Monday, September 27, 2010

The Breakthrough

One of the most exciting developments recently has to do with my little Chipsy's reading! 

I am so thrilled by how much he can and is reading right now. There was a big leap in improvement a while back and recently, a breakthrough! Woo hoo! 

Besides the letter sounds that he has learnt from his nursery (no blending yet), I did not teach phonics at home since I don't believe phonics is the most effective way to coach preschoolers to read early. 

As with M, we coach Chipsy using the whole language or whole word method, but I do emphasize phonemic awareness as we work along together, which helps him to identify the beginning and ending sounds of words. I've also noticed that he has begun to use spelling patterns and analogy strategy to help him decode unfamiliar words. And he has figured out word families simply through our reading sessions and the lapbooking activities we did.

I swear I smile a giant smile whenever I hear him read the way he is right now. That innocent and high pitch voice and his animated expressions are so cute! I must remember to take more videos of him reading. I'm pretty sure his voice will be changing soon, just like M when he was 4+.

Though I would love for Chipsy to join my classes and learn together with my other students, he has not been able to do so because of E's schedule. E has to be the one ferrying the boys to my classes, so it was decided that M will get priority for now. As a result, little Chip does all the lapbooking with me at home during the week, in addition to whatever else that I have planned for him. It is still effective, but the learning experience is SO different in a group setting. Can't wait for him to join us in a few months' time. 

On average, Chip has worked on one detailed lapbook a month and the recent ones are just fantastic in terms of his level of contribution and the depth and breadth that we can go into. He has shown wonderful improvement in abilities and the progress is most obvious when I compare all his lapbooks, right from the ones he did 18 months ago to the most recent.

He is also writing a lot of stories now, all on his own and improving everyday. Amazing rate! All other skills coming along very nicely. Perhaps in another few months, he will be ready to join the most advanced group. 


Anonymous said...


Firstly, I'm a silent reader and I'm amazed at the effort that you take in raising your children. In this post, I would like to find out about whole language method. My 2 1/2 year old girl has been reading from memory since some time ago and she usually is able to read word for word after reading the book to her after a few times. Is this considered reading? However, if you single out the word, she does not recognise it. Do you point out the words to your son during story time?

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi Anonymous, what your daughter is doing is very common in children who have been read to frequently, especially if they have repeated exposures to the same books. But I won't consider that as reading.

There are also many kids who can read nouns or a few words here and there, but not enough to read sentences.

A child is only truly reading when he/she can recognise the words in print without the aid of pictures and has a large enough word bank of high frequency words to enable him to read sentences. Also, it is equally important that he understands what he has read. This is often lacking in very young readers. There is really no point being able to read a whole book without understanding the plot.

I do point at the words when I read to my younger boy, because it is one-to-one.

The Beauties In Our Lives said...

I am looking forward to more updates from you! I am so impressed that Chipsy can write stories already!! Wow - do show us some of his pieces, I would love to read it!

Domesticgoddess said...

Haha! Don't set your expectations too high, Linette. We are talking about stories from a very small boy. But yes I am in the process of taking photos of his writings and stories and will upload them soon, after I've gone through my HUGE backlog.

Anonymous said...


I am impressed by your boys reading skill. In fact, this really inspire me :)I am not into phonics although my gals knows all the letters sound. They have been reading relatively ok. Most of the time, I do one-one reading by pointing words to them. I think frequent reading, repeative exposure to words will help a child to read. Hope I am on the right track.

Good job on your part.

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi Carol, thanks for your comment. How old are your girls?

We started with the same approach from day one - just lots of reading and pointing at words too.

But to me, reading is just ONE part of the learning to start young. So I also do plenty of other activities that train the other important skills and provide a holistic education. I think what we have done and still doing helps to equip my boys with a strong memory and a good language foundation, hence helping them in their reading. :>

Anonymous said...

My gals are 4 and 5. Thanks. I also strongly believe in a holistic education as well. It is nice that you are sharing with us thru this blog what you did with the boys. And I am definitely impressed and happy to see that Marcus is a big reader !



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