J-jo is reading some three letter words! Not all of them. He still guesses half the time, but he is sounding out each letter and then blending correctly on half of the words I give him. We’re all very excited and proud of him.
When I was given All About Reading 1 to review a few months back and realized that although, J-jo knew all his letter sounds, he couldn’t blend sounds I gave him (what does /c/…./a/…./t/…. say), we started playing I Spy, the Blending Version, every day. At meals I would say, “J-jo, I spy a /c/…/u/…/p/ on the table. I spy a /f/…/o/…/r/…/k/. I spy a /p/…/l/…/ay/…/t/, etc. During car rides, “I spy a /t/…/r/…/u/…/ck/, etc. During play time, “I spy some /b/…/l/…/o/…/ck/…/s/.
I also purchased All About Reading Pre level 1 in the hopes that going through the pre-reading games (mostly having to do with rhyme so far – we are at upper case J) would help me in teaching him. I love Montessori, but sometimes I just want someone to tell me what to say and when to decrease my anxiety:)
He sounds out the three letter words, but often I have to repeat the sounds for him to be able to blend it. I remember going through this with Bear. (You can read about that here and here.) This time around, I am not worried about it. I know he will get it when he is ready.
This is not meant to be a bragging post. I am sorry if it sounds this way. I wanted to note his accomplishments and progress somewhere I could easily look back and find it. Not all kids will be ready to even start learning to read at 31 months and that is fine. I am also NOT forcing him to work on reading at all, but I do present it throughout the day often.
Using Trader Joe Schoolhouse ABC and 123 cookies at morning snack is a huge motivating factor for him. First, I only asked that he tell me the sound of the letters before he ate them, then I progressed to laying out three cookies that spelled a word and sounding it out and blending it for him. After a few days of that, he had to do the sounding out and I would repeat it and help him blend it. (Bear gets the 123 cookies and I lay them out as a 4 digit number that she has to read to me before she eats them.)
J-jo has also started showing interest in writing. He loves the salt tray now and will practice i, j, l, and t for extended periods of time. I never expected this from a boy because so many people told me that boys don’t usually write as early as girls. I love to watch him do the t because when I presented it, I first made two dots to have him connect them so that his cross on the t would not be too long.
I’ve tried and tried to interest him in playing I Spy, to no avail. He doesn’t want to; yet, he is interested in learning to read. He sees his older sister reading fluently and that inspires him. He also has no interest in matching up the pink series set of words I have from My Montessori Journey, the way I introduced reading to Bear. His recent MFW work does resemble that somewhat though. Although I wanted to follow a Montessori sequence of learning to read for J-jo, it hasn’t been what has happened. I hope this gives hope to those moms who read Montessori blogs and think, “I need to use Montessori; it is the greatest thing….” I LOVE Montessori and do think it is great, but I also think one needs to remember the essence of Montessori is to follow their child. Thus when traditional Montessori isn’t drawing the child in and one needs to change their approach, it’s okay. I hope that in saying this, I don’t step on any toes of those who strongly believe it has to be Montessori all the way. My opinion, for what it is worth, is that as moms, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and for those of us who homeschool, I think we put even more pressure on ourselves and it doesn’t have to be that way. Obviously, I have Mommy guilt about not being a Montessori purist 🙂
Disclaimer: The link to All About Reading is an affiliate link. If you purchase AAR (or All About Spelling) through that link, I will get a small commission and be very grateful:)