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Exploring letters

Sweet Bear and I sit together at the kitchen table. I ask her to tell me something about apples since this was a word that starts with a. A for apples. Sweet Bear has no problem coming up with a sentence about her favorite fruit. “I love apples!”, she exclaims.

So, I draw lines for each word in the sentence that match the length of the word. This allows children to visualize that the words are a group of letters. On top of each line I write the word. Afterwards, Sweet Bear drew a picture of apples above the sentence.

She has began to learn letters all by herself. For her M is not for McDonalds. M is for her real name which starts with M. I am pleased to say that she knows S for Sweet Bear, too. Since she is starting letter recognition all by herself I decided to go ahead and start real lessons with her. I didn’t want to push her because then she wouldn’t want to learn.

She has learned how to write M, S, A and E.

I am in a sense homeschooling her in English and American culture. We stopped during her school break which is over as of today. We will begin again tonight.

I brought some books with me during this move and have been reading to the kids. I ask them to point out letters and quiz them about the story. I am following Fountas and Pinnell steps to Guided Reading as well as I can without being in a classroom. They love it.

I will start making lesson plans and teaching the girls all subjects through reading and writing.  I want to make learning centers for them to explore at their own level and speed.  It will be hard to do this while living with my husband’s parents.  However, once we move out I will use an extra room in our apartment to teach them in.  If we don’t have an extra room I will use the living room.

My goal is to teach writing to the children as we taught them to speak. I want English and French to be taught together. I will teach them their letters since we are lucky that the alphabet is the same.  Vilay will teach them the French sounds and how to write words in French.  I will teach them the English sounds and how to write words in English. It is very important because of using correct phonics that I don’t teach them to write in French.

I believe that phonics and whole words recognition should be used together to teach children to write. By learning to write the children will naturally learn to read.

Sweet Bear

First lesson in writing A.  I wrote all the letters for her except the letter A.  She did it by herself.  As she learns more letters she will write more letters until she does it all by herself.  I will always make the lines for her to guide her.  I talk to her about punctuation and what a word is and what a sentence is.

The following pictures are done by Sweet Bear without me.  She puts letters all over her pictures now.

Sweet Bear

Sweet Bear

The picture below is of Papa and Mama.  She drew it at school.

Sweet Bear brought this picture of Mama and Papa home from school  :)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Pardon_My_French March 12, 2007, 1:19 pm

    I’m very interested in hearing more about what you’re doing with your children as well as how the in-laws and school system support your efforts. For me, this is another good reason to stay in France for the moment…I’ve got all the skills and supplies to work on English literacy whereas it would be much more difficult to do the French thing in the US for us. I would like to go the simultaneous literacy route as well (depending on how my little one handles it), but I haven’t found a lot of resources for that versus sequential literacy. I’m not sure how structured I’m going to be yet, but we’re still a loooooong way from that point. Go, Sweet Bear! How old is she?

  • L'Amerloque March 12, 2007, 1:21 pm

    Hi Pumpkin !

    Is Vilay taking care of the “B – A BA” portion of learning the letters ?!


  • Catherine March 12, 2007, 7:03 pm

    Sounds like homeschooling would be a good option for you guys. I’m sure you’d be a wonderful teacher, Pumpkin. How old are the girls again?

  • Pumpkin March 13, 2007, 11:33 am

    Pardon My French, She is four and will be five this October. She is really moving fast and loves books.

    I will post more about all the work we are doing and the books I am using with the children.


    Vilay is teaching all the French sounds and writing with them in French. He uses the book Méthode Boscher ou La Journée des Tout Petits. I think it is a great resource for Vilay. So far it is ok teaching the two languages at the same time. I think as long as we are consistant it is good.

    I didn’t want my kids to fall behind in English. It is important to me that they are as good in English and American history as in French and French history. They learn everything they need to know about French culture at the French schools and I will teach them my culture at home. Vilay is teaching reading and writing now because Sweet Bear is not getting this at school. She is ready or I wouldn’t even start it now because she is only four.

  • Pumpkin March 13, 2007, 11:35 am

    Catherine, My girls are three and four. I forgot to tell you before.

    Petite Clown is three and not really ready for the writing yet. She counts and knows all her colors…things like that. I’ll wait until she shows me that she wants to learn to write and then we’ll start.

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