How Firm a Foundation

This year my youngest will be in second grade. It seems like yesterday that he was playing cards on the floor while we had our read-aloud time. I am not a firm believer in pushing our young ones but rather allowing them the opportunity to explore. As a result his education is the most pure. I am very blessed...from preschool to Sunday School he has been shown a living education.

The Foundation of Reading
From the very beginning he was exposed to true phonics. He simply sat on the sidelines, played games, and on occasion expressed a true interest. Still waiting for him to provide the pace, I read aloud great literature. Usually his literature was a living book that went along with TOG. We used magnetic letter, sandpaper letters, etc. to reinforce phonics. Then one day he came to me and said he wanted to learn to read. That night I discovered that he knew how to use his phonics to sound out words and shortly after that we began the Pathways Primer reader called First Steps. Along with reading, I continued to teach phonics by using Spell to Write & Read.

Last year we made timeline cards to go along with our history readings. Again, I chose living books to accompany our TOG reading list and worked at a comfortable pace. I used the Avery postcard sheets to create the timeline cards. On the front side we found an image of the story and on the back I wrote a few sentences to help us (mostly myself) remember what the story was about. This year we are making a history book. Sometimes we cut and paste a picture and I write down his narration or he may chose to do a picture study of an image and then recreate it in his book.

Each year I am reminded that my desire is to install a strong foundation and a love for learning. We can stray from this basic truth but we wind up right back at the heart of the matter.


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