Tuesday, February 03, 2009

First Words

Benjamin has (finally!) started reading. Since he's now 7, but still in zero-class, the expectations are pretty low. In fact, the only formal goals Sweden has for the end of zero-class is that the children should write their names, recognize shapes and colors, and count to 10. But the school I picked for him is Montessori, and the kids are pushed along a bit more than in the normal system.
We're working on 3 and 4-letter words right now, like ful (ugly), gul (yellow), låna (to borrow/lend) and so on. But getting him to sit down and concentrate is always difficult. I have been printing out cards and pictures and playing matching games, but we haven't really made any headway.
Enter Peggy Kaye (figuratively) who wrote, among others, "Games for Learning". Her books are wonderful. She uses examples from real-life tutoring to create fun activities to support all elements of learning, from math to reading to logical thinking. Her reading "snake", which we play with M&Ms, has given us three wonderful days of effort. The idea is simple - read the words on the snake to get an M&M, as many times as you want. And now, we're finally getting somewhere!

Of course, that's just three days, and we have a whole lifetime of homework and learning in front of us, but for now, we'll take the good where it comes!

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