Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I gave a spelling rule for the day and then gave ten or so words with that rule. For example, day 1 the spelling rule or theme was: the letter A, words with the short a sound and a few words with a long A sound and a silent E at the end of the word. So we did words like: cat, car, cane, far, hand, tape. The older daughter wrote the words on her writing tablet (handwriting practice with spelling practice!) and my younger daughter told me the letter that the word started with. I wrote their names on a piece of paper to keep track of their points earned.
The next day, my daughter asked, "Can we do spelling for treats again?" Sure, I replied, glad that she actually wanted to work on her writing and spelling. She independently made a score sheet with her name and her sister's name and we got started with the next spelling rule: ee makes the long E sound. So we did words like deep, keep, seen, meet, feet, sheep, etc.
Then, last night, when the kids saw Daddy eating ice cream, they again asked to do spelling so they could have some. So another spelling rule: EA makes a long E sound. So we did words like east, team, ear, fear, eat, etc. My younger daughter just worked on forming letters: E and A.
I'm glad to have found a way to practice spelling in a fun way and to practice by focusing in on one rule at a time. The English language can be pretty confusing so I think breaking it up into manageable chunks helps build confidence - they really can spell when given some hints on which rules to apply - and given enough practice, they will be able to distinguish/memorize which words use which letter combinations (ie, dream uses ea and seem uses ee).
Sunday, December 5, 2010
I'm glad our TV watching inspired something creative .... : )
Monday, November 29, 2010
Through her initiative with the stencil, we began to use the stencil as a regular part of writing practice, spelling practice, letter recognition, etc. We began to distinguish capital and lowercase letters and to use the capital letter at the beginning of a name and lowercase for the rest of the name. Now, due to overuse and being a little torn, I need to replace my stencil for my next daughter, who is learning to write.
We also use letter stamps to spell words as well as letter stickers. We have played matching games when teaching letter recognition: I write something and then the girls "write" it on their own pages with stamps or stickers. They have helped me make cards before, by using stickers to spell "Merry Christmas" or "Praying for You."
One of my friends does a Bible verse activity with her son, where they cut out letters from a magazine to spell out a Bible verse and then glue it onto a sheet of paper. She is framing these to give away as Christmas gifts from her son to grandparents. I thought this was a great idea! But my older daughter is not too much into cutting and gluing and she wanted me to do the whole thing for her. Maybe next year...
Anyway, through the use of cutting and gluing, stamping, stickers, and stenciling, we can have practice with spelling, making words, etc without the fine motor skills of having to form the letters perfectly. Just another way to keep it interesting and build confidence.
Friday, November 26, 2010
We have done some of the more exercise oriented topics, such as cheerleading, ballet, and dance. We have also viewed clips from cooking, juggling and science experiments.
Now, although the purpose, especially of the more athletic ones, is to get the kids up and moving, my kids are sometimes just glued to watching it. But I like it because I watch it with the kids and then we can all try to do it - like a short cheer or some dance steps. It gives me some ideas of things to try with the kids.
We recently watched the classic science experiment of making a volcano erupt with baking soda and vinegar. My daughter is already asking when do we get to try that. Soon, I hope.
I enjoyed the cooking one about tools of the trade, because it teaches the names and uses of different items in the kitchen. I definitely think the kids will learn more about cooking by actually doing it rather than just watching it on tv, but it gives us some ideas and it is something I feel good about them watching when we do have some screen time.
So check out ActivityTV.com
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
God so loved the world that He
gave His one and only Son
that whosoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
Chorus: John 3:16 (3 times)
For God so loved the world
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Our week began with our Bible lesson from our normal Bible coloring book. The lesson we have progressed to is from Exodus, when the people of Israel were complaining but God was gracious to provide them with quail and manna. The people of Israel didn't really have a great attitude, but God is a gracious and good God, providing for our needs, so we should respond with gratitude and thanksgiving. We have been learning 1 Timothy 4:4 "Everything God created is good; receive it with thanksgiving."
