Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Teaching Reading to Kindergarteners

Until last month, the only reading lessons my 5 yo L has had came from the Leap Frog  Phonics DVDs and also from various kids tv shows.  She could tell us some letter sounds, using the Leap Frog cues, but she didn't always remember the letter names.


I had been wooed by all the positive reviews I was seeing from other parents regarding Susan Wise Bauer's reading curriculum, The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.  So I bought it.  I started it with 5 yo L, but we were 3 days into it and she could only remember that A says ah.  She didn't consistently remember that E says eh or that I says ih.  She also didn't seem to hear the difference between ah, eh, and ih very well.  And the poem ... well, she mumbled the poem along with me and only said a word here and there.


I wonder if learning all 5 vowels back-to-back is too confusing.  We have used Reading Made Easy with our first 5 children.  It learns A says ah, and then some other consonants first.  That way the child can put ah together with some consonants right away, and then combine them into short 3 letter words.  We've never taught all five vowels together.


I don't know which is better and which will work.  I toyed with using both, intermittently, but I think that would be too confusing.  I also know that I can't really call a 3 day effort a real test for The Ordinary Parent's Guide To Teaching Reading.


Maybe at 5.5 she just isn't ready, at least not for one lesson per day.  We may need to do more reinforcing for each lesson before we move on.  She wants to do more and more and more school.  I don't have enough to satisfy her, to be honest. I guess it's time to get creative with her, to figure out ways to reinforce the lessons and to provide more "schoolwork" for her.


April E.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't used that curriculum, April, so I don't know how it all works. I've used Spell to Write and Read with both of my girls, and it worked well, but it's a little less "user friendly" than some of the other reading curricula out there.

    In "Spell to Write and Read", the children learn all of the sounds of all of the letters of the alphabet in about 5-10 days...5 letters per day. There are no poems to memorize. It's worked really well with my girls, and also in tutoring a young man this summer (he just turned 18) that couldn't read at he's at the 3.5 grade level in three months.

    I'm not suggesting that you consider buying SWR for your family. It is more time intensive than some other programs, and is harder to use with a larger family, but it sure turns kids into fabulous spellers.

    Some children at age 5.5 just aren't quite yet ready. If you find in six months that she still is having trouble focusing and learning the sounds, you may want to consider having her hearing tested, and her vision as well.

    This young man I've been tutoring this summer had a severe visual tracking disorder that prevented him from learning to read. I volunteered to tutor him for free this summer if they would have his vision checked by a dr. that believed in visual tracking disorders and therapy; not all eye doctors believe that therapy will work. Well, it sure helped this young man! I cannot believe the difference...and neither can his parents!

    Well, anyway, it may be that she just needs a little bit more time, or to have her vision or hearing tested. Just some thoughts. I'm sure she's fine and just needs a bit more time!


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