Friday, 21 February 2014

Learning to read..

The most important thing for me in the whole learning journey is to have the twins as good readers.

From being born they have been introduced to books having bed time stories and daily reading sessions, from silly voices and make your own stories time and just enjoying books, attending plays that have book themes and generally discovering books.

I just feel that once they can read properly as independent readers the world will be their oyster.

We use a variety of methods to encourage reading and they have good days and bad days.

Neither of them have been proficient at the alphabet, one of the first songs they learnt was the ABC song and I have always tried to use that as a guide whenever doing anything alphabet wise.

Although despite lots of reinforcement they are still struggling with the alphabet but despite that we have still moved onto phonics.

We had a moment the other day where Oliver managed to do the whole alphabet for the first time ever on his own and they are slowly coming to recognizing each letter by name independently, which is a great achievement as they have really struggled with it.

My grandson when he was two could recite numbers and letters on command, so this moment was a proud mummy moment for me, as I was beginning to worry a little, although I don't know why as when they are in the mood they can read a number of pages from a simple book by themselves. Really it's a matter of building confidence as they can do it, just not when I want them too.

Some of the computer programs we use are useful some not so useful.

Reading Eggs - My two loved reading eggs, they spend a lot of time on reading eggs and really enjoy it.

I think with most programs the kids like a variety so I have found by alternating the different reading programs not only do they get reinforcement of what they have learnt but they also get the variety so don't get as easily bored as they do with just one program.

There are some great free programs out there that offer a lot.
  • Strivney - The twins haven't used this much but when they have they have been engaged especially with the printouts that accompany the course
  •  Starfall Reading - Louby again likes this one due to the little video shows that play at the end of each lesson.
  • Reading bear - not sure about this one as the twin have only glanced at it and not really used it yet .
  • Family learning - again another I have found for when they are getting it a bit more.
  • Oxford Owl - the kids love reading the books on Oxford Owl, it has always been a favourite of theirs from being little. 
  • Jolly Learning - again one we haven't used yet but this will come in handy as we are about to embark on more worksheet work as Oliver is a very reluctant writer and these will come in handy.
These are a few that we use. The list is far longer for free resources but I would be here all day linking them all, but we generally use a lot of them and go back to the ones they find engaging and skip the ones they don't find engaging and try them again another time, but they never get bored as there are so many to choose from.

We read a lot of books together and we generally read anything we find for instance in the doctors office we guess the words on the posters, they try to read labels, they attempt to read road side posters and always bring those leaflets that get put through the door and usually just thrown in the bin.
Reading is all around us so we generally spend a lot of time reading things, there are always reading books that are left knocking around the house as we have an abundance of books and we go to the local library to borrow books when we need something specific.

Their computer is always left out so they just boot it up whenever they please and there are generally some tabs open to the reading games and reading sites which they just get on and do without prompting, Louby can spend a good few hours on there if you let her, but when they are on together they generally fight over it so I think having something of their own each may be a better way to go.

The pride they get from having a certificate printed when they complete something is great to watch and their enthusiasm is good for reading, I just hope they can boost their confidence some more to get the full effects as when they are good they are very good.

Which reminds me of the poem 'There was a little girl'.... which I will leave you with...

UPDATE* For an update and to see why we have abandoned Phonics please see here

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