I explained the origins of our Thanksgiving celebration. We had a history/geography lesson. I pulled out our world map (a map mailed to us by a missions organization). I showed how the Pilgrims had crossed the ocean from Europe to the New World. We haven't done a lot of world geography yet, so it was a good introduction to talk about continents and oceans and countries.
|The next day we were able to get a few Thanksgiving books from the library. One book (Friendship's First Thanksgiving) was the history of Thanksgiving, with details about the Mayflower voyage, about the Indians Samoset and Squanto, about planting, about the harvest and about the feast in 1621. The other book (Celebrate Thanksgiving) had more about modern traditions of food, parades, football and family.|
For handwriting practice, we made a list of thanksgiving foods that we want to have next week. My daughter independently wanted to do a craft: she drew an Indian, then cut it out, put stickers all around it, added a magnet to the back and stuck in on the fridge.
On Friday of this week, we watched on Hulu.com the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It was great - it had even more details than our library book and was a great review to all that we had been talking about this week.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
My four year old daughter had a few pages full of stamps, many of them from my Christmas stamp collection. We cut out some of the pictures into square pages and stapled them together. On the back pages, I wrote words to describe the next page, mostly dictated by my daughter. It was a pretty simple book. It said something like, "two penguins" or "a black bird" on one page and "a gold bird" on another. Some pages actually had a whole sentence. But it was a fun activity and my daughter was proud she could "read" this book to everyone.
That was several months ago and we are trying new things with our book making. I bought some stickers that she helped me pick out. We make a book out of some small pages stapled together (like a forth page). She puts one or two stickers on each page and then she writes one or two words describing it. This has become our spelling and handwriting practice. She is able to sound out a lot of words for herself, but I help her as she needs help. So far, it has been a lot of animal stickers - cow, horse, cat, fox, bug, sheep, pig, etc. (very doable words). But we also have lots more stickers in our collection that we are working toward - sun, star, barn, tree, ball, and harder words like butterfly, shovel, etc. She sometimes wants to write adjectives as well "black, pink, sparkily, small" or numbers if she puts on more stickers - 5 butterflies, 3 stars, etc.
I bought a storymaking kit ($10 at Wal-mart). It had two hard bound books, that have lines for writing at the bottom of each page and blank space at the top for illustrations. It also came with 100 stickers and some markers, for the illustration part. We have started working on that a little. At first I had envisioned my daughter actually doing all the writing and illustrating herself, but in our planning phase, she came up with quite the elaborate story. I wrote what she dictated and she is working on illustrating it. ...
Other ideas for using book making for teaching, is to make a book to review what you have recently learned. I purchased some planet stickers and we will eventually make a book out of these stickers, labeling them. This type of activity could be done with any number of topics. You could use stickers, stamps, cut outs from magazines or drawings and the words can be simple or an elaborate description, whatever fits the topic and the interest and ability of your child.
I love the idea of making books, because it is so versatile. It keeps the learning interesting and interactive and at the end the child has something to show off what they are learning.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Then, show them the notes on the staff, still labeled with the letter, and then eventually, show the students the notes on a staff without the labels.
Here is where that great website (toytheater.com) comes in to play. Under music heading, the composer game allows the kids to create music, placing different notes (quarter notes, half notes, etc) on to the letter. Then, you can play back your music. The kids can see the music going up and down (or staying the same) as well as hear it at the same time.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Our particular favorites so far, under the math tab: bowling and frogwise. My daughter has also enjoyed exploring some of the art and music. We haven't spent much time in the other categories yet. Some of the activities are above her level (that is kindergarden), but there are still plenty to choose from.
Thanks Sarah, for the great tip!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
- Utilize the library. We love to check out books. We read together, I research things, whether parenting or homeschooling or health or topics I want to teach my kids, or how to books (like sewing and gardening, etc). I have also found books and music that I can use for teaching my music class at our homeschool co-op. We also sometimes attend a pre-school hour at the library, where the kids hear a story, do several songs, talk about the calendar, and do a few worksheet activities.
- Share books and other items with friends. Our reading curriculum was given to me by my sister-in-law. I've also passed on things that we are finished with or that we weren't using. We've borrowed books or videos from friends.
- Using items we already have. My husband made our abacus out of materials we already had at home. We also do counting activities with things around the house (money, food – like goldfish, laundry, whatever). We use lots of plain paper and some lined tablets. We make our own flashcards for reading or math. They draw and write, but we don't have a lot of worksheets or curriculum to go by. The Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling lends itself very well to a low budget approach to schooling, because it encourages using literature as a springboard for everything else. Handwriting, spelling, etc is taught from regular books rather than text books.
