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    Slow Down First Start / Memorization Problems

    We have had our wonderful curriculum for two weeks now. My kid is 4 and will be 5 in November. He spent a year in an enrichment class once a week for letters and letter sounds and other pre-reading skills. I thought we were ready to rock and roll on the whole reading thing. I have come to the realization that I was wrong wrong so very wrong and my kid wouldn't know a rhyme if it walked up and said howdy. I mean we spent 30 minutes Friday talking about rhymes and I said do map and cap rhyme and he says Oh no they do not rhyme. So, I am thinking, do we press pause and do some different games and things on phonemic awareness and rhyming and then after a few weeks try to continue on or do we keep working on the reading while we work on the rhymes and games. I have a feeling that understanding rhyming is going to be very important in learning to read.

    My other question has to do with the recitation. We started with the how many letters in the alphabet, I say 26. We counted the letters on the letter chart. 26 We count the magnet letters. 26 I say Cam how many letters in the alphabet he says 4.

    Or sometimes he says 16 or 21 or 5. We have worked on this for a week. Is this an age thing? Are my expectations too high or is there a problem.

    TIA for any help or advice.

    Shannon

    #2
    Shannon,

    It is tricky to know what the "right" thing to do is. Kids have a wide spectrum of "readiness" points...just think of how different the time schedule is for kids learning to walk. My little one is cruising around things, but not stepping out on her own yet, while her best buddy who was born four days before her has been going gangbusters on full fledged walking for three weeks now!

    So it can be hard to know. Ultimately, there is quite a lot of following your instincts, which sometimes leads to a good decision, or to a learning experience on your part. You have done two weeks, which is really not a long time yet. I would suggest being patient, and optimistic. Yes, learning to do recitation can take some time the first year. When I was doing it the first time with older kids it took some getting used to. So do not worry too much on that. There will probably come a time when he handles it with ease if you just keep things light, cheerful, and quick. The same is true for concepts like rhyming. Keep trying, but do not worry if it takes a while to click...the timing of comprehension will often be a surprise rather than a perfectly timed event!

    How is he doing with the actual schoolwork in FSR? I would use that as your benchmark of readiness. If he is learning those lessons well, and enjoying it, then I would keep going. You can certainly keep working on concepts like rhyming, but there is plenty of time for those ideas to become clear. And keep in mind that given his age, he has plenty of time to go at his pace. At that age, very often I simply seek to do the next step in the lesson plans regardless of what day of the week it is, or if we do five full days per week. If my young one only does three days per week, we just always do the next box....and we keep working at whatever pace seems right.

    Hope that helps a bit!
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Shannon, your post, especially his answers changing just about made me giggle out loud! I think most of us with children have had these moments and can relate, especially with boys! One thing I wondered regarding the recitation for example, when I ask my daughter how many letters are in the alphabet, she says 26, because I told her 26 multiple times and now she knows it. I don't necessarily make her go to the drawing board, count and then give me the answer. I might be misunderstanding your process, but it might be too many steps for him and he needs it to stay simple. The don't need to know all the "whys" at this stage, we are taking advantage of their ability to memorize that will be so beneficial to them later. Just some thoughts! Also at that age they seem to enjoy making us a little crazy I remember my 24 yo son was learning his alphabet, he would over and over leave out g!!!

      Hope that makes sense and blessings on your year as you keep plugging away.
      -Amy

      Nine babies, 6 graduated, 5 married, 17 grand babies 7 and under!
      2020/21 MP 3rd, 6th, 11th MPOA, College student. Starting 8th year using Memoria Press
      Director of Coop 412, a Classical Christian Coop using MP and based on Ephesians 4:12.

      Comment


        #4
        Even in the classroom I have gotten strange recitation answers. As state before by Sarah, it is meant to be quick recall answers the children memorize. There are times late in the school year where a student will space on the number of letters in the alphabet. It always surprises me a bit, since I know the children know these facts. But then again, I forget things sometimes!

        On the point with whether or not you should proceed, how are his fine motor skills? Is his attention span long enough and focused enough to complete a lesson in FSR? Does he display mastery of the lesson? If not, you could continue to move forward with the FSR at a slower pace as Sarah suggested or you could give him a couple months and use the junior kindergarten Alphabet Book and Numbers Book. The books contain shorter lessons that teach penmanship and letter sounds. Students coming into kindergarten having completed this program are better prepared for the rigors of a kindergarten lesson. It gives them the time they needed to grow and to learn to sit for a period of time and focus. The junior kinder books also give practice writing but not as much as FSR. Did I mention the books aren't expensive?

        Yes, there is more rhyming in FSR since we learn our new letter then put it into word a family such as: am, Sam, ram. Ideally, by the end of FSR rhyming has been mastered, from all the reading of word families that has been practiced.

        Blessings,
        Michelle Tefertiller

        Comment


          #5
          an odd thing that has helped recitation for my dd was to make flashcards showing the answers. Even though she couldn't read, seeing them seemed to help her remember. At first I'd show them each time I asked the question. Then as we went on, I'd wait for her to answer without showing the card. If it took a bit for her to answer or she said it wrong, I'd show her the card again and have her answer.

          To help with the sounds and readiness for reading, besides the alphabet books (great books, by the way!) try looking at doing more of the pages in SRA/Core skills. The lesson plans don't use a lot of the pages but they are great practice. I especially liked the second unit of SRA 1. it is great for working on the location of sounds in a word. i'm not sure where the equivalent would be in Core skills but I'm sure it's in there.

          sometimes, tho, even if they have the information for reading, they just aren't ready to put it together and actually learning to read. You could try coming back to it in a few months and see how it goes.

