I was working again this week though only halfdays, so I only had one full day with the children this week. I decided to focus mostly on reading – with both plenty of reading to L and also plenty of her reading to me. I also did phonics daily with her and she did more practice with the silent E as well as covering the soft sound of C and G.
These days I usually give her a choice of a few books to read with me. This week we read: You Can’t Catch Me, Clever Rabbit and the Lion, The Boy who cried Wolf and some of The Bravest Dog ever, The true story of Balto – this one she struggled with a bit more than was acceptable so I stopped the book after a few pages and we will come back to it when she is more ready – I read it to her instead.
This week I did short sections of other subjects with her too, but all without a theme, so for science we read about cells (and she was fascinated with blood). We are using the magazines on this site. For history we started reading Living Long Ago. For Geography we read about The World’s Top Ten Islands and looked at some maps. We also painted pinecones and sprinkled glitter over them – L wanted to make as many colours as she could and spent a lot of time mixing colours.
Also related to the reading, I gave her a box with a written sheet on it telling her what to find and put in the box. The first day we did this I put the written numbers with a specific item after it (leaves, flowers etc – anything that she could find in the garden) and then sent her out with a pen to tick off what she had found. She asked for it again the next day so I hid toys of hers in the garden and then write what toys she needed to find and then also wrote where they were hidden so that if she read that part she would find them more easily.
L is still enjoying Sketch Tuesday and was glad to see the topic this week was Teatime as she loves having tea parties. She decided to draw a few other things that day too.
For anyone reading this: L’s reading skills are advanced for her age. We pointed out words to her from the time she was a year old and letters from early toddlerhood and she knew them all (their sounds) by 18 months old. She played Starfallfrom as young as 2 years old and learnt the letter names that way as well as building her sight word vocabulary (I did show her flashcards and she played with them in the bath) She was reading sentences shortly after she turned two and beginning readers by age 3. I took her through the Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme slowly and she actually enjoyed these books (they are not terribly exciting for older children) and after she had read book 3 I let her read other beginning readers. She still prefers to read with me and most books we read a sentence (or a page) each as she seems to enjoy this shared reading. We have read up to book 6a of the Ladybird Key Words series and I have ordered 7a-12a (only the a series) as she enjoys them and feels confident reading them even when there are far more words on the page than other books she is less comfortable with.
Around age three I realised that she needed some phonics as she was trying to sound out words that were not simple – “opposites” was one of the words she tried to sound out when around 2 years old so I wrote out the lists of words in The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading – I wrote the words much larger than they are printed in that book and I did not do any of the sentences with her – I found 4-8 words a day was enough for her concentration span though some days she asked to do more. We are still busy working on this, but just doing some phonics beyond the basic phonics with her has helped her a lot. Since she is not doing the sentences I find words in the books she is reading and reinforce the rule that way in context.