Thursday, September 10, 2009

Grade 4, Lesson 3, Day 3 ~ When Papa Throws the Rhythm Off

I tried today. I had another one of my nights where I was still up at 1:30 a.m. but still I managed to get out of bed at 7:45 a.m. I got dressed. We ate breakfast and did our chores. We were into box 6, our main lesson (more grammar today) when we heard the front door open at 10:30.

Papa was home. He actually was planning to go to urgent care (he has been sick for nearly 3 weeks) but I had him call ahead and they told him not to come until 1 p.m.

Well, if that didn't throw us off. Suddenly I had attitude from both boys; everything was too hard. Thinking of adverbs was hard. Writing adverbs in orange onto a worksheet I created was hard. Shading the nouns blue and the verbs red was hard. They were whining and moaning and bickering with each other. Hardest of all was spelling the adverbs.

T-Guy really struggles with spelling, which until today I just didn't understand. He is an excellent reader and has a great vocabulary. But ask him to spell a word and it will sound like he is just throwing random letters at you. He is pretty good at figuring out what letters are in a word, but not what order they go in.

No, he isn't dyslexic. He is a whole word reader; this is how he learned to read. It turns out that whole word readers often have a more difficult time with spelling because they see each word as a whole, not as individual letters or sounds, not as consonants, vowels, blends, or syllables.

J-Baby learned to read with phonics. Indeed, the whole word approach just wasn't working for him and that is when I brought in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. We didn't do more than the first 100 lessons, but it all clicked for him. He too is an excellent reader with an amazing vocabulary and strong verbal grammar skills. It turns out that he also much more of a natural speller.

I'm not sure where I'll go with the information, other than that I know that the basic spelling program I devised isn't going to work. Right now I am looking into Phonetic Zoo. I want to right this wrong, and it does feel like a wrong. Somehow I thought that because my child was reading that we didn't need to go through the basics of phonics and spelling rules. But we should have and we need to now.

As for our homeschooling, we called it a day after we finished with grammar. We didn't get to the science main lesson or to guitar. Having Papa home was far too much of a distraction for all of us (I kept hearing him fiddling with his guitar). Oh, and it appears that Papa has bronchitis but the doctor wasn't happy with what he heard in Papa's lungs so he prescribed an inhaler. The doctor is hoping that a course of Zithromax will knock out whatever is in Papa's lungs but we have to keep an eye on it because it could be walking pneumonia based on some of his symptoms. Not fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am having the same issues. Older child is a whole word reader. He reads at a very advanced level and never needed to be taught. Unfortunatley, he can't spell. My younger son is clearly going to go the phonics route.
I am also trying to find some help/soloution to the spelling dilema with my whole word child. Love to know if you have found any good links or resources.