03 April 2009

Fun With Learning

We're using Happy Phonics, a game-based phonics program that I felt very strongly impressed to use to teach Monkey to read. Basically, we play games. If I'm really on the ball, I remember to tell him that it was "school." It's a relaxed and easy-going way to do it. Relaxed works well, especially since he's so little.


We typically spent about a week on each letter. We'd label some things around the house that started with that letter. I'd point out the letter in books we read. He especially liked to know people's names that started with that letter. We'd write the letters in shaving cream, make the letters with play doh and all kinds of fun stuff. But that was the key to it - fun.

Read more...



It's nice to see that someone else is doing things similarly. She keeps a journal of what they did. I have a markerboard that I check things off on to keep me meeting my own consistency goals. And it's working beautifully.

13 comments:

Keeley said...

How wonderful that it's so much fun for you!

I'm not much good at making it a game. I'm more of the "let's get it done and then play" type of person.

Ritsumei said...

Happy Phonics makes it easy: she's made up all the games. We just play them for a while. And, over time, Monkey is learning quite a bit. Step 2 is matching big & small letters, and we're doing pretty well with that. Step 3 is knowing the sounds, he already does, so we'll probably play the games just to make sure that he's super-solid on every single letter, but it shouldn't take really very long. Then it's on to blending! She's got a game for every step of the way.

I'm very excited. He's starting to say things that indicate that he's aware that he's not really reading when he looks at his books. I remember you mentioned that when Andrew was just starting too, so I'm very encouraged!

Ritsumei said...

Can't tell you what a lift your comments are, Keeley! I had *10* comments waiting for me, and 7 were from you! It was such a nice change, after the heavy gun-control conversation I'd just come from...

Keeley said...

Ew, who were you having the gun control conversation with?

It's really fun when they start to learn, isn't it? =) So exciting. =)

Ritsumei said...

A couple of members of the ward, on facebook. It was actually a pretty good conversation, I was just feeling a bit outnumbered this afternoon. They're both relatively liberal (for LDS folks), and I'm, well, I'm not liberal. So they're opposed to concealed carry, and I'm very much in favor. (Andy's even more "radical": he'd like to see open carry.) I like that sort of conversation because the exchange of ideas makes me *really* think about what my opinion is. One of them is a lawyer, so my debate has to be at the top of my game because if I'm illogical or otherwise flawed he'll see it & point it out. It's a good stiff mental work-out. Plus, it makes me think new thoughts and clarifies old thoughts. It was good. I was just tired this afternoon.

It's GREAT when they start to get it! I'm so excited for when he actually reads something! We've gotten out the Bob books a couple times, but so far he hasn't got it. He's much closer now than he was the last time I tried though. However, my plan is to wait until he's able to do the blending games before I try to do the Bob book again. The Spirit was so specific: use this to teach the Monkey to read. So I'm doing it just like the program says. And it's working like a charm.

Keeley said...

Yeah, I have to admit I'm with Andy on that one. How many school shootings do you think there would be if the shooter knew he'd be entering a classroom where the teacher has a gun? Not many, I imagine.

You're an amazing person, Ritsumei. Conversations like that make me go "GAH!" and want to run away. =)

How awesome that it's going so well with monkey. =) If the Spirit told you that's what you need to do, then it's the perfect thing for him. Has he become interested in the Bob books at all?

Andrew read "Go Dog Go" last night, with help on only two or three words. =) How cool is that? =) I think it helped that he was very familiar with the story.

Ritsumei said...

Most of the time, it's hard to find folks that will actually TALK through the different sides of an issue. That's what's nice about this crowd: minimal name-calling and nastiness. It's actual talk and debate. The more that I do it the more that I think it's an important part of public participation in government. Did you know that there are actually two "speech" clauses in the Constitution? I just learned that in the past week or two. The first one, in Article 1, protects a Congressman's speech, so that he can fully debate the issues on the floor without fear of reprisal. I hadn't thought about it before, but I can see that it's an important thing to specify. The other is the 1st Amendment, which protects Average Joe's right to speak what he thinks. Since our government is of by and for the People, we also have to be able to consider, debate, and otherwise talk about the things that our government does. Otherwise, we are seriously hampered in our ability to study, choose, and hold accountable those who we elect. The great thing about civil political discussions is that by hearing and responding to a different view point, you have to think about why you think what you do. My personal favorite way to do it is in a written format. It gives me a chance to really think about what folks say, rather than just give a knee-jerk response. Sometimes I've even gone looking for more information: I'm learning about the Constitution, but I still have a very long way to go. These conversations often spark an interest in another section of public life that I had not considered before. I believe in a strict founders' Constitution approach to government. It's not a terribly popular view right now. So there's plenty of folks to talk to that don't share my opinion! (It's also nice to talk to folks that think similarly, but I don't think that's completely adequate for a fully rounded approach to our government.)

Ritsumei said...

Woot! It's so encouraging to hear how well Andrew is doing! I'm so pleased for you both! I'll bet that it's just thrilling to sit next to him and read with him, now more than ever!

Keeley said...

It blows my mind that the founders' approach to the constitution isn't popular. I mean...uhhh....isn't that what we're MEANT to be following????

This whole "living document" thing is just an excuse to push agenda and is irritating.

Ritsumei said...

Yeah, well, something for nothing is all the rage right now. All those "entitlement" programs. Ugh. That's not charity! That's slavery! It's NOT that I object to giving, I just don't appreciate being forced, at gun point, to turn over my resources to charities I didn't choose, run by people I don't trust to help people I don't know in ways that I doubt are, in the long term, helpful.

And that entitlement stuff, it's just not IN the Founders' Constitution. Not that most folks know that. Heck, *I* didn't know it a year ago! I was pretty sure that something wasn't right, but I didn't even know how to go about figuring it out. Yay for the Constitution. That Biography of the Constitution I've been reading could (and I think should) be the main text for a rigorous high school or early college course on what a Constitutional government looks like. I'm definitely planning to use it with Monkey. But not for a while yet. Poor little sausage has to learn to read the Bob books first!

Keeley said...

Haha, you called Monkey a sausage! =) How cool is that? =)

I've made a note of the book title in a folder on my hard drive, "Andrew's High School". So in about ten years it will be ready and waiting for me. =D

Ritsumei said...

Yeah, we call him a sausage pretty regularly now. It's all your fault! ;)

Keeley said...

I'm delighted. =) Sausages are just so cute and cuddly. Plus, it's fun to nibble on 'em and make 'em squeal.

=D

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin