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.


  1. Whatever works.

    I'm glad you are making such great progress.

  2. I agree that a mix of methods is usually best--and some children do better with one, some with another. One of the great keys of teaching children (or anyone) is flexibility in our methods to meet their individual needs.

  3. Yes, that is one of the things I love about homeschooling... it is possible that in a school they could end up lost for a while.