Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crisis Diverted

I asked my daughter today if she wanted to play school tonight and she enthusiastically said yes! We had a very good session and her confidence seems to be at an all time high. She remembered the 'R' that was introduced last night and learned tonight's new sound symbol with ease. The next one is 'S' and she already knows it so that one should be easy too.

She's getting much better at sounding out the short words. Tonight she looked at each letter the first time and then started saying the sounds faster and faster without looking back at the words. This was done on her own. She even said once that she would try to say it faster. I think she's starting to figure out how the sounds blend together. Very good day!

Uh oh!

Last night my daughter was only half-heartedly interested in playing school. We played and introduced the 'R'. She already knew the sound so it was easy. She wasn't crazy about reading last night either. I thought it might be because she was tired.

This morning I asked her if her stuffed animals were ready to play school tonight and she said she didn't want to play. I sure hope I can turn things around with some new games. Sigh!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moving on

Well the 'I' troubles continue. My daughter can not remember the sound for anything. I've decided to move on to the next letter/sound symbol and continue to work with her on 'I'. I don't want her to get frustrated and discouraged.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Games for Reading

I decided that it would be cool to add a little variety in our school game so I set out to see what ideas might be out there. I stumbled across Games for Reading: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read by Peggy Kaye. The book offers over seventy different games using things that are readily available in most households. I placed my order and plan to give it a full review once I receive it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tiring weekend

Not sure if I mentioned this but my wife is due to give birth to our second child on August 7th. We've been working on getting things in order so the weekends have been packed with last minute preparations. As such, we have been slacking on the school game.

We did do a little review. My daughter is having trouble remembering the sound of 'I'. It seems there's not a whole lot of words that begin with 'I' so for some reason she's just not associating that letter with the sound. She's also starting to guess. I told her that she should just tell me that she doesn't remember and I'll help her. I'm sure she'll come around. Usually she picks up on the letter sound within two days but I guess this one is a bit different. She's wanting to learn another letter but I want to make sure she knows this one before continuing. I may just have to move on and keep reviewing this one to keep her from getting bored.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nice dinner

As expected, we did not have our regular session today. We enjoyed a nice dinner with my sister and my brother-in-law. We did, however, read a few words before bedtime. I asked her if she wanted to read one more and she said "No thank you. I'm too sleepy". Funny.

I'm planning on working half a day tomorrow so hopefully we'll have time to get a good session in. Up next is a new sight word along with another letter (or sound symbol as we call them).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another long session

We got a late start tonight but ended up playing for a while. My daughter had trouble with the 'T' again. It seems she forgets that one every now and then. Not sure why. We introduced another letter tonight which she locked on very well. She was able to read 'TUB' and 'BAT' without help. She told me she was too tired to continue so we called it quits. I'm pretty tired myself.

Tomorrow we're going to my sister's house for dinner so we probably won't get a session in.

So much for that good mood!

I went in my daughter's room this morning to find that she was wide awake and very happy. I told her that I was sorry that we hadn't played school the night before and that we would definitely play tonight. She said 'Can we play now?'. I was already late for work so I told her it would have to wait. She didn't like that at all. Smiles turned into tears and my wife was not too happy with what I had done. Oh well, lesson learned.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Computer problems

I got back home today to find that lighting had wrecked havoc on my two computers. My office computer was at the BIOS screen and I was able to resolve that quickly. My home theatre pc, however, was not in good shape. It would not boot, didn't beep, no video, bad news all-around. I spent about an hour and a half working on it before finally getting things working again. Long story short, not much time for school tonight.

I showed her the 'G' again and she was able to identify it. I'm thinking she's got a decent handle on it now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm impressed

Tonight we had a very long session of school. My daughter sounded out and piece together about ten words. She stumbled on 'CUP' thinking it was 'CUT' but she understood once we sounded it out again. I think she was guessing but the ending sounds do sound pretty close.

I introduced the 'G' and she told me that it looked like the 'Cuh' sound symbol. Pretty perceptive. She had a bit of trouble with the new letter as she was getting it confused with the other letter's sounds. I asked her to grab the letters that sound like 'Huh Uh Guh' and put them in her Word Whammer game. I then asked her to sound it out and she did. She sounded it out again and said 'H-U-G. Hug. Hug?!' She was very excited and read the word without any help and without the word ever being practiced. She was proud of herself but probably not as proud as her dad was!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No school today

We had a lot going on today so no school. I feel somewhat guilty about it but hey, we can all take a break every now-and-then right? My daughter watched some educational shows on PBS so I guess all was not lost!

We did visit my sister today and we brought along a paper with her uncle's name on it. She read 'PAT' for them. They were impressed. My wife reminded me not to go crazy showing people as we don't want people putting her on the spot and making her uncomfortable about reading. Sounds like pretty good advice to me. We've got a good thing going.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Door handles

Today we went to the hospital to visit my cousin who just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. We had a good visit and were saying goodbye when my daughter ran up to me saying 'Daddy, daddy, come and see' . She grabbed my hand and led me to the door. She pointed at the handle and said 'Look! Uh and Puh'. I looked down and sure enough, embossed in the door was the word UP! Bingo!! She's seeing letters everywhere now. On the way out I showed her PUSH on the water fountain. She knew three of the four letters! This is really cool!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Word Whammer

The Leapfrog Word Whammer came in today. My daughter loves it and I think she'll get a lot of use out of it. She puts the letters in it and then sounds them out. When she turns it on it says the word and then sounds it out for her. It plays a little song and then sounds the word out again and says the word. Very good reinforcement.

Review day today.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sight words??

If you scroll down to where I started this blog you'll see that I'm not crazy about sight words. Well it seems this program uses them to but it seems like there's a good reason. Today we introduce 'thE' to the program. They state that they don't want to confuse the student as the 'th' sounds different than the individual letters 't' and 'h'. Makes sense so I'll run with it. Everything seems to be working so why not go with the flow?

I will say that I wish there would be a better laid out lesson plan but I guess the way things are just fine as the results are very impressive.