- Use the internet. We can look up all kinds of information together. For example, we looked up the kind of flowers growing in the neighborhood, or we looked up information about geysers and watched some on youtube because their dad was on a trip at Yosemite National Park. There are also many websites with lesson plans and print outs available, for example hubbardscupboard. I also allow my children to spend a limited amount of time playing computer games. We have a few that their grandparents bought them, but I have been way more impressed with starfall.com, which is free! My daughters have learned a lot of the alphabet and sounds from this website. It also has music, stories, and holiday pages.
- Join a co-op. We have enjoyed going to Friday school with other families. We get to pool our resources together and offer each other new ideas. For my three kids for the whole semester, I paid $29. Not bad! Aside from doing the official Friday school, I love to exchange ideas with other moms and we sometimes get together and do activities together with our kids.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
- Crazy 8s. The time has come where now two of my girls like to play Crazy 8s. I've been amazed at how this game has taught my three year old to recognize and distinguish numbers. The girls are learning to take turns, to recognize the different suites, and to match numbers.
Here is how we play: You begin by dealing 8 cards to each player. Put one card face up in the center of your playing area – the discard pile. The remainder of the cards becomes the draw pile. Players take turns playing a card either of the same number or same suite as the card in the discard pile or you may play an 8 and then name the suite that the next player must play. If you do not have any cards of the same suite or number, you have to draw cards until you have something to play. The first person to run out of cards wins. For more official rules and variations, see http://www.pagat.com/eights/crazy8s.html
- Match (or Concentration). Take several matching pairs of cards. Mix them up and turn them over. Then take turns turning over cards, trying to find a matching pair. You can make this easy by using only a few pairs, or more difficult by using half a deck. This game practices turn taking, memory skills and matching skills. It's one of the first games I have played with my children. There are picture matching games, but I still find that a deck of cards is convenient and versatile.
- War or Battle. This game is great for teaching greater than and less than. The traditional game is played where players are dealt equal number of cards. Then player put out one card. The player with the card of higher value takes both cards. If the cards are equal then you have to “do battle.” The player who takes all the cards wins.
I have to admit, we rarely finish a game of war, because it can go on for a long time, and the game is a little too hard (and therefore boring) to my three year old. So, I still play it sometimes with my older child. She is learning the value of numbers. There is an addition variation suggested by the book Games for Learning, (which I have previously recommended). In this version of war, players each put out two cards. The player with the higher total keeps all four cards. I think this is a great idea for older children who are learning and practicing addition.
- Go Fish. This again is great to practice taking turns, practice matching and learning basics that will later turn into skills needed for higher level card games. You can vary up the game, by requiring two of a kind as a match or four of a kind as a match.
- Make up your own card game. I let my four year old use her creativity to come up with a new game. Like we might sort the cards into piles – of matching numbers or suites, or whatever. It's fun to play games similar to what we already play but with a different twist.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
There are also many word games, like rhyming games, spelling games, categorizing games.
We haven't gotten to play a lot of these games yet, but I really like the ideas and I look forward to trying out some more of these. In fact, while trying to write this post, I keep getting distracted reading some more ideas and trying them out on the kids. You can check out the book at my amazon store or look at the author's website PeggyKaye.com
Thursday, September 30, 2010
- * Zaccheus song
* Quarter note – Ta
* Eighth note – Ti Ti
* Half note – Ta – a
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Make cleaning up into a game. Race to pick up the toys. Or “go put this in your room and come back and give me a five.” Then next round.
Touching and counting items in the house. When Daddy first gets home, my three year old gets so wound up so we have her run around the house touching and counting the objects in the house – like “go touch all the beds in the house and then come back.” Next lap, go count all the chairs in the house, touch them, and come back.” After about six laps like that, she is calm enough to interact with Mama and Daddy without climbing all over Daddy.
What's this made of game? We are learning the differences between metal, wood, plastic, etc. I have the kids go “touch something made of wood” “go touch something metal.” For my three year old, hands on and moving is the key to her learning. The kids also like to take small magnets and touch them to objects in the house to find out what is magnetic (helps in determining if something is metal). Sometimes, I'll find a random magnet stuck to the metal of our folding chairs.
