Friday, July 10, 2009

I have decided to have a new weekly feature on this blog - school corner. I will be describing our forays into more formal schooling activities that happened during the week - reading, writing, math, etc. Technically, a lot of these activities happen over the weekend, when all of us have more time, but my schedule gives me more time for a bigger post on Friday than on Monday. This week we did a few school related things in the afternoons. First of all, Anna was enchanted with the book that her babushka sent her - the one featured on the left. I was scanning one page at a time instead of giving her an entire book. I noticed that this works a lot better for her, because then she focuses on what she has and doesn't flip back and forth trying to find something more interesting. The book gets more complicated rather quickly, but we are still working through straight lines in the first several pages.
I noticed that Anna does every new activity only when she feels ready for it. She is not an adventurous child, and she will push back mightily if she thinks she will fail at the task at hand. That's why I am very excited that desire to "do mazes" led to her desire to try her hand at drawing. She was completely uninterested just a couple of weeks ago. Now, when I asked her if she can draw a smiley face, she applied herself and made a few faces complete with ears and hair. We don't practice any letter writing yet - I read that it's counter-productive to teach children under 3 to write letters unless they are very advanced with their fine motor skills. The required coordination is simply not there, and the attempts at letters will lead only to frustration.
And now allow me to seriously rave about the resource that I picked up from Story Time and More. Clemencia posted about the site called Progressive Phonics. Don't even think about buying Bob books - have a look at this site instead! It rocks, and it's FREE. Since Anna's alphabet knowledge is pretty solid, I printed the first book from Beginner Phonics series instead of Alphabetti series and brought it home. She liked the fact that she is not asked to read by herself, she only needs to read selected words while I read the rest of the text. The stories are very short, accompanied by a cute picture and sometimes rather funny (at least to toddlers). Now Anna is asking me to do a reading game - something that I could never interest her in before. And... she can do it! She can read the whole CVC word and not just guess based on the first letter the way she did before. I noticed a couple of cases when she had difficulties - in unfamiliar words like gab and had. She was confusing lower-case b and d in those words big time, but it's something that we can easily fix with more practice. What is important is that she is experiencing success, and that encourages her to try harder.

10 comments:

SANDRA said...

We are fans of the Kumon workbooks. I agree with your opinion that most young children are not ready for letter writing. We are also using the Kumon book of tracing and doing activities that help strengthen fine motor skills.

We started using Progressive Phonics after hearing about it and I enjoy the site. I am glad it is free again.

We are working on the Alphabet books for now and then we will move on to the Beginner Phonics series.

Thank you for sharing!

Jolanthe said...

We've loved those Kumon workbooks too - hoping to use the Progressive Site too.

Thanks for being a part of the Preschool Corner.

Jolanthe

Eva said...

Oh thank you so much for sharing the link to this great resource! Congrats on Anna's reading success, that's amazing :)

pucktricks said...

Thanks for the website suggestion. We love the Kumon books too.

Michelle said...

Glad to see you join in!

I will have to check out Progressive Phonics, it sounds great! I have been wanting to try the Kumon books, too.

Christy said...

WE LOVE LOVE LOVE Kumon. I haven't tried Progressive Phonics yet but I have been meaning to. We have been using Bob Books and love them, but I'll gladly use a free resource. Did I read this right....your daughter is not even three yet and is reading some words? WOW!

Teaching My Little BookWorm said...

we are fans of Kumon workbooks! i take the workbooks apart that are printing and put them in sheet protectors so we can use dry erase markers and we can do the worksheets over and over!

Susana said...

Thanks for sharing. You'll have to keep updating if you use the progressive phonics long term--I've wondered about this program too.

We like the Kumon books too!

Mrs Adept said...

Thanks for the link to the Phonics website. I must go and see if I can find out some more about Kumon.

Clemencia said...

Thank you so much for the link love :)
I really like the way you do your post, I love your blog :)