Tuesday, January 31, 2012

School Days: Language work

Today I have a little overview of what each child has been working on in the language area with a little  question at the end regarding Me Too.

 Kal-El has been accomplishing a lot of word study. This is probably too much detail to be interesting to most. But, some of you with kids at the same stage are sure to be wondering what "word study" means for Kal-El.  For that reason I made a little list.

 In recent weeks he has done:

  •  "ie" as a long-e (field) versus "ie" as a long-i (pie) versus "ei" as a long-a (vein). He also studied some words in which the "ie" stands for long-e and also ends with a silent e that creates a soft c (piece, niece). 
  •  Y plus a silent E as long-i (bye). 
  •  The two pronunciations of "wind" (The wind is strong. I must wind up this string.) 
  •  List of disobedient words in which a lone-i makes the long-i vowel sound (rind, kind, mind, find, blind, grind, wild, mild, child). He discovered that those words all end in the blend nd or ld. 
  •  All of the common spellings of long-i (i-e, ie, y, igh) and reviewed the folder for the long-i sound.
  •  Puzzle words included: friend, eye, by, buy 
I am still making several readers for him each week that specifically practice the words he is using in his word study.  However, I realized that we might be over the readers versus "real books" hump the other day when he pulled a brand-new card out of his Antarctica continent box and read the first sentence to me:  "Crabeater seals are now the single biggest consumers of krill accounting for about 80 million tons a year."  

All of this progress means that we are suddenly at the stage where he finds the Montessori definitions cards super-interesting.  The classroom has taken on a new meaning as he has realized he can pick up the materials that have been there all along and teach himself new things using the written materials that go with them.  For example, he has been memorizing long lists of animals names by reading the labels on photo glossaries.  Today he spent a long time looking at a chart of animal footprints and reading the names of animals written underneath.

Me Too showed the first glimmer of readiness for the movable alphabet last week (At 4.5 he might be considered late to get to that material by some.  He simply hasn't been ready.)  However, he can identify all of the single letters by sound and can identify single and double-letter sounds in any position in the word.  Last week he started to manipulate the magnetic movable alphabet on our refrigerator to make some real words and some nonsense words. 

 I have been holding off on the movable alphabet just a bit because at the same time he suddenly has forgotten all of his double letters and insists on sounding out the letters individually.  I want to spend a couple of days this week trying to rectify that situation and then we'll start him on the movable alphabet.  Has anyone else run into this before?  A child who knew almost all of his double-letter sounds suddenly loses the ability?  He literally could almost do them all one day and could do none the next.

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  1. I don't know if this applies to your son...but I did notice my oldest doing something similar at that age. I suggested taking a little break from the language materials and that was just what she needed to get back on track a little later.

  2. Thank you Becky! I appreciate the comment!

    Yesterday we invented a game in which he used his hand to cover one of the two letters on the green sandpaper letter and said the remaining (visible) letter's sound. Then he moved his hand to cover the other letter and said the visible letter's name. Finally he removed his hand and said the sound that the letters make when they are together. It worked, and he got his ability back. Phew! I would have hated to take a break because he is super interested right now.

  3. Ah, that's great! I was wondering if it would apply in your case because it did sound like he was interested! I do find that with parenting you have to know when to challenge and when you need to let go and it changes all the time!