Monday, January 30, 2012

Compound Words

My son is a very reluctant reader. He just has not had much interest in learning to read. He does his language arts curriculum and seems to understand it. But when you ask him to read out loud he refuses. “I can’t read” is his standard reply. Recently we have been working on larger words. Compound words are two words that have been put together to form another word. Often the word that is formed has nothing to do with the original two words. Butterfly has nothing to do with either butter or a fly. But we all like to watch the butterfly as it flits from flower to flower drinking the nectar from each plant. My son would look at the word butterfly and tell me that it is too hard to read. One day I figured out that if I cover half the word, he can read the other half. I covered the second half of the word and he read butter. Then I covered the first half and he read fly. I then showed him the whole word. He read butterfly. He could see and read the whole word. By breaking it down into smaller parts he could read it. Sometimes we play compound word games to help him understand how to break the words apart.

I doesn’t have to be a compound word to read this way. Any large word can be broken in to parts to make it easier to read. Try this and see if it helps your reluctant reader.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Art

I love field trips. We try to go out as often as we can. Sometimes we go to a local environmental center. Sometimes we go to historical sites. This week we went to the art museum. When we first went to the art museum my son was about five years old. As we were leaving he looked at me and said, “That was soooooooooooooooooooooooo verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyy boooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring. I took that to mean that hw did not have a good time. For a while I considered not going back. Art was something that I had no experience with as a child. Sure we drew pictures in school but that was about the extent of my art appreciation. I really wanted my son to have a little more of a foundation in art than that. So we went back. And we continued to go back. Ms. Peggy is wonderful with the kids. She takes them on a short tour of the art museum. Then they all come back to the auditorium and create an art project based on the part of the museum that they toured that day. This week they started with a basic skull shape. Then they used paint, paper, ribbon, string, pipe cleaners, markers, feathers, and all kinds of other things to turn this plain paper skull into a work of art. It was awesome to see how the kids were able to create beautiful items from all the chaos. Several of the kids turned their papers into masks. They glued a stick to the back to hold the mask up in front of their faces. One little girl made a whole doll by putting a paper blouse on her mask and then attached ribbons to make a skirt. My son no longer considers the art museum a boring place. He looks forward to the class each month. This is the most important part of his art curriculum. Art has become an exciting subject for him.