Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Struggling Reader Story

Some of my children have struggled to learn to read.  Some have picked it up quickly.  Some take a while, but end up successful in not TOO much time.

With one of my strugglers, I took a new tact this year.  He had been working through 100 Easy Lessons, and reached a little over halfway.  Each day, he struggled through it, guessing some sounds, forgetting what he had "mastered" yesterday... It's the way his brain works.  I know it.  He knows it.  We try not to get too worked up about it because when it clicks, it will click!

We tried Pathway Phonics, too, among other things, but it advanced too quickly for him so we set it aside and returned to 100 EZ Lessons.

When school started this year, I sat this son down and talked about how last year went.  We discussed how hard letters are for his brain to remember and how repetition is the key.  Then I "broke the bad news".  I told him we were going to start 100 EZ Lessons over again, rather than pick up where we left off before summer break.

He wasn't happy.

However, ten weeks into our school year, I can say it was the right decision!  He is breezing through the book, reading successfully and with more speed and accuracy.  He actually is interested now in learning to read and is practicing outside of reading time!  He has correctly sounded out words and phrases in real life, even during free time.  He's not fluent by any means, but I see a being a Reader in his future THIS YEAR!

Sometimes, it just takes a reset button.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Buggy For Bugs

If your kids are anything like mine, they are love the four-footed furry animals, but they are also always bringing in new six and eight-legged friends.  We've been a host family to grasshoppers, locusts, an injured honeybee, praying mantises, a potato bug, a sun scorpion and many other buggidies.

I use a couple of different sites to identify new insects and spiders that we see.  The first I found was What's That Bug.  We found this one when we captured a sun scorpion and had no idea what in the world it could be.  We love the Bug-of-the-Month feature.

What's That Bug led me to BugGuide. Now I usually use BugGuide first, since they have a nice thumbnail feature that makes searching easier than by name only.

I'll often bring up one or the other site and let an interested child have some bonus computer time browsing around.  Yep, it's science!