Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where I got the idea and how it just grew :)

How this all started is a long story, with a few gaps in between the years that passed. Basically I just thought of the concept when my eldest was 7 years old and a struggling reader. During those times I was always on the lookout for books that can help him. But well, we lived in the province in 1995 when there were no books or materials that can really help. And believe me, I think I bought all the pre-school books that were labeled "For 3-5 year-olds" and still it didn't work out. So to help my eldest in his learning, I think this is unusual of me - I wrote all the sight words and words with the same phonograms to fill one notebook just so he could practice reading and eventually read well!

That alone didn't work so I searched more from the teaching resources in the libraries and some bookstores. There were plenty of articles to choose from, but mostly I would get tips from the non-conventional teaching and Montessori methods. The write-ups from the parenting magazines were a great help too. I compiled all of those write-ups, most of which back up the studies of teaching experts that phonics is still the simplest method in learning to read and is best suited for children between the ages of 3-5.

I saw this on a parent's viewpoint and thought of the idea that if the method was simplified then it would be easier to learn reading.

This is the story of how I, with the help and advice of my teacher-friends, came up with the reading concept of this material.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Welcome to My New Blog URL

Hi! My name is Chriss and I am currently a stay-at-home and/or work-at-home-mother (WAHM). I reside with my family in the province of Pangasinan, Philippines.

I've been a part-time tutor of grade school children since 1995, until I went back into college to continue my psychology course studies. In my tutoring sessions I usually guided the pupils in their homework. I would occasionally teach a struggling reader, though, because I believe that a child who can read independently has a vast opportunity to learn new ideas.

Plenty of write-ups have helped me in teaching youngsters to read. I got ideas from the teachings of Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget who dealt mostly with kids ages 3-5. Parenting magazines from the US also featured tips and tricks to teaching reading. Teacher's journals published in the country were also a great aid. All these helped me improve my basic methods and develop this material.

Ironically, it was only when my eldest child entered nursery that I had a different problem in teaching reading. He struggled with his reading and writing skills, had difficulty copying from the blackboard. After such time that I guided him in his homework, I was surprised that he learned to read anyways.

Until one evening while we were having a reading drill, the lights went out and he still continued to say the words written on the book. I then realized he was just reading from memory then and not from decoding! Because of his regular practice in reading it turned out he merely memorized the words! I felt defeated and my efforts did not bring improvement. I think I was pressured and in turn pressuring him to comply with the standards of the school he went to.

So I thought of other simple ways to present reading. I thought of how I learned to read when I was 5 years old. I remember I could really read the words on the "Snow White" book when my yaya would read them out loud for me. I could already read then when I entered kindergarten and met the teachers having folder-sized Alphabet cards for us pupils. How easy was it then?

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