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Everything posted by pollo_la

  1. I have purchased ETC online a couple different times. Once for my oldest, and then again for my second and third. It was pretty much a "bust" each time. It seemed great... for about a week. It just did not hold their interest at all past the first month. All three of my kiddos are very different learners and have different personalities, and it didn't work for any of them! Especially if your child is used to reading eggs, ETC online will likely not hold his attention.
  2. I would just have him do copywork. He will get practice seeing and using words in everyday sentences. It sounds like he's a "natural," so I don't see him needing anything more.
  3. Thanks for your input Paula! I do think you are on to something when you say there is more to it then "just" phonics. There are many phonics based curriculums out there that I am not a fan of. I am not a fan of "rules" at all. So, when I say phonics, I am referring to a way that we teach kids to break words apart, not a bunch of rules to memorize. Also, I think it is extremely important to teach kids using all 3 learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). Some kids will do fine with black and white sentences out of a book, but that will not be the case for every child. So sorry to hear about your friend's child. :-( Reading is a complex skill, that is for sure!
  4. Those are some good points. :-) My second dd does have some "dyslexic tendencies." However, she is making progress with phonics. I started phonics with her very early on, and admittedly, probably made the mistake of introducing a few too many sight words after she had only a basic understanding of blending in place. That seemed to stall her out initially when we got back into heavy phonics. I do think some kids have a tendency to look at the whole word, regardless of the method taught. I also think some kids have a natural tendency to read form left to right while others tend to have the tendency to do it from right to left. My "dyslexic" child has ALWAYS wanted to do it "backward." That being said, when I use phonics in a systematic manner, and practice activities that emphasize left to right progression, she is learning how to read. She gets better at it all the time. Yes, she is harder to teach then my first dd and my third dd, but she makes progress and she is right "on track" for her age. It is also true, that when a child is found to be dyslexic, that the methods used to help "remediate" the child are all heavily phonic, break the word apart type methods. Why don't we START with these methods for all kids? Then, all children, weather they have dyslexic tendencies or not, would learn to read (for the most part).
  5. I found a really great article on the topic of dyslexia. Dyslexia - Made Made or Born With It? (The article link is at the end of the post).
  6. I agree with this too. They DO comprehend, it's just hard to put into words sometimes, AND they don't necessarily get out of it what we think they should. They may be focused on something completely different about the story and no what we specifically ask them.
  7. Great advice! I agree 100% I never asked my oldest anything when she was starting out, ever! Gradually over time she would come to me and tell me things, but I never asked. She reads AND comprehends at a high school level now (she's 9).
  8. It sounds like a good start might just be adding some read a loud time to your day. Maybe 20-30 minutes at lunch time, or in the afternoon when your 1 year old is napping? So, you are in need of some good book suggestions! I would start by looking at what a few different curriculums have to offer for the ages of your children. Some to look at would be... Sonlight My Fathers World Heart of Dakota Also, Old Fashioned Education has links to free books My personal choices for books at those ages would be "The Boxcar children" (all the books in the series, but especially the first 19 by the original author), Books by Thorton Burgess, and Books by E.B. White. I have others too, but that's all my brain came up with right now.
  9. ...easy on you, the parent? Sterling Math Facts ...a crowd-pleaser, where you and the kids are all thrilled? Teach Your Child to Read in Just 10 minutes a day. ...fun for your kids? Reading Eggs ...not time intensive, short and to the point? Apples and Pears by Sound Foundations ...a good way to take up an entire afternoon? Library Story (and craft) time ...a great reminder of why you wanted to homeschool in the first place? Relaxed read a loud and "tea time" in the afternoon ...free? Old Fashioned Education
  10. My daughter was stuck at the 96-98 accuracy for a long time too. I finally just manually overrided the program so she could move on past addition. It was frustrating!
  11. Sterling Math facts works really well for my kiddos - the ones that pick it up quick, and the ones that need more time. It's like flash cards, but on the computer. You can customize everything about it. It really helps kids because it uses all three learning styles (audio, visual, and kinesthetic). You can set how long it takes to time out, so initially if they need a bit more time, you can give them like 8 seconds instead of 2-4 (what most programs give). Later on as they get better you can reduce the time. It's a $15 one time purchase, and you can use it for unlimited users.