Learn the ABCs through movement. My daughter for the longest time would not sit still to even look at the ABCs. So one day, we made the letter B out of blankets and bean bags. I had her run the shape of the letter B and we talked about bean bag and blanket and bounce all start with B. Amazingly, she began to recognize the letter B, but only when I had made effort to get her moving.
Tip-toe through the Tulips. This is a song I learned as a kid, singing different actions for different verses. The kids tip toe or walk or run or crawl or jump or spin through the tulips. Or roll or skip or scoot or somersault through the tulips. The kids like the song and it gets their energy out.
Simon Says or as we sometimes call it, the obey game, to practice obeying. Jump up and down, do a somersault, go touch the door. Or we can even play it in the car, to keep the kids from messing with each other – raise your hands, kick your feet, wiggle your fingers, or whatever else.
Finding Constructive Activities to keep busy with – playing playdough, helping Mama in the kitchen, coloring, washing dishes (or at least allowing them to play in the water a little with a few small bowls or measuring cups), building a tent with a blanket and some chairs, playing hide and seek, playing outside in the sand or playing ball.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I also like to have the kids help in the kitchen, although not all at the same time. Sometimes they are just watching, but I try to find something on their level to do. Sometimes, it's stirring, or getting something from the fridge, or adding seasonings or washing vegetables. We talk about food groups as we cook – name vegetables, name meats, what is dairy, what is protein, what is carbs, what has sugar in it, etc. I also teach them about different seasonings. At one time we tried to grow oregano, basil and chives, so they are learning about herbs as not just something you get from the store, but they originate from herbs or other plants.
They learn proper care of food, such as not touching raw meat or eating raw meat. 'Why, Mom?' questions then lead to discussions on bacteria and how heating food kills the bacteria (germs). The same for washing hands. They help me put food away, by sealing it, by putting things in the fridge, etc. This can lead to explanations of how food spoils or what is mold (when things do go bad, yuck!). I think including kids in our everyday activities can lead to all kinds of discussions on how the world works if we decide to take the time to answer their questions and present them with opportunities to be curious. It does sometimes take a lot of effort to include kids in the chores and it certainly not necessary to include them in every chore every day, but those everyday type chores can definitely teach kids a lot when we do take the time and energy for it.
I also let the girls help me debone a chicken. After the chicken is cooked and cooled, they help me separate the meat from the bones, the skin and the ligaments. I told them the names of the bones (I looked it up online to make sure – like the sternum, clavicle (collar bone or wishbone), vertebra). I also showed them the ligaments (joints) and how the bones are connected together. The kids like to help with this deboning process and they learn a lot from it. Later, we might just be talking about our own anatomy and the kids will point to joints and tell me how are bones are connected by ligaments. They not only have learned the terminology, but through the hands on process of deboning a chicken, they have a visual understanding of what a ligament is, what bone structure is, etc. It's more than just a vague concept from a book.
Finally, one night my husband and daughter made me cookies (how sweet!) and my husband turned it into a reading lesson. He had her get out the cookbook and read the recipe. She is just learning how to read, but she could pick out some of the words (like 'cup', 'eggs') and with some help could put together a lot of words (like 'butter' 'oats'). He taught her that 'tsp' means teaspoon. He had her go find the ingredients that she read and then had her read the label to see that the words match (like baking powder – she knew what to get when told to get the baking powder, but this was the first time that she actually read the label). It turned out to be a great reading lesson. She had so much fun, she didn't even realize that Daddy had turned it into a school activity. And the cookies were great too! It will be great having daughters that know how to cook....
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
- The classic Eye Spy Game. Take turns 'spying' an object in the room and 'I spy something [name the color]' and have everyone else guess what it is. This game helped my middle daughter learn her colors and then it became her favorite game. You can also vary up the game if the kids are ready for something different. 'I spy something made of wood (or metal or plastic or fabric or whatever).' or 'I spy something that starts with the letter B.'
- The animal game. This one does require the kids to move around a little, so maybe you wouldn't do this one in the car, but we have definitely done this when stuck in the room waiting for the doctor. Have kids (or parent and kids) take turns acting out animals while everyone guesses what it is. Sounds are usually allowed and used, which makes it too easy, but then we try to venture away from just the 'cat' 'dog' 'pig' 'cow', to ones with more movement or posture 'ostrich' 'flamingo' 'penguin' 'snake'.
