Friday, October 1, 2010

Coming up on Lesson 100 in OPGTR!

Yesterday we finished lesson 98 in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, which was about the long O sound of OA .  I feel really strongly that reading is the most important thing Red should be doing academically right now.  Since she is going to 1/2 day afternoon kindergarten five days a week, we have dropped doing math and writing at home (except for practice work that is sent home by her teacher).  We have continued plugging away at OPGTR for about 15 minute per day.  Although she doesn't come to the lesson enthusiastically everyday, we are making progress and she's fighting me about it less and less.  There are 231 lessons so I'm hoping we finish it by the end of her kindergarten year. 

I really can't say enough good things about that book!  What I love is that it systemically teaches phonics in an order that makes sense and is easy to understand.  The only bummer is that so many "easy reader" books that are out there depend on the child's ability to memorize sight words in order to read the book.  My plan right now is to keep working away at OPGTR, and then when we finish it to have her start reading to me 10 minutes per day from a book of her choice.  Currently, Red has no interest in reading aloud to me.  She will do so when asked, but not of her own choosing.  On the other hand, she will sit there and listen to me read all day.  Today she stayed home from school because she was feeling ill.  She took a two hour nap this afternoon (she napped?!?!  That's when I definitely knew she was sick).  She watched some television, but over the course of the day I must have read aloud to her for about three hours.  We finished reading Charlotte's Web (what an outstanding book!  I can't wait to read it to Tom Thumb when he's older), we read a whole bunch of Mr. Putter and Tabby books including this one (love 'em!), and started Twenty and Ten.

School overall is going well.  I signed on with another mother to be co-room parents.  Our duties are to plan crafts and activities when there are holiday parties at school.  Red can't wait to go to school everyday.  She's only had to sit at the "peace table" (AKA the naughty spot) twice so far---yay!  My only complaint is that the teachers haven't really hit their stride as far as organization goes yet, but I think once they get that all worked out it should be fine.  One thing I really like is the "Friday Folder".  Every Friday Red brings home a folder in which the teacher includes comments about what she's working on currently and her behavior.  It's nice to have some sense of what's going on on a week to week basis and not just hearing about it at parent/teacher conferences--- which by the way are coming up around Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow the kids start back to swim class.  Tom Thumb will be a Tadpole (the first level after Parent Tot classes) and Red will be a Sunfish (her first time in the lap pool learning how to do the crawl).  While Tom Thumb can't wait to go tomorrow, Red is very scared about not being able to touch the bottom of the lap pool.  There's no shallow part.  The shallowest area is about 4.5 to 5 feet deep.  It's just shallow enough for me to have my shoulders above the water and I'm 5' 11".  Red is only 41" tall.  Our regular babysitter Colleen who is also a lifeguard there is going to meet us a few minutes early so she can help Red get acclimated to the lap pool before her teacher takes over.  Luckily, the teacher is Colleen's boyfriend so we already know him.  I hope that helps matters.  We'll see how it goes.  Fingers are crossed that there's not too much crying.

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