Part 1 is here.
Our first foray into reading instructions began the summer before M’s PreK year. She was interested in reading but not magically learning on her own so I ordered The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. It bombed. M found the lessons boring because she was simply sitting and listening to me read from the book and then repeating information back. She needed something more active.
She was very into worksheets at the time so we ordered Modern Curriculum Press Phonics Level K. We did a page or two together a few days each week. I purchsed the next book, Level A, but by the time we started it, Meg’s interest in worksheets had waned. I got the first set of Bob Books and we went through stretches of reading regularly and stretches where M had no interest. I eventually got the subsequent sets and she has read them all, sometimes with enthusiasm and sometimes as if nothing could be more dreary.
When we first toured the school M attends 3 days/week now, the director told me about Reading Reflex which they use at the school. I thought it sounded like a good fit for M since it includes lot of games and activities, particularly in the first chapter. I ordered it at the beginning of last summer and we did some of the games and activities in the first chapter over the summer. We moved on to the next chapter as the school year began, and we’ve continued to progress from basic sounds and words to what the authors call “the advanced code”, sounds like “oi” and “oy” or “ay” and “ai”. M enjoyed most of the games or activities that involve making words with letter and sound cards. But getting her to read to me from a Bob book or other early reader was often a struggle. And the method is so phonics-centric that sight words are mysterious to her.
In part 3, I’ll explain how that struggle has gotten easier and how M, her teachers, and I have worked together to help her enjoy the process and meet her goal of being able to read chapter books so she can tuck herself in bed with a book and “never go to sleep” 🙂