May 19, 2010

Turning "I can't" into "I can" and "I did!"

Max is on step 5 of 6 of the Blend Phonics book, our tutor for learning to read. Yesterday as he read through the list of words for the day he looked up from his reading and declared with a smile, "it works!" :) (Max is the one smiling)

Max has been through alot of discouragement in learning to read....much of the failure has been mine not his. He is a bright and very motivated to learn, but finding a phonics curriculum that led him in the right direction took me a while. Not all kids begin with the same predisposed tendencies; some naturally follow, some naturally invent. Some naturally like to put new information together piece by piece in a sort of linear order, some children are more rhandom and look at more than one piece of information at a time. Max is inventive, and global. I also, am inventive and global...and one of my weaknesses is learning subjects that do not lend to this kind if thinking like math, some sciences and phonics; anything linear and sequencial. In my own expierence I have found that people or lessons whhich are different from me benefitted me the most because they led me through a thinking path I was not accustomed to. A thinking path I needed. Instead of teaching into Max's learning style, we discovered that matching a learning style that complimented his weaknesses gave him more success. Blend phonics is a program that teaches one skill at a time and builds step by step. It orders the information in a logical sequence. For Max it has been the kind of skills he has needed to compliment his natural ability to see things in the big picture. It supports him where he is weak in going step by step. The book does some organizational work for him so he can see the patterns in the language, get some rules in practice and see them work. He can now see that another way of thinking can be a help to him. Now he is reading. Reading makes sense.

"Success implies overcoming an obstacle, including perhaps, the thought in our minds that we might not succeed. It is turning, "I can't' into "I can and I did!"   -John Holt from How Children Fail.

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