Tuesday, October 02, 2007

ignition point

Rachel has reached her ignition point.

For the last few weeks in particular, since we started this year of homeschooling, I’ve been working with her to instill actual reading skills. She’s found the consonant-consonant sounds frustrating, and at times has groaned over having to do reading class, and asked to do something less difficult, like writing class.

Well, a few weeks of Hooked on Phonics have been paying off. Last week I pulled out a set of books that stick to monosyllabic words and short vowels, and that break in the combination sounds one or two per book. As an incentive, the books come with little stickers that I’ve been letting her place in the front of the book once she’s proved she can read the entire book without help from a parent. Early last week she was still getting frustrated by cl- and st-, but by Friday she was eager for the next volume.

Monday put her over the top. She was excited to read a story that uses the short O sound to Natasha and then to Evangeline, and at evening’s end, she had decided on her own initiative to tackle the book with the short U sound. Virtually flawless.

And then, the big one: I took out our copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Hop on Pop,” about 60 pages of rhymes, simple words, unfamiliar sight word like they, and words that follow no pronunciation rules she’s acquainted with, like night. She needed help with those words, but because of the rhyming nature of the book ― sentences like “FIGHT NIGHT / We fight all night” ― she very quickly got the hang even of them, and could remember them from one page to the next with minimal prompting.

She’s reached the ignition point, and she’s about to take off.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Reading this post made me start itching to get teaching again. It's so awesome to watch children learn.