Thursday, September 23, 2010


I am so proud of W and his reading.  I still have him read out loud to me every day - just a page or so.  He recently finished Chanticleer & the Fox and now we're back to D'Aulaire's Abraham Lincoln.  These are some of the "free reading" choices for AO Yr2.  The goal is  to start Year 3 by January (although we are doing Yr3's poetry, nature, artist & composer schedules).  We're also making sure that spelling practice is done at least 3x a week.  We're not using a program or curriculum for spelling, we just use an inexpensive workbook from Flash Kids (Harcourt Family Publishing) called Spelling Skills Grade 4.  I have never based a good book, program, or curriculum based on the price.  Many times, the cheaper product worked better for us.  Basically it gives you about 20 words (usually sound related) and a few pages of exercises that use those words.  It's as basic as they come, but this is the type of thing that works so well with W.  There are fill in the sentence blanks, homophones, definitions, rhymes, analogies, antonyms, synonyms, proofreading, syllables, and parts of speech exercises.

The reading every day and the spelling workbook have been so effective.  The more he reads and practices, the faster and easier he reads.  I just have to stay consistent with it.  It's strange to have a such a late reader.  I know I shouldn't compare kids, but J started sounding out words at 2yo, read easy readers and picture books at 3, chapter books at 4, and 3rd-4th grade stuff at 5.  K's reading took off at 4 and she's been a voracious reader ever since. The challenge with W is many-fold.  I've devoured dozens of books and websites for ideas on ways to help with his dyslexia.  I've been using a multi-sensoral approach to reading with him for over a year and that seems to work very well.  Things like clapping out syllables to using a dry-erase board to having a continuous word wall to making pancakes in the shape of "ight" make words come alive and it clicks and sticks.  I'm happy he reads on grade level (not above, not below).  I worry about the dyslexic "plateau", but I believe we can get through it.

Interestingly enough, he has no problems with math.  Math comes very easy to him and he enjoys it.  We're doing polygons and perimeter now, with multiplication review every day.  TT5 is certainly his favorite. I think it's a great program for 3rd & 4th grades.  Then we may use TT7 for 5th & 6th grades (I'm probably going to skip TT6 because it looks like a review of TT5 with a few new things at the end.  Besides, I already own TT7).  He uses only the workbook now, but may go back to the CDs one day.  We've fallen into a nice groove for the week:  3 AO readings a day with narrations, spelling, math, read-to-me, poetry, grammar, music, nature journal, etc - and of course our field trips and classes.  It's comfortable and doesn't feel stressful or rushed.  So far, so good, and it all feels right.  :)

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