- Name that tune. We take turns humming or la, la-ing to a song and then guessing what song it is. Again, this activity doesn't require anything but voice and turn-taking.
- Twenty Questions (although we don't usually limit it to just 20 questions). Someone is thinking of an object. The others guess what it is, narrowing it down by asking yes or no questions. This teaches categorizing skills and logic skills. Ask the question: is it a person? Yes. 'is it a kid? no. By logic, then it must be an adult. Or if it's not a person, then what else could it be? If it's a thing, then where is it (in this room?) or what color is it or how big is it.
- Quiz Time – asking questions, making it into a game. See my Quiz Time blog post for more ideas on this activity.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
fasicinates me as a linguist. I have a background in teaching ESL
(English as a Second Language) and this book is everything I wished I
would have learned in my college courses. It gives details of all of
our spelling rules in the English language that we take for granted,
that we may not have even learned well ourselves. |
This book goes beyond the normal phonetics and actually teaches multiple sounds for each letter. Students learn that 'a' actually makes three sounds and 's' makes the 'z' sound in addition to the 's' sound. It also teaches when spelling rules are broken, that is, when foreign words are added to the English vocabulary, like tortilla or ski. The book encourages students to sound out words based on spelling rules and then to write them. Reading comes naturally after knowing words through spelling and writing.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I have recently been fighting battles with handwriting practice, with my daughter hating to write. This article emphasized quality work over quantity. It also helped me realize I may be pushing my daughter a little too hard.
Over the course of the last week, we have had great improvements in our handwriting, both in quality of work and in attitude. We are focusing now on having just a few letters done right over more letters done haphazardly and I am learning to give more focused time on helping with the handwriting and giving more immediate feedback. (And the focus part can be difficult with little ones in the house!!)
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Several chapters that stood out to me:
1. “Can Self-Control Be Taught?” describes Tools of the Mind program for pre-K and kindergarden students. I have used some of the ideas in teaching my young children at home. I particularly like the suggestions for teaching handwriting. Students are asked to mark which letters are best on the other students papers. Students learn what quality work looks like, distinguishing well-formed letters with the sloppy letters. I encourage my daughter to put stickers next to her best letters during our handwriting practice.
Another idea for working with young kids is to have children write out their play play and then to stay on task with it. Children learn to focus and they have a say in how they will spend their time.
2. “Why Hannah Talks and Alyssa Doesn't?” In this chapter, the authors discuss the complex process of language acquisition. One of the most determining factors of how quickly children learn to talk is parental attentiveness. This makes sense with my own children. My first child learned to talk much earlier than my other children have, I think, in part, because she had my full attention. But even now, I can see how applying this chapter to my 15 month baby has helped her in learning to speak. It is a very simple technique – repeat words for whatever your child is looking at or touching – their language acquisition is based on their interst, not on parents' interests. When children do attempt to speak, acknowledge and encourage it. These two simple steps go a long way in encouraging a child to speak, much farther than exposing them to electronic learning toys.
This book also contains information on topics ranging from children lying to rebelliousness and risk taking among teens, to teaching children to get along well with each other. There are chapters on the caveats of the self-esteem movement and on the myth of the supertrait.
Bronson, PO and Ashley Merryman. Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children. Hatchette Book Group: New York, 2009.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
(to the tune of Father Abraham)
Love the Lord your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul and mind and strength.
And love your neighbor as yourself.
That's what Jesus said to Him.
Repeat the song, doing the same motions as Father Abraham.
Friday, August 27, 2010
If you want to play this song, here are the notes:
C C C C C C E E
May the peoples praise you, oh God
C C E D E D C
May all the peoples praise you
C C C C C E E C C C E D C E E E D C
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us
C C C C C E E E C C C C E D E D C
That you may be known on the earth, your salvation among the nation
C C C C D D E F E D C C C E D E D C
May the nations be glad and sing for joy for you rule the nations justly
C C C C D D E F E D C C C E D E D E F
May the nations be glad and sing for joy for you rule the peoples of the earth.
Monday, August 23, 2010
- Counting, by ones, fives, tens – the different colored beads and the rows make this easy and good for hands on and visual learning
- Adding and subtracting. When doing subtraction flashcards, the beads make a nice to visual to help solve the problem, especially for higher numbers. It is teaching the subtraction concept in a hands on and visual manner.
