Thursday, February 12, 2009


I forgot to mention it, but we put teaching Gavin to read on hold after a week or so of trying out the words (previous post here). He was generally in a cranky mood at the time, which lasted for a good month or so (I think it was some of those irritating teeth, but who knows for sure - he has often been cranky when mastering a new physical skill). I also realized it was getting frustrating to me to figure out how keep him interested with his really short attention span and his love of running around constantly, stopping for only a second or two at a time. He seemed to get irritated when I got out the words and fussed/whined when I tried to read them to him. Since my main goal is not teaching Gavin to read but encouraging Gavin to love to learn, I thought it best that we put them away and re-introduce them later. I think we've gotten them out a couple times between then and now, and I think he learned the word "light", but I didn't really feel like it was time to get good and started again. However, his attention span is now significantly longer (reference this post - he will sit and read a 70-page book more than once through). And he sometimes sits down to do something all on his own. So I thought maybe it was time again to get the words out, and this time I was a little more persistent.

We certainly haven't been going exactly by the book as far as their "program" goes, but it seems to be a lot better for Gavin if I follow his lead for the most part. And, the book did mention maybe this is a good approach for Gavin's age (18 months). Gavin seemed much more interested, especially when I let him hold the cards and play with them. I asked him is he could find "daddy" in the five or so words I spread around the floor, and he seemed to get it, looking at each one, kind of asking me if that were it. When he found the right one, he was thrilled, and he really understood. We've introduced 17 words in the last week and a half or so, not very consistently and not every day. For sure, he knows daddy, mama, hot, beep, ball, dog, light and train (with hot and beep being his favorite by far). I've tried making it more fun by throwing his rhinoceros up in the air, clapping and generally being very excited every time we get them out. I think it helps that I store the words along with the rhinoceros on a high shelf, so it is a special treat to him when we get to read them and toss the rhinoceros. He will often ask for them now, especially hot and beep, and seems to be having a great time. I am excited and certainly encouraged, especially since I felt somewhat discouraged previously when he was cranky and we put it on hold.

Side Note: This "reading" might be not called reading by some, because it is simply word recognition - not learning how to sound out new words (phonics, or whatever else you may call it). I personally don't have a problem with this at all and fully expect that Gavin will eventually learn how to sound out words so he can read things he hasn't seen before. But for now, word recognition seems to fit the way his brain is working/learning at the moment, and I'm just thrilled that he is learning to read.

No comments: