Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ds and his education

Okay, let me continue my thoughts from yesterday about ds and his education.

I've started working out a list of phonetic words I could do Reading Reflex style (like the Montessori Object Boxes). Basically, you've got a little picture and the letters that match up with the word the picture represents. Let's pretend it's some lips to represent a kiss ("bec" in our French). I'd also have little squares with the letters b, e, c on them. The Reading Reflex lessons have you write the lines for the sounds on a whiteboard, then ask the child which sound he hears first. He'd take that sound and put it on the first line. Then the second sound on the second line and the last on the last. You then ask the child to write out the word saying the sounds. Here is my list of super easy words for now:

as, os, bec, sec, bac, lac, sac, bol, col, sol, bal, mal, fil, ami

This will get us started for reading and writng and is something he will enjoy doing. I will also keep looking at his cursive book which inspires him to want to do some--especially since I told him the other day that he doesn't have to do the pages in order, he can pick.

On a side note for language arts: he decided during supper last night that he wanted to "work" with me after supper. He picked reading. He read all the easy words in this one book (je, le, la, un, etc.) and some of the harder words. Always makes me feel good to see that he's progressing despite my lack of consistency. I said something to him about how many words he can read now and asked him, "Every day you read, you get better and better. How much do you think you could read by Christmas if you read every day?" The way his eyes lit up was magic. He WANTS to read--I just have to set the right stage for him.

And isn't it interesting: he's had a sudden interest in reading and writing (he was writing stuff the other day, in addition to his cursive workbook, sounding out words to spell in English) JUST after he lost his first tooth? (You ever heard of the research done linking children's readiness for reading with their first permanent teeth coming in?) I remember one Montessori teacher saying she'd noticed a cycle in her school: the kids usually started learning to read at 4, but if they didn't, they didn't seem ready to do it until 7 (when the first teeth have been lost).

I seem to have some internal issue against showing him various Montessori math materials I have. Why??? I don't know. In any case, I think he'd love using the Addition/Subtraction Strip Board (usually 2 boards in a classroom, but for home purposes, just one!), so I need to find my strips for that and prepare some booklets and let him cruise. Of course, I could be totally off and he might not be interested in doing them at all. lol.

I want to return to my idea of zoology. I think I feel lost as I don't have something telling me what to do and I don't have a lot of knowledge of my own. Since he loves ocean animals, I'm going to start with fish and look at the external parts of a fish. Then we can look at the internal. However, I don't think we'll use real fish as I'm rather squeamish. ;) We can look at our pet fishes to look at the external parts, but I'm really not sure I can do more than that.

I want them ALL to learn the continents and oceans--I think the oldest knows the continents, but not the oceans. Then we'll progress from there together with geography. Ds might like the pin map of North America, especially since there's a place for Belize, where my former student now lives.

As for history... I can start timeline study with him. I've got a roll of paper and we can do a timeline of his life. I think he'd like that. :)

That's it for now. I've got a headache I can't shake--I think I had too much sugar and chocolate yesterday. Need to go drink a couple of glasses of water. And maybe a couple of Tylenol. I'm supposed to be taking ds out shopping this afternoon--poor kid grew over the summer, didn't wear his pants at all, so we get to our recent weather and all his pants are too short!

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