Thursday, October 15, 2009

3rd Grade Update

Things are going great so far with W's academics. I cannot believe how much he enjoys everything we're doing. With our AO readings, all of a sudden, he decided to take notes as I read. He uses the dry-erase shelf and writes down names, dates, and events. He erases them when we move onto something else, but just the act of writing things down helps him remember what we read. I was so impressed that he thought to do that on his own. Our readings this week included An Island Story, Understood Betsy, The Little Duke, and Tree in the Trail.

Another thing he's having a lot of fun with is homophones (words that sound exactly the same but have different meanings and spellings). He did a couple of pages of these earlier in the week and thinks these are so cool. He wrote out a bunch of them (on the dry-erase shelf) and gave me sentences for each to show me he knew which word meant what. Throughout the day, he came up with other homophones - and was so proud of himself.

W also just wrote his first story! It was about Halloween. It had a beginning, middle, and an end, had correct punctuation and capitalization, and was entertaining. Apart from a few run-on sentences and some misspellings, it was perfect. I had never given him a writing lesson or told him how a story is supposed to be set up. I was just thinking about writing and realized I had no idea if W knew about composition. So, I told him I was in the mood to read a great story, maybe about Halloween. Then I added, "You wanna write one for me?". Wow, was he excited and got right to it. It was done on the shelf and I only wish I took a picture of it.

Other adacemics this week included talking about Sanzio's paintings, reasons for dinosaur extinction, the 4x table, and various independent reading. W's reading and spelling has improved tremendously since we started a more multi-sensoral learning approach. All he sees is that we're just having a lot of fun. I'm trying to use what I've read to help him the best I can. He is technically on grade level for reading and writing, but I worry that progress may hit another plateau (or a wall). I've read that many teenage and adult dyslexics remain stuck at a 2nd-3rd grade reading level. I do think W has an advantage being homeschooled since I'm providing him with one-on-one help, I use only what works, and I do constant research to find out what else I can be doing with him. Overall, though, I know he'll be fine.

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