Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A E I O U-Y?

(pirate boy & princess enjoy a few bedtime books!)

As a therapist, I feared that having kids would cause me to over-analyze them. While I think my professional course was advantageous in a lot of ways (my babes had tummy time from 2 weeks on), I didn't end up being crazy worried over every little developmental stage. And I think working with kids prior to having my own really allowed me to be a more relaxed mom. Don't worry, I have definately had my worries and "mom" moments, but nothing over the top for the most part. I also think it is important to mention that I so understand how blessed we are in terms of our children being healthy physically and emotionally. They have made my job a bit easier than many of the wonderful families I serve.

I say "a bit" because they have their moments just like the rest of them and I share parenting struggles with the best of you!

All that to say, I was feeling pretty good about A's life progress before kindergarten started this year.

Then a little something called homework invaded our home. She only has school 3 days a week, so homework really isn't bad. A little math, a few fun projects, and reading. And most weeks, we only have homework 2/3 nights which involves a math worksheet and reading. Truthfully, that fits right up there with my philosophy about "homework" in general until they get much older. Hearing of kids as young as first and second grade having 1-2 hours of homework each night really bothers me.

As a parent, I fully accept my responsibilty to assist my children in learning of all kinds. However, in the younger years, I don't really see how most of their academic work can't get done at school without hours of homework as well. Well, around here, there is the little problem of the TAKS (state-wide mandatory testing at various grade levels) and ALL the time spent teaching for the test and not for learning.

So, before Christmas, I learned that A was having some trouble grasping her sight words. We worked on it, but I continued to keep it low-key. I read to her every night and she enjoyed it. During the Christmas break, I attempted to work with her on her sight words and some reading. She threw fits and I threw in the towel. I did not want to frustrate her more with my own frustrations. I wanted her to enjoy the experience.

Then, for some reason, a few days before they returned to school, I pulled out her big Dick and Jane book. You know, the one being used to decorate her room since birth! In just two days, she was hooked! She loved learning the words and loved learning to read.

Now, not all our experiences since then have been fun. And I have quickly rediscovered how completely CRAZY our language rules are!! Why in the world does it have to be so complicated?! Why can't a letter have a sound and stick to it?! Seriously, my head wants to explode some times just thinking about it! And then I have to try and explain it!

Can you believe this ridicously long post just about reading?!!

All I really wanted to say is how much I love Dick and Jane! I have always loved the look (thus her room theme!) and now I love the logic of it again! It has been fun to learn to read all over again with my daughter. I think we will be ready for my other favorite, Dr. Seuss, real soon!!



kel said...

With phonics I have been ready to pull my hair out add the already crazy rules with Braden's speech issues and it equals me a headache. He is getting it but there for awhile I was wondering.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

There has got to be a reason those classic primers like Dick and Jane were around for so long!

TAKS. Blech. Reason numero uno that barring some unforseen circumstance, I will NOT go back to teaching in this state.

Jennifer said...

oh girl....let me tell you how frustrating it was trying to teach these little second graders all about phonic rules. I'd teach a rule and then I'd have to say "oh, but these words don't follow this rule" and they would look at me like I was crazy! If you need some good ideas on reading/sight words then let me know. I was a reading specialist my last 3 years of teaching.

The Carpenter said...

My kids are 11 and 8. One learned phoenetically, but the other never has gotten it. I think some of it is learning style. They were both reading before their fifth birthday. The phonics kid is much easier to listen too, but the other one gets just as much content and actually loves to read more. Go figure.

Jenna said...

Chase had so much homework the first part of the year - hours a night. Thankfully, the homework has dramatically decreased.