My six year old son Milo is not doing well learning to spell using phonics. At first we were a little concerned and then our visiting teacher reassured us that indeed phonics is not everything and can be skipped when learning to spell. I on the other hand did learn to read through Phonics and turned out to be a horrid speller for years and endured much frustration because of it. So we are trying some different angles and taking advantage of Milo's fabulous memory.
A little background. We are part of the Home Instruction program offered here in Des Moines. It is though the public school system. It is a home school program with support. They offer curriculum if you would like however it is entirely up to us as to how we go about schooling the spawn. We have a teacher that visits our home every other week to trouble shoot and offer support. She is really great and has been out teacher for four years now. Home Instruction also provides what is called Block Class. Block Class is a themed set of classes that the kids can go to once a week at the Home Instruction campus. For example it might be science or art etc. My oldest son has dissected frogs and been in plays. Its just the right amount of time to be around a group of other kids.
I do better right now working with the wee fellas. I am excited for this year to start and today we got our word tree going. We are memorizing words instead of the huge amount of stress phonics creates in Milo.
I drew and painted a tree, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and hung it on the living room wall. We then painted and cut out leaves to hang on our tree. I wrote words on them. They are the words that are either memorized already or ones we are working on. Each time a word is mastered or there is a word they are excited about we will make a leaf to hang on the tree.
Already they have been asking questions and Milo has written out all the words on his own. Its been fun for me to paint and do art stuff with them.
I have had to lay down the law though and let it be known that I am in charge of the tree and that we are not putting marshmallows on the tree right now even though the marshmallows with the same words written on them were well done. Maybe later and I applaud their imagination!
School starts up for my son Jupiter, who has autism, next week. He will be in 5th grade and this is his last year at the elementary school and the autism classroom that he went to last year that worked so well for him. I also work on spelling with him and it is all done with memorization as well. Being able to spot how they learn and then accommodate that style is key for our success with the boys.
What fun projects do you work on at home with your spawn? I am always interested in new ideas! I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest where I have boards for spawn stuff and homeschooling.
Heres to a great new school year!