When Jenny learned to read, she basically taught herself. She was (and is) a self-motivated learner who soaked up knowledge by watching TV, reading books, and playing with toys. I never really had to “teach” her anything more than one time.
David’s learning style is completely different. Though some days he will sit and watch a movie or look at books for several hours, most days he is very active and keeping his attention for more than five minutes at a time is a challenge.
This is one of the main reasons I’ve been so lax in my attempts to do preschool with him – planning is time-consuming and it’s more work than I have time and energy.
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ABC Tactile Learning
I’ve discovered that David is definitely a tactile learner. Give him an activity that allows him to be active and/or use his hands, and he’s much more likely to stay attentive and focused.
As I began to plan for this school year, I knew David wasn’t ready to jump into Kindergarten right away, but I also knew he would be bored stuck in a traditional preschool curriculum all year, so I decided to start the year focused on learning the names of the letters of the alphabet and what sound(s) each letter makes with The Preschool Journey as my curriculum guide.
I gathered all my tactile ABC tools and put them together on a shelf I’d identified as “David’s School Shelf.”
Teaching David to Read with Tactile Tools
We “officially” began our 2013-2014 school year on Monday, and I pulled out the tactile ABC tools to begin working with David on Monday morning.
My goal was to determine what letter names/sounds he already knew and which ones we needed to work on. However, once he identified a couple of letters (with some assistance), he started trying to “build words” with the tactile ABC tools, so I followed his leading and allowed him to explore. He began to put the letters sounds together in the order that he laid them out, and all of a sudden, I realized that he was “reading.”
I dropped my agenda of discovering which letter names/sounds we needed to work on, and I encouraged him to continue to try new letter combinations to build new words. He loved it!
We’ll continue to work on identifying names/sounds of letters over the next several weeks, but we’ll be doing so in the context of “building” words and reading together.
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