Friday, October 26, 2007

What a crazy week!

Wednesday morning, did a bit of work with the oldest while the others played. Then we spent the afternoon at Galaxyland. I decided I would try the Galaxy Orbiter. (I usually only do the simple things aimed more at little kids lol.) Fortunately, it was the last ride of the day for us because I was hugely affected by it--dizzy, headache, pressure in my sinuses and ears and just not feeling great. The headache got worse as the rest of the day progressed, as did slight nausea. I woke up the next morning at 4:30 feeling just as poorly as I did when I had gone to bed. Tried a Gravol and Tylenol, but all the Gravol did was knock me out an hour later, which I won't complain about, but then I was super groggy.

Yesterday morning I had wanted to work with the oldest but I was really quite out of it due to the Gravol (which cancelled all thought of perhaps taking Gravol BEFORE going on rides again in the future) and she was tired and kind of out of it, so we all watched a movie then worked on party prep (dd had her birthday party yesterday afternoon). Her brother, unfortunately, had been on the Galaxy Orbiter many times and the last time did him in the way my single time did me in: bad headache, just feeling crummy. He was actually worse--ended up throwing up at diving the night before. He slept a bit through the movie and felt a bit better afterwards. I actually felt worse just before we started the movie because the Gravol had worn off (I guess it had been helping), but then near the end of the movie, something suddenly changed and I felt a lot better. Weird. But never again will I be going on the Galaxy Orbiter!

Our week, therefore, has not been highly academic. I hope to get the oldest doing one subject this morning, then we can get ready for a Halloween party we're having this afternoon. I'm looking forward to next week when it'll be calmer! Just a Halloween party on the 31st, although now I've received a message about a morning Mass followed by MP for next Friday... We'll see. Other than those one or two activities, I am going to get us back in line for work. This week sort of off has been good, though--nice to have a bit of a break. But it's definitely time to get back on track.

Which reminds me: I took out Rudolf Fleisch's "Why Johnny Can't Read and what you can do about it". He's convinced me to start from the beginning with the 13yo and his reading and to even have the oldest do some of it. They both developed the word guessing technique in public school and have never really shaken it. Fleisch has convinced me to start at the beginning to train them to look at the sounds. Next week's plans, then, include daily phonics reading/writing (I think the lady who put together Phonics Pathways must have based herself on Fleisch's work because it's very similar) using either Fleisch's list of words or Remedial Reading Drills by Hegge, Kirk and Kirk (I found a free copy online). I think I might go with the online copy and print it off, because it'll be nice and big (he's having issues with his eyes lately--he's farsighted and seems to be having an even harder time than usual seeing stuff up close; he doesn't have glasses--yet) and he can use a pencil to track or underline things. Also, I can keep that copy but am not keeping the library book. :) I will also expect him to write each day. I will give him the option of a journal or a blog. Last requirement of the day will be math. Everything else is up to him how much and how long.

For dd, I have realized once again that I'm neglecting her French. I need to figure out this weekend exactly what I want to do about that. But for right now, I need to go switch out of my pyjamas and get ready for the day!


Correne said...

Do you mind sharing the link to the remedial reading thing you said you found for free online? I'd like to see it.

Your comment about the word-guessing habit is interesting. My dd guesses a lot of words based on context. Someone told me that was a good thing. She will also guess at words that are long and unfamiliar. I'm choosing not to overanalyze it, to pretend I'm an unschooler and just let her figure out her own way. After all, nobody really taught me how to read, I just figured it out.

Daisy said...

You know, Correne, I had learned, too, that it was okay for the kids to guess at the words. What I think more now, especially after seeing the effects of a habit in guessing at a LOT of words, is this: it's okay to guess at the words IF they are also concurrently learning phonics (in some fashion or another) so that they will at some point be able to actually figure out the words based on the letters there.

I believe both the 13yo and the 16yo had primarily whole word approach to reading in their early grades (not whole language, necessarily, but whole word--two different things that are often talked about as though they're the same thing). While the 13yo switched to a supposedly phonetic approach when he moved to the LD program, it was all based on word families and he brought the "guessing game" with him. We were doing well with Phonics Pathways for a while and he was making such progress, actually READING the words instead of guessing at them. Then family stuff got in the way and now he just doesn't want to do the Phonics Pathways, but I think if I tell him that I've found this program that will teach him all the phonics he needs to know and that he can learn it all before Christmas (it's only supposed to take 6 weeks if you can be really consistent with it) and will be able to tackle any reading that comes his way.

I've begun to babble and now I need to go. The link to the drills is

Daisy said...

I have to take back my comment about the 6 weeks. The Rudolf Flesch book says on the cover that you can teach your child to read in 6 weeks. But reading over Flesch's actual words in the book, he doesn't seem to indicate that at all, only giving a potential timeline for 6yo's ("a few months") and 5yo's ("several weeks" for the first part of his lessons). The link I sent you, now that I'm going through it a bit more, seems to be designed to take longer than that.