Monday, January 31, 2011

Reading, Maggie's way

Its definitely obvious I've neglected the blog here a little bit. Being a mom to four girls definitely leaves not much room to blog all of the time. I do enjoy doing it though when I get a moment of time to do it.

So far we're almost in the month of February and Maggie has made great strides with reading. We began our journey with reading on December 31st of last year. So today has been one full month of learning to read. Granted Maggie is going to preschool she still loves to read with mommy at the end of the day. It usually starts during her potty time and goes right into bed time. She loves to sit on my lap and look at the books that I've made for her using her flashcards.

I had to get a little creative since just using flashcards wasn't cutting it every time. I did see how much she loves her Your Baby Can Read flapbooks so an idea was born.
I took those words, cut them and put them on colored construction paper and voila' Maggie's flashcard books were born. She thinks she's reading a book and in reality she is going over her words in flashcard form. Nothing like a little switch a roo, right?
Of course there are pros and cons to my flascard books:
The pros:
she thinks she is reading a book. This has boosted her self confidence and really follows Doman's advice as to getting books into a child's hand at this stage of the game in teaching children to read at this age level.
She can cuddle up on my lap while we read the 'books' .. with using flashcards my daughter has to sit across from me so I can flip them.
We like to hold the words in our hands. Some times Maggie loves to look at the computer. Sometime she likes to watch YBCR on the tv , and sometime she is just like me and loves to hold the book in her hands. So

The only con that I found with this book is we can't retired words. So it makes it hard to add new words and retire ones she already knows. It is a con but a plus because she loves to read the words she already knows. Just I have to make more books.

I am currently coming up with an idea with using a binder and some page covers. I'll post more on that later on. This may save me on construction paper. He, he.

Of course my 7yr old has joined in on the fun. She reads fairly well for a 7yr old that has never been taught reading using Doman method. Hannah learned to read using phonics. It made sense to her but once she got up and reading I think we started leaning more towards whole words. So at 7 using whole words only makes sense. I was also amazed at how the Your Baby Can Read videos seemed to work with my 7yr old as well. She knows most of the words but there were some that she didn't know , such as chimpanzee, rhinocerous, hippopotamus, crawling, bouncing, comb... etc. I think the very fact that her 4yr old sister knew these words and she didn't motivated her to sit and watch the videos and sit with us while we did flashcards. I've already noticed a big difference with Hannah's reading. So even though Hannah is considered 'over the hill' in brain development. I don't ever think its too late to stimulate the right brain.

Okay, back to Maggie. To date Maggie is reading 129 words on her own. Which is an amazing accomplishment in one months time. She is just soaking up words like a sponge. Of course 129 words in the English language is a drop in the hat since there are about a million words in the English language. I will say I am excited to see how many she gets to this month. It seems every day she is picking up between 8 to 10 new words now. Its just totally amazing. Not all of those 129 words are from Your Baby Can Read either. I have found a gem called Brillkids. Love it, love it. Of course its geared towards little ones but Maggie seems to like their program called Little Reader. We tried out their Little Math and she isn't as enthused with it as Little Reader. But I like it because it exposes them to quantities and numbers. Anyways, the thing she loves the most about Little Reader is the fact that it includes learning words in foreign languages. You have tons of languages right at your finger tips. Maggie seems to really like Spanish, and Polish. Not so much the Chinese at the moment but I think that's pretty neat. I do plan on investing in Little Reader if not for anything else but the foreign language. I will admit I do like the fact they have flashcards that you can print out. They are all ready made. As much as I love making my own stuff, sometimes I just want something already done for me. Especially since I had homeschooled for so long and had to create much of my own resources. Now is a good time in my life to say .. let someone make it for me.

All in all I am very happy with Maggie's progress with reading and even more so that this helps Hannah with her reading too. I will admit I wish I had know about this a very long time ago when I had my first daughter. This would of helped them to excell so much in school. I guess in the end you live and you learn.

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