Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reading and Math fun

I had a wonderfully productive day with the girls today. I do a reading lesson with Ruth every day as she is so excited about learning to read. The programme has been a bit slow for her though and she often says - "that's not hard - it's easy" when the lady on the computer says "well done - you just did some hard ....." (whatever the exercise was). I am in the process of sourcing beginner readers for Ruth from the local library group -our local library does not keep them. So our librarian will have a look at the bigger library 30min away when she works there next Monday and bring some back for Ruth. She also gave us an application form for Ruth to get her own library card - boy is Ruth excited about that.
As I finished reading "Twenty and Ten" today I went to my bag of books to get another one and saw this lovely box set of beginner readers that I had also borrowed from Lynn. Ruth was thrilled to have books to read.
I had started reading "Twenty and Ten" to the girls on Sunday when we traveled to Bible study. It was great to get back to it today and the girls were enjoying it so much they just kept asking for another chapter - and another. So eventually we got through the whole book. Hannah is good about keeping quiet while I read but the older girls really enjoyed the story. At dinner they took turns telling Dad what happened. I love this informal way of getting them to do narration (telling back) - it was wonderful to hear the details that they both remembered and what stood out to them in the story. The story is around Jewish children being hidden from the Nazi soldiers and the bravery and self-sacrifice were wonderful examples to the girls too. I highly recommend this one.
It was fun to get these "games" out for the younger girls today and great to see how much they can do. Most of the time Hannah just plays with the geo stacks in any way that she wants. They have not been out for a while though and I suggested she try and copy the pictures. She did really well and only got a little challenged on this card (about the 8th) with some of each shape missing. It's great to be aware of this as we can now play games with hiding parts of shapes (especially fun with our box of animal shapes) and letting her guess what it is.  It always amazes me when you see a child learn colours and shapes without being "taught". And when you want to "teach" them something it's great when you can just play a game together. Learning really is fun and it's great to keep it that way.
The girls have been playing with these "Tangram Duet" shapes for a while now but today I suggested Ruth and I build the shapes - one card at a time (they are all numbered). We did use the "easy" side of the card - where they actually show you where to put each piece. Eventually you use the other side which just gives you the end shape and you have to figure it out on your own. So this game can stay fun and challenging for many years. She got all the way up to card 14 - so quite a bit of concentrating for one session. Well done Ruth.
Ruth was so excited about reading the first two books to Dad when he got home. It's still a little strange for me to have a child starting to read before the age of 5. I waited until Rachel asked me to teach her to read and that was only when she was around 6. It was probably because I read so many books to her - the need was not there as much. Ruth however sees Rachel reading at every chance she gets - so the temptation to join her in that wonderful world of books must be really strong. So we will just take things slowly and hopefully be able to find lots of books for her to read at each stage of her learning.

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