Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The “I’s” Have It

One of our birthday “gifts” to Carlos was that he could now stay up an extra 15 minutes later than Jeremiah’s bedtime. Judging by his reaction, you would have thought we had given him the best present ever in the history of birthdays! Every day since then, he has “Do I get to stay up late tonight?”

The main reason for this change is so that I could have some time to work with him in his schoolwork. And let me tell you, you never know how much patience you have (or DON’T have) until you try to teach a 6-year old how to read! It’s a wonder the entire world isn’t illiterate by now. Each lesson begins by having prayer, both for his understanding and for my teaching ability. To his credit, he has learned the letter recognition very quickly (with much thanks and help from his LeapPad thingy.) He knows most, if not all of his uppercase letters, and now we are working on recognizing both upper- and lower-case. The fun and challenging part is learning the sound AND recognizing that sound in a word. He does very well hearing the very first sound of a word, but has been having some difficulty hearing other sounds. For instance, a lesson might go like this:

Me: “What does the letter ‘I’ say?
Carlos: “I says ‘ĭ’
Me: “Good. Let’s see if we can hear the ‘ĭ’ sound in this word: zzz-‘ĭ’-pper” (said slowly and distinctly)
Carlos: “zzzz-ipper (z drawn out, the rest said really fast) No, it’s not there.”
Me: “Say it slowly like this: zzz-‘ĭ’-pper” (said slowly and distinctly)
Carlos: “zzzz-ipper (z drawn out, the rest said really fast) No, it’s not there.”

Repeat 5 times. Bang head on desk.

He gets frustrated easily with himself, but I told him that it takes practice and he shouldn’t get frustrated but to keep trying. I think that’s a lesson I need to remember too!

On a side note, check out some really cute pictures on Sarah's blog (link over there ---->)

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Hey Stephen, I'm gonna offer some advice on teaching him how to read, and of course, you can take it or leave it, ok?

Right now you are teaching him recognition of letters and the sound of the letter itself. It is going to take a bit of time before he will be able to hear that sound in a word UNLESS the sound is at the beginning of the word, like "it" or "igloo" - which is why he is saying "zzzz-ipper" He is listening to the first sound, and he knows that zzz isn't the sound for "i."

What you are doing right now is combining 2 different skill levels and he hasn't mastered the first skill level. Make sense?

Just thought I'd throw that out there for you so you don't get so many bruises on that forehead of yours when banging it on the desk. This will also help him to feel less frustrated.