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    Reading assignments in FSR

    Ok, I need some help with First Start Reading! We are back at it, after doing some work with All About Reading. And we are going to COMPLETE FSR. I am committed, no matter how much my daughter fusses. Anyway, she is 6 1/2. If she sounds out each individual sound, she can then blend it and "say it fast" and read the word, but if she tries to guess it's a disaster. Which I know is ok; she's just still in the decoding phase--we are working on her sight word flashcards each day, and we are halfway through book B of FSR. When she reads the little stories, she sounds out each word, blends it and says it fast, then at the end of the sentence, goes back through the whole sentence. So, "Pam and Mag are pals" goes like "P-a-m, Pam, a-n-d, and, etc...." then she reads the whole sentence fluently, and we do the suggested "discussion" from the teacher's manual. Should she go back and re-read the entire little story at the end? I shudder to think of her reaction if I tell her that, but I will be resolute if that is what is recommended.

    Also, for the phonics blend flashcards, like "tr" she can say "tr" for the flashcard, mostly because of the picture, then for the sounding out a few words on the back, it's all "t-r-a-m, tram" which is how AAR teaches it. Should I correct her to sound it out "tr-a-m" or let it go?

    I'm not worried (too much) that she is decoding, not actually reading. I firmly believe in the idea of seven years of age being a turning point for development and academics, so it's more that I want to make sure we are laying the foundations of good phonics while also not overwhelming her. Frankly, this is the daughter who screams at handwriting, writhes throughout a phonics lesson, insists that she never wants to learn how to read, and then two hours later is writing a story in immaculate print for her stuffed animal to read, and then sounding out the words on the coconut aminos bottle at dinner. This kid lol.
    Ora et Labora!
    Emily

    Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
    DD (age 9): 4NU
    DD (age 7): MP 1
    DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
    "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

    #2
    It sounds as if your child is able to decode, blend and read. You are just still in the part of reading instruction that is, well, painful. She is on the cusp but still feels the need to sound everything. It will connect with continued practice and time. Once she has confidence her speed and fluency will improve. This is one reason we instruct you to read all the stories sentences 3 times each. Once for decoding, second time for speed and fluency, third time for expression. You might try beginning tomorrow’s lesson by explaining the Teacher Guide says this is the point reading should be more fluid. Starting today we are going to read things 3 times. Then model how she can read P-a-m Pam and M-e-g Meg are p-a-l-s. The first time you read. The next time it should be Pam and Meg are pals. - as best you can trying to read word as a whole. Then the last time you read it add expression if indicated. Model the differences between the three readings for her. Give her plenty of encouragement and time to master this.

    A couple of activities that can aid in recall of words as a whole rather than sounding out each letter: 1) Everyday at the beginning of the lesson go through your common word flash cards a couple of times. These words should NOT be sounded out so train her so say word as a whole. 2) Also as a warm-up write the CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words from the lesson as a word family on a board and read through them quickly as you can, again after the initial reading endeavoring to read word as whole. For example -am, r -am, S-am etc. Again, model at first how it should be read then have her read other families in a like manner.

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      #3
      Automaticity comes with repeated exposure. You can't jump the line and move to instant recognition by treating a word with normal phonology like a site word. It's an organic process that happens in the brain, and I bet you'll see that as you follow the advice to read it 3 times and go through those word lists daily that you will see that fruit.

      As far as blends go, my eldest also came from a different program that allowed blends to stand as individual sounds glued together. I don't think it matters so long as you keep going over the flashcards so that when she gets to TS1, she can write them in blue. I think Classical Phonics has some word lists that start with blends. Running through those, even if they start as being sounded out, will lead to automatic recognition! Brains are lazy! They want to do the least amount of work. And as you run over the same neural pathway over and over, that path gets "carved out" deeper and deeper and signal travels faster and faster.

      Michelle also makes a great point about writing. If your DD can write all of her letters organically, writing out the words she is reading each lesson will cement it even better. I would think even forming the letters with her arm in the air would help if her fine motor isn't yet developed.

      There are some great books on the reading brain, a favorite of which is Dr. Maryanne Wolf's Reader Come Home. Dr. Wolf, who in addition to being a teacher with a Ph.D, got her doctorate in neuroscience to understand the science of how the brain acquires reading and fluency. It is a heady read with a plethora of technical jargon, but it's informative all the same. What I like about her book is that she doesn't have a curriculum to sell, so she's free to look at the science and data as they are.
      Mama to 2

      Summer:
      MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
      SY 20/21
      4A

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        #4
        I am currently ready Dr. Wolfe’s book as well. It is fascinating!

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          #5
          I am not familiar with the FSR schedule, but I often do the repeated stuff (extra math problems usually) the next morning as a warm up instead of at the end of a lesson. Sometimes I will skip a day so it doesn’t seem like something we just did.
          Dorinda

          For 2019-2020
          DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
          DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
          DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
          DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

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            #6
            I am definitely not an expert, as this is our first year homeschooling, but my oldest is 6.5 as well and it sounds like he is in the same exact spot as your daughter with the decoding and sounding out. We review all of our word flash cards twice a week to make sure to keep committing them all to brain and he does less and less sounding out with them each time. It’s coming along!

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              #7
              Today went pretty well! Thanks for the help Michelle T I just told her I asked the lovely MP people for help and they told me we should be doing x. I got her the "I can read it" books so today, we read the nat the rat is fat story...three times. She did quite well. She didn't need to sound out any of the words first! But reading it three times did help her. Then, she had a dictation lesson in FSR B and did extremely well. And we went through the word flashcards fast, first, and had her redo the ones she hesitated or sounded out. I think we are on our way; thank you!
              Ora et Labora!
              Emily

              Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
              DD (age 9): 4NU
              DD (age 7): MP 1
              DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
              "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

              Comment


                #8
                Excellent! Keep up the good work!

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