Our Unschooling Adventure - which officially started in Lowell in the Fall of 2005 - now continues in Berlin.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Reading II

(I wrote this exactly 9 months ago, on 11/23/2004.)

Our friend Marianne Lucas introduced Manisha to "Games for
Reading" by Peggy Kaye. One game in particular caught Manisha's attention. The game is to get the child to write one word a day on an index card. It is important that the word is chosen by the child. Pretty soon the child will develop a whole deck of cards of familiar words that they wrote.

That's not how it worked with Supriya. The first time I introduced
the notion to her, she was thrilled. We wrote one word, and I
expected her to stop. But, no, she was intrigued by the idea and
wanted to keep going. We kept finding words for her, not difficult
at all since we are all inundated by text. She kept writing. By
the end of that "session", she had written more than 10 words.
Many of them were multi-syllabic words, which were to create some
problems for her later on. I also noticed that as she wrote more,
her handwriting became really even and neat.

It would be a nice anecdate if we were to stop here, but Supriya
had the bright idea of playing Go-Fish with there cards. She
wanted to play with cards that she had created. Manisha and I
could see where this was going and we were thrilled. So Supriya studiously copied each one of the words she had already written. By now we were already at 15.

We played Go-Fish a couple of times with this deck. This is where
Supriya started running into the problem of reading the big (and
even some of the not-so-big) words she had written. How do you ask
for a card if you do not know how to read?!

She would pick a card that said "Padki" and I could see the look
of concentration on her face. Pretty soon it would be followed by
the look of puzzlement and then she would just start guessing the
word. "Do you have "POWER"?" she'd ask. "Look at your card again
and try to sound it out," I'd say. She saw the first P and just
take a random guess.

For her next set of additions, I picked some basic words like IN,
OUT, OF, TO. She has a decent picture memory of a few of these and
she was happy to add them to her deck.

By this time we are at 50 cards, 25 pairs, and each game is
lasting more than 20 minutes! Today I introduced her to the idea
of alphabetization. She is getting the idea, although she has to
sing through "A B C D E F G..." to do it. But hey, it's the first
time she is doing it. I am having a great time watching her learn
and grow.


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