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About Mei

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    Hive Mind Larvae

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  1. Wow, thank you so much for all the responses, they've helped shed some light on a few things.
  2. I'm overthinking handwriting curriculum. DD, my oldest, is almost 5 and reading proficiently. Overall she picks things up at a normal to slightly fast pace. I wouldn't stress about teaching her handwriting but she's a leftie. I've read so much on yes & no & contradicting rules on leftie modifications that it's made my head spin. Goals are for her to have decent if not beautiful handwriting and for it to become easy and painless. Personally I prefer a zaner-bloser type look, and want something that will not lift the pencil in the middle of letter formation as much as possible. Even though she's reading & spelling well, she has no training on letter formation whatsoever. She wants to start writing, but does not regularly attempt to draw letters. I've been so afraid of ingraining bad habits that I've not encouraged it at all. So, here are the curriculum I've been contemplating and questions about each. Peterson Directed Handwriting - I like the idea of ingraining the movements with rhythm, and they seem so passionate about handwriting. I wonder if it's overkill for most. Also, they say there are lefty skills, is this beyond paper slant? Do they actually recommend some different stroke directions? I downloaded a PDF from their site about teaching lefties, but I didn't see in it any directions about which letters should/shouldn't have modifications. Can anyone speak to this from a lefty perspective? Handwriting without tears - I know so many love it, I kinda wonder if it's overrated. Yes, the letters are a little ugly/weird. Should I just suck that up and go with the program everybody and their dog does? Zaner Bloser workbook - Again, not clear that it has lefty modifications. I'm also confused on what I'd need to order to teach (just the workbook? Teacher manual?). Does the current set of workbooks teach the old style, or the 'simplified' ZB that limits pencil lifts (e.g. for 'b' go down then trace partway back up and go around)? Do they group letters based on common formation? Simply Charlotte Mason's Delightful Handwriting - I like the simple aspect of this, but I've seen it mentioned that aside from a top bound coil, it doesn't address lefty quirks.
  3. If your child has a solid ability to recognize sounds within a word (e.g. figuring out beginning or end letters), I don't think it's too early at all. I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with my 4 year old last year. It seems to be a favorite with many homeschool moms and I really liked it too. It's scripted, which made it less intimidating for me. It is phonics based. Many of the rules are learned implicitly, which I think is a bit easier on younger learners. There are bound to be hiccups along the way, and Google is your friend to figuring out what's worked for others. It's just a book, so if your library has a copy you could try it out first. The font/orthography is a little weird, but it didn't pose any problems for us. I did make up a few little games & word cards to practice & increase fluency. This helped a lot when we were a bit bogged down in the middle & lack of speed was hampering progress. My daughter took about 9 months to work through it. By the time we finished, she felt very confident in her reading abilities and is doing well. I think the book is well suited for younger learners and their stories didn't contain too many things that needed explanations. She's just now about to turn 5 so we haven't done handwriting. When we practice spelling (every once in a while), I'll just cut up some squares and write letters that she can move to make the words. Or magnetic letters would work well too.
  4. Hi all, I have some questions about my 4.5 yo daughter's reading and would love insight. I'll try not to write a novel. We've been using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons since December (right after she turned 4). Overall she's done well, but I have at times questioned whether it was getting too hard. We're at lesson 72, right before the switch to a regular font (the book uses a different orthography for the majority). She can decode just about any word in the book. Here are the things I'd like input about: 1) Sometimes she switches words (e.g. says 'did' for 'and', 'the' for 'then'). I will either point again to the word until she reads it the right way or just tell her the correct word. 2) Depending on the day/story/how consistent we've been, she may have to read a good portion of the words by sounding out instead of 'the fast way'. So I guess this is a fluency issue? My question is, should we continue through with lessons, take a break from reading altogether, go back to earlier lessons? I'm fine with it being a little bit of a struggle, but don't want to push her beyond what she can do. I'm a little nervous about the switch to regular font and whether that will add too much complication or whether that will make things easier because we can use other resources and books more easily. We've read things in regular fonts before and it wasn't terribly hard, but I do wonder especially about cues for vowel sounds and silent letters. Anyways, any advice or encouragement you have would be much appreciated. This is my first time teaching reading and I don't want to mess it up. Thanks!
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