Monday, June 04, 2012

Phonics in the front yard

Ugh! Where did the day go? There was some bill paying and child schlepping and bank going, but it really doesn't seem as though it was enough to fill the day.

One thing that did happen (and why dinner was late) is that I spent a lot of time with the four children who need supervision outside in the front yard while they played. It was a beautiful afternoon and everyone was playing so nicely, I hated to come in and do something less enjoyable, such as prepare dinner. One thing that occupied many children for quite some time was drawing letters on the sidewalk with chalk and then discussing with me which letters they were and what sound they make.

What prompted this sudden interest in phonics? The DVD Leap Frog Letter Factory. This has been a daily favorite with my chronological and developmental preschoolers. (I should probably explain that statement. I have G. and L. who, since they turn 3 in less than a month, are actually now considered preschool age. Then I have K., who due to his delays is more like a 4 year old. And then H. is added in there as well, since with all the changes in her life and due to other factors is also currently operating at a preschool level in some areas. So, really, educationally, I have 4 preschoolers. No wonder my life feels a little crazy at the moment.) Well, based on the strong recommendation of a good friend (who also loaned it to me), my crew has been watching Leap Frog. When it comes to learning phonics, I'm all for using whatever resources I can. It's why I break my usual hard and fast rule of 'no toys which make noise' for the Phonics Firefly. I'm convinced that it's how A. taught herself to read at a rather early age, and it's why I've plunked my small children in front of a video each day for the past several days. It seems to be working.

K., who before this has shown no interest in letters at all, is suddenly writing letters, telling me their names, and what sounds they make. H., with very limited exposure to English, is doing the same thing. G. and L., who are probably just a touch young, but are on the precocious side, are not writing letters, but they can tell me the sounds that certain letters make. So to me it's worth the sudden need of all four to go around saying, "Okey Dokey Artichokey!" (It's a phrase that's repeated in the DVD. I don't know why.)

The other thing that was happening in the front yard was H. riding the big wheel that was given to her. Talk about the perfect vehicle. It's easy enough that she can make it go, she can't fall off of it, and because it tips her back a little bit it helps develop her core. I was thrilled to see that she was starting to challenge herself to see how fast she could go on it and to try to race K. up and down the block. It has been wonderful to watch her become more adventurous as she gains more and more strength.

1 comment:

Kristie said...

My 10 yr old came to us when he was about 4 and read, yes read us a few books on about 2nd grade level. I had NO clue how. I asked him and he said "leap frog videos and In Between the Lions" and ran off to find other books. He is still an above average reader and has never had a single "reading" lesson.

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