Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What works for one...

As a mom-teacher, its a good idea to have many different bags-o-tricks to dip into. Or at least a lot of creative friends with many bags-o-tricks. Because I'm learning, again and again, what works for one child does not work for the other.

Meet Iggy, my almost seven year old who learned how to read much the same way he learned how to breathe. Reading is his thing. He explains that he just "knows how" to do it.

His current daytime reading obsession revolves around:

(You'll have to tip your head to the left...darn pesky picture....)

Iggy: Mom...its a thick book. I can read thick books now, you know. So let's find the thick ones. They last longer.

Yes, dear. ;)

His nighttime reading selection is a bit more varied:

MamaTea: You really need all these books in bed with you?
Iggy: Yup.
MamaTea: Where exactly does your body fit in the bed?
Iggy. There is plenty of room.
Iggy loves to read. End of discussion.

Now meet almost six year old Ooky, who wants to read. Oh gosh, how he just wants to know what that word says!!! Not in the sense that he wants to sit down and read story books, but more in the sense that he wants to figure out the back of cereal boxes and instructions on the Wii games and other sorts of real life things. But he's all caught up in short vowels and long vowels and what do these letters make and this doesn't make any sense, I thought you said once that "oo" makes the sound in then why doesn't blood sound like mood?

Yeah. Exactly. Don't ask me...

I really don't want frustration to bash down the desire to read what Lego Indiana Jones just said on the Wii game. So we have to figure out how to explain it. And then we have to tweak it. And then we have to tweak it again.

Thank God for other homeschoolers. The ones you can sit down with and say "Ok, Long vowels. Really struggling. Any ideas?"

That's how we come up with things like:

You know how silent e makes the vowel "say its name"? I've politely pointed this out at least 13 or 25 or 48 times to the Ookster. But it wasn't clicking. So a fellow homeschooler (who remains blogless) suggested the Ookster give those long vowels a face. You know, because the silent e makes the vowel say its name. Therefore, in a silent e word, the vowel is like a person...with a name.


He totally got it. Totally. And now spends a lot of time talking about that cute little i guy I drew in the silent e word.

Another difference in the boys is while Oggy would like to sit and read a book, Ooky doesn't want to sit and do anything. So we've devised a game where we flop a bunch of words out around the room, and as long as Ooky can figure out the what the word says, he can jump (or otherwise move insanely) to the word. Active is good for him. And anytime Mom is encouraging jumping on the couch or down the stairs...its a good day. :)

With Iggy, I see the "if its quiet, I can concentrate" thought process.
With Ooky, I'm pretty sure its the exact opposite. The louder and crazier and active it is, the better his brain works.
Maybe I could borrow a little of that sometime? I'd be a far more sane Mom-Teacher.


latisha said...

i love this post. my first daughter is almost 2, and i still get really scared about homeschooling even though we know its the right thing for us. this post was reaffirming and inspiring reminding me why we chose to go this way. great job mom.

Sherry said...

great post!

Jessica Monte said...

So my Itunes weren't working this morning and I opened your page in my browser. I will now be stopping by to "hear" what you're listening too. We like Radiohead too.

Anonymous said...

Your posts are starting to creep me out a bit. If I'd had a blog back when my kiddos were the age of yours I could just send you my leftovers and you wouldn't even have to write for a week or so. Uber "just knew" how to read and made a profession of it, much to the consternation of my wiggly, wobbly second-born who would never have learned to read at all if it weren't for endless games of sidewalk phonics hopscotch. I LOVE those unique young men!

MamaTea said...

And how lovely it is, Topsy, to know that I'm not alone in this boyish fun. And to look at the lovely darlings your boys/men have turned into and know that everything is going be ok...