          Comment


            #6
            Last year my 5 year old struggled with FSR at first. We did about only 9 weeks worth of curriculum before Christmas. After Christmas, he started getting it and I was actually able to double up lessons at that point, unless he came to a few harder ones in which he just do 1 at a time. So he accomplished a lot more in the second half of the year.

            I'm working on Jr K with my young 4 year old now (when I can) and he is having trouble with remembering sounds and letters and such. But I just keep going with him to expose him to the letters and numbers and I'm sure he will be ready for K next year anyway.
            Courtney
            Mom to 5 boys-14,13,10,8,5 and the girls- 3 and 1

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you all for the answers

              To start with the memorization, I think it will just take time. I think I will try the flash card idea.

              Today we did a rhyming puzzle I bought over the weekend. He got most of them right although I could tell the concept of rhymes went over his head. I don't think it will be long before he gets it.

              One of the problems we are having is that the enrichment class taught him to read using sight words while also doing phonics. To be honest, until I the class was cancelled and I started looking into teaching him myself, I didn't see a big problem with it. Now, he doesn't seem to want to blend, he just wants to learn the word. That's ok for the short term but not for the long run. I don't really know if this connected to learning sight words or not. I think maybe we need to slow down but not stop completely.

              Comment


                #8
                When you do the recitations, is he honestly forgetting the answer to the alphabet question or is he making it a game? I have a young son who would try to make a game out of our Q&A time by giving me incorrect answers. Oddly enough, it showed me he was smart enough to come up with a different answer, just to prove he was the master of the game.

                As for the rhyming issue, I had a thought. Could it be that he is primarily a visual learner? If so, he won't "hear" the rhyme, at least not until he has practiced it. Maybe you can show him the endings (the way Classical Phonics gives lists might help), but eventually you'll have to get him to "hear it" in his ear or he won't recognize combos like blue-shoe.


                Jen
                DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

                DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

                DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

                All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

                Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

                Comment


                  #9
                  Shannon,
                  Isn't it funny that you do not realize a difference in method until you start learning more of it yourself? I have learned so much about teaching my kids from MP, because they have spent so much time really bringing back the time-tested ways. The progression of learning in FSR really helps with keeping the focus on blending, rather than learning a lot of sight words....so it would be good to keep going so he gets a lot of reinforcement of that, and gradually forgets to just guess at it. This is a big reason I am doing it with my five-year old reader....she has learned so many words, she thinks she should just automatically know everything, and has started guessing rather than blending. They need so much practice! Keep up the good work, taking it one day at a time, and trusting that it will all come together before you know it.

                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  2020-2021
                  16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                  DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                  DS, 17
                  DD, 15
                  DD, 13
                  DD, 11
                  DD, 9
                  DD, 7
                  +DS+
                  DS, 2

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Update

                    Rhyming -
                    Ok so his dad says to him Cameron do you know what a rhyme is? and he says Sure, like snake and cake.

                    Recitation -
                    I think sometimes he is playing games and sometimes he just doesn't know the answer when I ask him. I think the flash cards will work. The process I have been using is.. I ask the question and give the answer. Several times. Then when he couldn't answer the question, I said lets count the letters on the chart. Ask question again. Wrong answers. Lets count the actual physical letters. Ask question again. Wrong answers. So we will try the flash cards and just keep working on it. Persistence is my middle name... or is that obstinate?

                    Sight word reading -
                    Should I stop having him read for now since it is all sight words?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Shannon,

                      Keep up with the blending. He will eventually get it. Be sure every time you read he is pointing to the words with his finger.

                      Michelle T

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Shannon, we have a lot of that personality too....I have no idea where they get it!

                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        2020-2021
                        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                        DS, 17
                        DD, 15
                        DD, 13
                        DD, 11
                        DD, 9
                        DD, 7
                        +DS+
                        DS, 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          A few things:
                          I think a great way to reinforce ear training for rhymes is to read aloud as much poetry as possible, especially fun, obvious rhymes like Dr. Seuss. You can read to the end of a line and wait for him to fill in the blank and finish the sentence, or ask him to change it to another rhyming word.
                          For blending, he might enjoy sliding letter tiles (Scrabble pieces, for example, or BananaGrams) together to "join" or "build" a word. Sometimes kids get hung up on the word you're using to describe an action. "Blend" might be distracting him.
                          Just some thoughts for the hopper!
                          Festina lentē,
                          Jessica P

                          2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                          DS 12th • HLN, Latin online, DE math/sci - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
                          DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
                          DD 7th • HLN & Home
                          DS 4th • HLN & Home
                          Me • Memoria College, this summer: MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

                          Teaching TFL and co-directing @
                          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have been thinking about the recitation. When I home schooled my older two children, I kept a sticker chart for their memorization. Have you tried some sort of positive reinforcement? Maybe a sticker could be earned for correct recitation answers. Another thing that worked was when my children did well on something, I would write a special note and put it on their father's desk. When he got home they got positive attention. Just knowing I was writing a note to their dad was enough.

                            Blessings,
                            Michelle T

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thank You

                              Ok, my panic attack is over. For now.

                              The flash cards worked like a charm. He knew all the questions I asked him. Stickers have never worked for him. He either has a meltdown because he didn't get one or he doesn't care. (*sigh*)

                              The rhyming is going the same way, although a little slower. We are reading more rhyme books and playing more rhyme games.

                              I have decided that rather than skip workbook pages and copy work, I am just going to take however many days it takes. If it takes 10 days to do one week. Then that is what it takes. He is young and we have time.

                              And if it takes more, then I will be back with another panic attack.

                              Comment

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