" then all the letters can I put in front to make words on other cards: bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat. This reinforces the lesson and then she gets a big personal reward when she can then pick up a book (Bob book) and read the whole thing all by herself. She now asks to read, and, yesterday, even asked to do a reading lesson!

Are you teaching your child to read? Would you share how?


ChezDeshotels said...

Krista, I would second that. I am nota trained teacher but teaching Lydia to read was so great. She is just like your Lydia in the fact that if she can't be perfect than she doesn't want to do it. We started last July and she jut amazed me with how she did. We used the hooked on phonics kindergarten reading system. I liked this but didn't love it but it was free to me. Lydia really liked it. She used flashcards, and books that came with it and then I have gotten some other books off-line. She is now reading to almost a second grade level and loves to read. We just ordered the rutherford summer reading program for beginning readers and she has started that it is 60 books she can read herself. She has been hugely motivated by sticker charts. With this summer reading program she will get stickers for every book and then after 15 she gets a special treat. I put them in the jar ie..game night, ice cream, and dollar toy and when she completes she will get a big prize. As I have mentioned before I homeschooled her this year for "kindergarten" she would have been a pre-k student in Public school but she was much more advanced that that, so we did K curriculium. She will go to Piublic school in August for Kindergarten she is way ahead in academia and I will continue to supplement at home but she is very slow socially and emotionally. We really deated P.S. but she has a lot of issues right now and we needed to sperate our family is family and parents not as teachers but we are re-evaluating after this year. Also our youngest has some speech delays etc and needs some attention and learning help one on one. Good luck to all you mommas who are tackling schooling options. WOW hard decisions and very gratifying.

angela said...

hello - I have never seen this blog before now (I followed a link from Kelly's Korner blog), but I wanted to say that my experience was very similar to yours! I was certain the "Teach Your Child" book would work so well, and it was a (pretty much) failure for us. The Bob books are terrific, along with homemade flashcards, as you say. I also cannot say how much MY reading simple texts, pointing to each word with my finger, helped. I must have read some books hundreds of times - but that repetition, and the visual association of the printed word with the audible sound of it, really seemed to work. :>

Leigh Ann said...

Oh, do I have the curriculum for you! I too, am a trained teacher. With a MASTERS degree even! But when it came to teaching my children at home, I was clueless with the reading/writing. Mom was the reading specialist, so she guided me through those early years. With her help, everything went perfectly. The only problem was, all my homeschooling friends were wanting to know what reading curriculum I was using. "My mom", was what I told them. When Mom retired, I begged her to get all her expertise written down so at least my children would have it when they went to teach their children. She did it! (see burtonreading.com) And ingeniously if I do say so myself. This year we are going public with her curriculum. There is nothing out there like it. I really hope you check it out & let me know what you think about it. Blessings, LA

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