Thursday, September 11, 2008

Teaching my Kinderlein to Read

I'm teaching my 3 youngest to read. The eldest of my Littles, Calamity Jane, is on the verge of breaking the code. She is in kindergarten and she has a handle on her letters and sounds. Today we were working on this and she did well as did Mudd. When we do this, I make "centers" where the guys to fun projects and are separated lest they harass one another. I may have blocks, puppets, or a craft that they can do.

Mudd is on the fast track to reading as well. He seems ambidextrous. I have nine children and at least a third are left handed-- nationally it's 10%. (Darrin says that "it's the top 10% who are left handed!") When we practice letters, he switches hands. When one hand tires, it goes into claw mode and the other takes over. He doesn't think much of it. I'm learning to write with my left hand to demonstrate for him. It's easier to do cursive rather than print.

Starshine learned to put a crayon behind her ear as we practiced writing today. She thought it made her look cool and had to go put them behind either ear then both, then back to one. She is so funny and looks at herself in the mirror and practices her smiles with the crayons there. She is almost three-- if she is like this as a teenager I fear it will be earrings and pretty clothes!

I'm also working with them on German. I love that language and after just a few days the words are occupying more of my mind and more comes back. I so much wish that I could go back there again. . . I sometimes crave the blood sausages and oh dear-- their freshly-picked fruits from Italy make ours up here (picked while still green) taste like cardboard. I want to eat their fruits again, and go hiking. I love speaking it whenever I can and Germans like you to try to speak their language so when I meet them I speak it.


I am on the computer a lot less. . . after a gentle rebuke from a fellow blogger, I stopped being on so late. (I'd started trolling after midnight. I was a friendly troll, but very chatty. . . I am wincing as I write this.) I realized that I spent way too much time bouncing to my favorite blogs. I quit this fast upon realizing it and got to my schoolwork. I am doing a lot more in the evenings and the quality improved immediately. (You know who you are and you are my academic cure for my ADHD.) Statistics is a mandated evil and I am doing it. I think of it as Listerine, a mouthwash. It had an ad in the 60's, "Listerine: I hate it but I use it." I think the same of statistics: I hate it but I do it. I switched to an easier science class and I hate that I have but I just need to get my degree. It's a biology class on the ecosystems of Alaska. While I took it knowing that it would be easier, I find that I love it so I put more into it. I just turned in a study on glaciers. I get to do artwork with it and sketch, so that helps. Sketching glaciers is amusing as I like to touch everything that I draw.


Steve said...

Good luck on beating your blog addiction. btw, stats is a powerful tool for knowing things. Understanding it is essential for everyone who votes. It is counter-intuitive that they can call 1200 households around the country and get a reasonably accurate take on what people are thinking. But if you study stats, you can see why it works.

And since there is so much bad or manipulated stat out there, a good understanding helps people see through it.

You're doing good with the little ones. They're probbably having so much fun they don't even realize they are 'learning.'

Ropi said...

I heard it may be bad if you learn reading and writing too early but I don't know. I am a both hander also. I am not a good teacher type of. My classmate said It is good when I explain History in Hungarian because I talk very simply but in English I tend to use long sentences when I get enthusiastic. Today I had composed a sentence which I was telling for a minute or a bit more. It was about the Dutch Policies in the Spanish war of Succession.

JoeinVegas said...

Sounds interesting that Mudd can switch hands when writing - I think it's a pretty good ability to have, though some teacher along the way will try to stifle it.
Good luck with cutting back on blog reading - I try, but then find so many new ones to bounce around . . .

Gledwood said...

Sehr gut!
I still remember learning to read/write/spell/etc ENGLISH aged about 5 and what a nightmare was inflicted upon me by a silly govt project called Phonics where they pretend that English is a phonetic language. Dur! Soon as my mother went out and got flashcards (so I learnt the same way Chinese kids do, an entire word at a time) I came on in leaps and bounds...