Friday, May 8, 2009

Murray's House of Learnin'

(A Gilmore Girls reference, sorry.)

I wrote my last preschool tuition check this week. The year end is winding down. K- had her last show & tell/snack day (for preschool), we have the end of the year trip to the zoo, then we end with -- eek! -- preschool graduation.

Preschool graduation, people. Okay, so it isn't real live graduation, but still.

K-'s school sent home an advertisement that the local university is offering beginning reading programs, one of which is for entering kindergartners! I called, checked out cost and while it isn't inexpensive, Hubs and I do believe that it is well worth the cost. They work on alphabet skills, reading readiness, phonics, comprehension and truly want to foster a love for reading in children. We have two nieces who have had quite a bit of problem with reading skills (one has tackled her issues through formal tutoring and one is still struggling). The class offered is a parent/child class so that as a parent, you learn skills to help your child. That is great since I'm winging it and have no idea what I'm doing. I'm especially excited that this will be for the first half of summer so I'll know what I'm doing to help her prepare for kindergarten the last half of the summer.

K- has really started loving "reading" books to us through pictures. She'll ask me how to spell things and wants to write. I work on workbooks with K- throughout the summer and the class that I've signed us up for has instructional materials and CD's that are passed onto the parents and you are taught how to use them. Hoorah!

I'm also trying to work some visual games with K-. We've been working with the game Tantrix this week, and I plan on pulling our Rush Hour game back out. (Happily, both brand new thrift store finds for 1.50 each!) I think that it is important to exercise some problem solving skills (as with Tantrix), or copying skills (as with our Rush Hour game.) Grant you, we don't play these games according to their directions, but it's fun to see if we can get all the Tantrix pieces used properly and just to see if we can copy the pattern on the Rush Hour card. I plan on purchasing the color triangle puzzle at the Dollar Tree this week. (I have no idea the name, but it's a bunch of colored triangles that you use to copy patterns and make shapes out of.)

I have a basket of sight reading cards that we're going to work harder on now, but not push. I don't want to force K-, but if we can make learning fun, why not?


Kaycee said...

You're doing great. K will be an awesome reader.

My oldest son was having reading issues in kindergarten which is one of the reasons I quit my last job. I was able to spend more time with him and we just read everything. I let him help me make and color flash cards for letters and sound blends and he caught up to his class quickly.

This year (1st grade) he is the best reader in his class and is reading chapter books by himself. He even has a list of books he wants to read this summer. I am so proud of him.

I think active parenting is the most important thing to produce good readers, so you are on the right track. I would have loved a summer reading program for him before kindergarten though.

Jamie said...

It sounds like you are definitely putting her on the right track to be a great reader!

My girls are both avid readers and although I hate taking credit - it is ultimately because I taught by example. B read at 4, H at 5. I'm so glad they have the reading gene instilled in them and that they can't ever read enough. Bailey's reading at a 10th grade level (in 5th grade) which continues to blow me away.

Preschool This year flew by so quickly.