Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jessie read a blend!! Our phonics experience thus far...

I was completely taken by surprise. She just did it. I didn't at all expect it. We were working in our Bob Jones Phonics workbook*. I bought this workbook as recommended to go along with the adapted Kindergarten Bob Jones curriculum. We had used the adapted K-4 successfully, so I had started the beginning of the school year with the adapted K-5. We didn't stick with it very long as she just wasn't ready for the reading with phonics.  She loved the colorful readers and the first few she really enjoyed, until we reached the part where she was expected to begin reading "word families". For example, taking the word it, that she can already read, then adding a letter to the beginning to read hit and sit. She has known all of her letter sounds since she was 3. She just hasn't been ready to progress to blending the sounds together. She seemed to understand the concept, but it required something of her that she just wasn't ready to give.  Even with sight reading, which she does very well, sometimes she is easily frustrated and just doesn't want to give it that much mental effort. Although I discontinued, temporarily at least, the rest of the curriculum, I continued to use (sporadically) the phonics workbook just to "keep" what we already learned and modified it if it required something she wasn't ready for. We don't work out of this workbook every day that we have school, so she hasn't gotten bored with it and we haven't progressed in the book beyond her current skill level. Other than letter sounds, the other benefit to this workbook has been vocabulary. There are pictures on the pages where we identify the beginning letter. She knows most of the pictures, but some are more detailed than she might identify them. A cactus she might call a plant, a wig she'd never had reason to know (!) and well (water well) same thing. You get the idea.

Today, we were using the phonics page to review the letter sounds and determine which pictures began with an H. At the end of this assignment the words it, hit, and sit were in a box at the bottom. I knew she could read the word " it".  I pointed and asked her what the word was. She responded appropriately. So, I asked, "Do you know the next word?"  I didn't expect her to say it. She looked at it. She said, "h....hit."  I got SO crazy excited that my son in another room thought something was wrong or someone was hurt!  I was shouting, "Hallelujah!" and we were giving double high fives and going nuts. Just to see, I said, "Can you read the next one?" Again, she just did it, "s....sit". Hallelujah! I feel we have turned a corner that I've longed to look around for a long time.

*Phonics Practice for K-5. This workbook can be purchased separately, directly from Bob Jones University Press.

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