Ready to start teaching Jenny to read!

Today Jenny tried a few of the printables I’d designed for her, with sight words and word families, for the first time. Which gave me some good feedback! Point one: don’t allow jpgs to reduce image quality. Some of the words were a little hard to read. 😦 I think that I also definitely need to wait on the word family stuff until we’ve officially started AAR 1, because I think she needs to learn a little bit more of what she’s doing before she starts working with them. Which means I need to wait until the end of September, because All About Learning Press isn’t releasing All About Reading Level 2 until then, and I plan to make one order (to save on shipping) in which I buy level 2, plus the consumables from level 1 that I need again. However, I have a great plan this time! I’m going to turn all of the games into file folder games, so I’ll be able to preserve them from kid to kid instead of having to buy new.

Totally confused? Well, All About Learning Press is the company, and they have two main products, All About Spelling and All About Reading. All About Spelling has been out for quite a while and gained a fantastic reputation for teaching spelling using phonetic rules. All About Reading is newer, and so far they only have pre-level 1 (the preschool level that teaches the letters and goes through various phonemic awareness activities and pre-reading skills) and level 1. Level 2 is scheduled to come out at the end of September. I think that level 2 is going to end up being really easy for Emily and be more of a review than anything, but I’m going to get it and go through it with her anyway. I think a lot of her reading skill is based on whole word recognition from when her reading really took off, so I’d like to make sure she still has a good foundation in phonetics as well. We’re also going through All About Spelling, rather slowly, nearing the end of level 1 of that program.

All About Reading (AAR) has a lot of games for kids to play, but they’re just on paper and so they’re rather one-time-use games. So my plan is to copy the game pieces on cardstock to make them tougher, glue the paper base image to the inside of a file folder, and keep the game pieces in an envelope glued to the front. I think this will also make it possible to play the games several times and get even better at them by repetition. I might make additional game pieces (extra words that fit the patterns we’re learning) to vary the games up a bit each time or extend them. There’s also a new game add-on to AAR 1 called “Adventures with Ziggy” that looks fun. Since we’ll probably start when Jenny is a bit on the young side for it, at 4 or so, it would be nice to extend it and take it slow, playing the games multiple times, adding in additional games, etc.

That’s why I ended up making a bunch of games to go along with it. I flipped through AAR 1 and looked at the words introduced in the various lessons, and I made some games to give extra practice on those words. So I made some games that deal with word families: sorting words by which word family they belong to, coloring by word family (color all the -am words one color, all the -ap words another color, etc.). I also made some slides, where you match different first letters to go with word endings, and some pictures where you put letters below them to make CVC words that match, and some sight word stuff. AAR doesn’t really teach many sight words, as they focus on phonics, so the sight word activities are mostly just based on the first few basic sight words to learn. But the other activities are tailored to the words that are being taught in AAR to give extra practice. If anybody reading this happens to be doing AAR 1 and is interested in some extra printable activities to go along with it, let me know and I’ll send the files over! I’ll work on seeing if I can sharpen the words a bit so that things are clearer. Not sure how to do that, but I’ll work on it. 🙂

School today went fairly well. The kids were driving me crazy today, though! Emily and Jenny just seemed determined to spend the day fighting, and Charlotte was having potty training issues that meant she spent most of the day in a state of vexation. Between the fighting and the whining, I felt close to tears by dinnertime. I don’t remember a day when I better appreciated bedtime. They were at their most sane while doing schoolwork. Maybe I should have just assigned them extra. 🙂

We did make paper airplanes (with elevators and rudders!) for our science experiment, which was fun. We finished In Grandma’s Attic. What a wonderful book! I have the next one on hold at the library, and I purchased #s 3 and 4 from Amazon (the 2nd one is in a future Sonlight set of readers, so I don’t want to purchase it and end up with 2 copies eventually). Unfortunately, Emily wanted to start our next book, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this evening, and I can’t find it! I had to put it on hold at the library. 😦 Very disappointing and frustrating. I can’t imagine where our copy could be. So we’re reading Capyboppy in the meantime. I’m rather amused at the idea of a pet capybara, especially considering their size! There are some really amusing scenes with the pet cats being terrified of the “mouse” that is twice their size.

I’d better head to bed now. I will try to keep updating on a more regular schedule. I might even have some pictures soon!

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