  12. Oh that is too bad... :-( Do they have a good amount of sample pages to choose from?
  13. It would take extreme circumstances for us to ever consider any school other than homeschool.
  14. Focus on the basics, Reading, math and handwriting for the older ones. Stick to just hands on activities for the younger ones (play based stuff). When they can read fluently, transition them to being independent. In our house... 9 year old - Completely independent. 7 year old - short 15 minute reading lesson each day to work on phonics, one set of Sterling math facts done independently (about 10 minutes), one or two sheets of Apples and Pears (about 15 minutes) TOTAL TIME ON SCHOOL - just under an hour 5 year old - reads fluently so I pick a book and she reads to me for about 15-20 minutes each day, then Sterling math facts, and Apples and Pears TOTAL TIME ON SCHOOL - just under an hour 3 year old - 10 minute reading lesson 3-4 times a week 2 year old - no school yet baby - no school yet Total school time that actively involves me, 2 hours max. And yes we also do read a louds and craft projects and such each day, but that's not school. That's just extra.
  15. Overall, I do like the looks of Ambleslide, and I do get book ideas from their book list, BUT, it's not a good fit for us. There is too much to it for us.
  16. Have you ever looked at Apples and Pears by sound foundations? Very open and go. ALso, the way it's designed, students who "get it quick" can also move through the program quickly. But, there is built in review for students who need more work. There are samples if you visit their website...
  17. I would absolutely just let her read good books! It's not uncommon for kids to hit a point where the rest of phonics just "clicks" after they have enough training with the basics. SHe probably doesn't like the lessons because it is stuff that she has already figured out.
  18. Yes, hold the pencils, get their eye contact, then tell them the directions. Have them repeat back to you each step as you go, and then at the very end ask them to repeat the whole thing.
  19. I have tried a few different "handwriting" books, and I have found that I actually like "Apples and Pears by sound foundations" (which is a spelling book!!) the best for handwriting. Seriously, it is so well done. I love it. I kill two birds with one stone. Handwriting and spelling all in one little book. :-)
  20. My second dd is definitely more "delayed" in learning. I have found that "I" really don't need to set a time table with her. She simply progresses on her own as time goes by. Sometimes she will progress a huge amount in one month, and then stay at that level for the next 4-6 months. I just try to have material ready for when she's ready to make the next leap. Once she is reading well, then I really believe she will take off. I plan to give her a year of "very relaxed" learning when she is finally reading well and allow her to pick pretty much whatever books she wants (within reason) to simply fall in love with books and grow her reading abilities. After that, we will ease into more structure. I think some of the "early starters" usually taper off a little bit in later elementary, and the "later starters" usually catch up all on their own once they start to read well.
  21. One Step at a time - There is a thrift store by us that sells all their books for 10 cents a piece, except for 1/2 off Saturdays!! I accumulate way too many books from that store! ;-)
  22. I'd love to hear more about this program too!
  23. We built a library! Okay, not really, but close!! I was having the same issue. There were books everywhere - ALL THE TIME. So, we actually do have a separate "cabin" type building on our property that is a guest house/music room/library. All the book shelves line the walls of that little cabin, and we only have ONE tiny bookshelf in the house. We treat the cabin kind of like an actual library. The kids each have a few books in the house, and when they want something new, they have to bring another book back out. Of course not everyone has their own cabin/library, but I think the key is simply not allowing the kids access to the "extra" books, and to only have a few out at a time. If you can't move the book shelves to a completely separate "off limits" area of the house, then I would use cabinets instead of shelves. Close the books inside the cabinets and lock them up if you have to. Then only let the children have access to a few books at a time, and use the "extra books" like you would a library.
  24. Hummmm, the only way you will really be able to do a good discussion would be to read the book yourself first. Otherwise, just ask him a few basic questions and see what he comes up with. Honestly, though, I wouldn't worry too much about comprehension. When he reads and gets "sucked into a story" he will comprehend it just fine. True, he may not understand everything, but as he reads more and gets exposed to the same words over and over, that will allow his comprehension to grow. Regurgitating some facts to answer a set form on a sheet of paper is really not what grows comprehension. My oldest (and now my third dd as well) was very similar. I just turned her lose on books and she really did do just fine. She would use words in sentences correctly (but sometimes pronounce them wrong) so I knew she was comprehending just fine... and then I would correct her pronunciation. :-) Oh, and doing read a louds and discussing the story will help with comprehension too because then he will be exposed to more vocabulary and such where you can explain some of it to him.
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