Wednesday, February 3, 2010

making progress...


About 6 months ago (after learning that Ruby's friend, Ava - who is just 5 months older than she is, was beginning to read) I started feeling like a really bad mom. Up to that point, Im embarrassed to admit, I had never sat her down and worked with her on learning the letters of the alphabet, let alone the sounds associated with each letter. Our occasional singing of the ABC's was about the extent of her academic acuteness. I decided that is was high time we get busy, and do our best to make up for lost time. The first time I sat down with her was a complete joke. We started with the letter "A". I drew an "A", and next to it I drew an apple. See Ruby, this is an "A". An "A" sounds like this: a a a apple. I remember repeating it over and over again, and then having her say it back to me. We spent a good 10-15 minutes on the letter "A" before moving on to "B". Then I did the same thing. Ruby this is a "B" (with a banana sketched next to it). "B" sounds like this: b b b banana. After I was convinced that she had learned everything there was to know about the letter "B", I went back to "A". Okay, now Ruby, what letter is this, do you remember? "Ummm", she hesitated, 'R'? Like a a a banana?" Oh dear, I thought. But the thought also came to me, as I excused her to return to her princesses and baby dolls, that she simply wasn't ready...and that she didn't need to be either. Since then, I haven't forced the issue. I'll sit her down occasionally to see if she's picked up on anything at preschool, if anything that she's been taught has actually penetrated. Each time we sit down together, however, I find myself as frustrated as I was during our very first endeavor. I guess I just figured that because she's almost 4, and because she's been in preschool for almost 6 months now, she would be a bit more advanced than she actually is. A few weeks ago, I decided to come up with some ways to teach her the letters that would be fun and easier for her to learn. For example for "B", I said "okay, picture a bee buzzing around and coming up to the letter "B"...he gets excited when he sees the two holes in the letter "B" because he can fly in the top hole, and out the bottom one." For "O" I opened my mouth in an "O" shape, and just repeated "oh, oh, oh" over and over again.For "P" I said, "Look Ruby, the letter 'P' has an opening in the top that looks like a little potty...it should be easy for you to remember that, because you "pee" in the potty". I probably taught her 6 or 7 letters that night, which surprisingly, she still remembers. She is constantly on the lookout for familiar letters, and isn't ashamed to blurt one out as soon as she recognizes it. We were at the store the other day, and she excitedly exclaimed "look mom, you can go pee in the potty, that's a "P"! or "mom, the bee flies in the top hole and out the bottom, I see a "B"!A couple of weeks ago, she asked me if I could teach her how to write her name. She still isn't able to do it without my help; but she'll watch intently as I draw each letter, and then does a brilliant job of copying me...which makes me burst with pride because we are finally making some progress.

4 comments:

Amy Eagleston said...

Awesome milestone! Love it and I love that she always wears dress ups while hanging out at home :)

disillusioned said...

I think you're doing great! Most kids truly aren't developmentally ready to actually read until 4 at the earliest--most not until 5 (although lots of "experts" like to push it earlier than that). But, from my past experience with pre-schoolers--Ruby's right where she should be--with identifying some letters, wanting to recognize and learn her name, learning some letter sounds, etc. She'll move right along, I'm sure!!! Good job mom---and Ruby! (Oh--and my favorite thing when kiddos hit 4-5 and are still "beginning" to read while a few of their peers are reading more than they are...is to point out to the kiddos that they know their names. Well--that means they can read--cause they can read and recognize their name. I love telling them that--cause then, all of a sudden, kiddos who were convincing themselves they aren't "readers" like their peer, realize they are a reader) :)

Mary

Ethel Carola Aredes Tapia said...

felicidades ruby por tu progreso que hermoso que cuando comienzan a escribir y leer es una imensa alegria para los padres al ver como progresan y crecen los hijos
felicidades amiga porque si es que ya escribe su nombre eso es gracias al amor y enseƱanza de los padre
te quiero mucho amiga

Donna said...

Just so you know, she is doing amazing! After teaching 9 years I see that every child has their own pace. I have the same anxiety with my two boys. It is hard not to compare them with their peers.
I had this conversation with my husband about Vanner not reading like his cousin...I came to the conclusion, it is just as important for him to love a story and develop vocabulary and language. The reading always comes. It is natural, especially with smart parents like you two.