Friday, February 26, 2010

Look, look. See, see. See Echo Read!

Ok, here it is. I can't remember the process that was taken when I learned to read because I read when I was barely 3.

I do know the story though.

Because my oldest brother knew how to read before going to school - and had a teacher who couldn't handle that - he absolutely ended up hating school in grade 1. So my parents worked hard to not let their other children learn to read before school.

However, one day when I was young, my older sister got out a "Dick and Jane" reader and played school with me. I'm not sure how long she played with me that day, but before she was done, I was reading. My parents shrugged their shoulders, and got out the rest of the "Dick and Jane" readers.

Jump forward a couple of decades, and I have been working on teaching Delta and Echo to read. But by now, the "Dick and Jane" readers are looked down on, as being a part of the illiteracy problem. So, I started the phonics program. It worked ok for a while, but none of the kids enjoyed it after getting to a certain point. And reading just was such hard work.

So, I talked to my Dad (who was a teacher), and he said that a mixture of reading instruction types works best overall. This was also about the time I discovered Charlotte Mason. I then made up some Doman type flashcards from "Teach your baby to read" and made a few homemade books. That worked well with them as a bridge. I started Delta on the Treadwell/Free Primer, and he did well. Reading is still work, but he is reading fairly well. I hope fluency will come soon.

But Echo.... she was to the point that she needed something other than just the phonics - but the Treadwell/Free Primer was too difficult. Then I had the flash go off in my head. If I learned how to read so easily with "Dick and Jane", then maybe my kids could too. I did a bit of looking, and found that my library had a couple of treasury books, and I requested them.

Well, what a joy! I sat with Echo, and she has read a couple of the "readers" in the one treasury with hardly any help at all. The phonics she has done allows her to figure out the word - and the repetitaveness gets the word in her head so that she doesn't have to figure it out each time - so it moves quicker. She is thrilled because she is reading a story, and a book, not just sentances. Delta has read both treasurys by now, and is enjoying reading without the effort. They have both spent a lot of time with them on their own.

So - I will be adjusting the learning reading suggestions on the blog. It is just exciting seeing them love the books. (And scarily enough, I remember the stories and pictures.)

I will admit that Mike finds the repetative stories annoying, and rolled his eyes when he saw the books from the library.... but I find them nostalgicly interesting.