- Multiplication, although we haven't gotten there yet.
- Place value. For example, move over 34 beads – that is 3 rows of tens and 4 extra. We look at the amount visually and then talk about how to write that number. Or I write a number and we then move over that many beads.
- The color separation on each row I think also teaches and reinforces simple addition and subtraction. That five red beads plus two green beads equal seven beads. With some practice, children will automatically recognize that combination 2+5=7 without actually having to count every bead. It aids in the process of memorizing these math facts.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
The Lord brought to mind that we should be meditating on His Word: that is how we can not be in sin when we are angry. I made up this song with motions from James 1:19-20 for us to sing when we are angry. We can express our anger, but then meditate on His word, for His transforming power over our lives.
Be quick to listen (touch ears)
Slow to speak (hand to your mouth)
Slow to be angry (angry fists in front of body)
For man's anger (angry fists again)
does not bring about (crisscross hands in front of you)
the righteous life (hands/arms out to the side)
that God desires. (hands raised toward God)
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Here is a song I made up from Proverbs 3:5-6 and Philippians 4:6-7 about trusting the Lord.
Friday, August 20, 2010
For example: to my kindergardener, flash card questions – reading sight words or simple math problems, to my 3 year old – letter flash cards, and then even the 14 month baby gets questions “where is your nose?” or “what does a duck say?” For the older kids I also do questions about our address or how to spell our last name.
We usually start out with questions that I'm sure they know, but I always add a few new questions or flashcards to make it a challenge, to teach something new. And then its followed by an easy question so that the snacks keep coming.
We are adding some geography questions or questions about food groups or Bible verses we are starting to learn.
I have found that doing flashcards at the dining room table while we are eating is best. We are already all sitting down and I keep flashcards handy. Plus the baby is occupied so we can all focus on the learning time. I'm sure the baby is picking up on things already. ….
Ugh!! Trying to teach your child to read can be very frustrating. The English language is phonetic, right? Well, sometimes. But even words that at first seem phonetic, are only phonetic when you know this spelling rule or that rule. There are so many spelling rules and letters make multiple sounds. So where do you start? If your child already knows the letters and one sound for each letter, then teaching a child to sound out words should be easy right? They should be able to read a simple children's book right? Well, right, if the child knows all the spelling rules, but a child will get easily frustrated at having to learn a new pronunciation rule every few words.For example, in my last sentence:
- right - gh is silent
- the – th makes a diffent sound than t and h separately
- child - ch makes a different sound than c and h separately
- knows – k is silent, the ow is the long o sound, not 'o' as in on, not 'ow' as in how
- all – the a does not make the 'a' sound as in apple
- introducing one sound at a time, so that children learn a sound well before moving on
- teaching the skill of putting sounds together
- it starts by introducing only lowercase letters and adds capital letters later
- it notes rhyming words and spellings
- letters are written slightly differently when they have different sounds, so that decoding skills are learned and there is still exposure to the real spelling of words
- for example, th are written closer together for one sound, long vowels have lines over them, and silent letters are written in a smaller font
- sight words that are not phonetic are introduced one at a time (like “was” or “to”)
- new sounds for letter combinations are introduced slowly so that they are mastered, such as “ow” as in “how”
- there are checks throughout for reading comprehension,
- reading concepts are taught throughout – spacing between words, reading left to right and top to bottom, periods at the end of the sentence, quotation marks for speech, titles for a story, capitalization rules, etc.
- Directions are written so that parents know exactly what to say for each lesson and the only preparation time needed for the parents is to read the introduction
- Children gain confidence early on and can begin reading words within just a few lessons
- Each lesson can be done in under thirty minutes, or even less time if lessons are broken in half
- The markings and fonts are different than what you will find in storybooks, so it is suggested that you work all the way through the curriculum so that the transition from the special decoding markings to regular font is made smoothly. I have found it helpful to supplement this curriculum with flashcards that do not have the special markings – like “see” without the long vowel marks.
- The names of the letters are not taught until very late in the curriculum, only the sounds. This is not necessarily a problem, but something to be aware of.
- Some of the lessons progress rather quickly, so we sometimes repeat lessons until we are ready to move on.
For more information about this book, check out www.startreading.com