Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reading Revisited

Thane is the second kid I have started homeschooling, but the first one I have had to teach to read. I started going through The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading with Magnus when he was in Kindergarten, but I think we got through only the first few lessons. He taught himself and was reading The Chronicles Of Narnia and the Hobbit in first grade. Thane's and Magnus' strengths are in different areas and you would recognize that within the first 1/2 an hour of meeting them.

I started Sing, Spell, Read, and Write at the beginning of this year. I like the program. I like the multi-sensoryness (Yep, I just made that up!) of it. The songs are great, but I don't think Thane is an auditory learner. In fact, I think he may have some issues with that, but that is for another post. There are some things about the program that I don't understand. Why do they introduce blends (st, gl, pr, ect.) within the beginning readers without having taught them in the program first? Anyhow, I noticed Thane looking at the pictures to try to guess what the words are. For example...the sentences were, "Bill has a red pen. Sam has a red pen. Sally has a tan pen." There was a picture of them all sitting at a table holding their colored pens. Well, he read it, "Bill has a red pen. Sam has a red pen. Sally has a yellow pen." Her pen looked more yellow than tan in the picture. I'm scratching my head because "tan" is a lot easier to read than "yellow" is.

So, I have decided to blow the dust off of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. One of the things I did not like about the program was it's lack of bling. However, I think the plainness of it all is exactly what Thane needs. I think I am going to try it by itself for awhile and then maybe bring some of SSRW back in for funsy. Or, maybe I will finally break out the Happy Phonics and actually get something out of the 9 hours I spent cutting it all out!


Sailmom said...

It's interesting that you mention the lack of bling! Kyla is a very visual kid, and when she was younger, I had to ditch several programs, including SSRW, because although the bells and whistles made the curriculum appealing, it was far too visually distracting for her. Both girls used K12 Phonics, which looked a lot like OPGTR. Dari, on the other hand, did a year and a half of K12 Phonics, when I realized he NEEDED bling! Why is it never easy? lol

Let me know how OPGTR works for you, since I still have one more to someday teach to read. ;) I'd love to see Happy Phonics one of these days too!

Just some guy... said...

I think the mention of bling is interesting, too (for more than one reason). I wonder if that's what I found so difficult about textbooks when I was younger - they were designed to be eye-catching and visual, and I probably couldn't read because I was probably driven to distraction. Since Thane is much less verbal than Magnus, I wonder if plain vanilla reading will help him focus?

Kara said...

I was in the same boat this year with Leah. I was fortunate that Ben pretty much taught himself to read (the teacher part of me was disappointed that I couldn't use the reading program I had used for many years as a teacher). The program is Project Read and you can find info on their website, I'm just not sure if they have a "homeschool" curriculum to purchase. Its multisensory and based on Orton-Gillingham approach to reading. ALL the stories include only phonemes the child has been introduced to and mastered...which makes it a little dry, but the children feel very successful. It was actually designed for children with learning delays but is effective with all children. It has three components and the phonics one is all you would need now.
I wish we were still down the street and could do K language arts together!
Miss you.