Making a Game of Reading

Jonas is a hoot.  He wants to read so badly he can’t stand it, but he doesn’t want to learn or use any of the rules we are practicing.  He’d rather look at the picture in the book and tell a story.  He’d rather guess that “man” is mad, or mall, or monster, or any “m” word really.  It’s like the rest of the letters don’t matter to him. Now, he’s only 4 1/2 so there is really no pressure as far as reading goes.  He’s got plenty of time.  But we did start working on it this year because he always wants to know what the words say.

In August I pulled out our Hooked on Phonics curriculum.  We used it for Micah and it worked brilliantly. Micah loves to follow rules, so he breezed through it. Jonas is a different story all together.  He is a very kinesthetic learner.  He likes a very hands on experience.  So we started using letter cards to practice word families.  That was better then just using the phonics book.  But that eventually wasn’t keeping him interested either.

So, today I thought we’d play a game with magnetic letters.  Make words on the magnet board as fast as possible.  His letters started zooming all over that board.  They weren’t making words, they were telling stories. The “m” zoomed around and landed in a small village, etc.  So I said I’m going to draw a letter machine and you have to use your letters to make words so the machine can run.  He got so excited he started jumping up and down.  He said “I want to actually write the letters.”

I drew a little machine and left special spots for 3 letters.  I’d tell him a word and he had to write the letters before I counted backwards from 10.  If he didn’t make it the machine would explode, but if he did he got to push the button on the machine and make the word pop out.  Mind you, this is ALL happening on a white board.  But you know what?  Today, Jonas was excited about reading.  Today, he jumped up and down and smiled from ear to ear because his machines worked time and again.  He even created his own machine drawings.

The top machine was the first one I drew, the bottom one he drew.  His machine was MUCH more exciting then mine!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen Tufts
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 20:08:28

    He’s concentrating SO HARD! His tongue is barely IN his mouth in that second picture. Way to remain flexible and engage your kid. It’s the coolest thing about homeschooling to me. Yeah for reading! Yeah for imagination!


  2. Jamie
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 04:24:30

    He cracks me up!! I noticed the tongue as well and that made me smile even more. You are a great teacher and I love how you just keep trying whatever works the best for each one. I love that you HS and do such an amazing job with them both.


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