Bo has been asking me daily for "more stool" since I started rowing with him. He also knows most of his letters and sounds (though he can't say /k/ and /g/), so I was not interested in going through the alphabet again until I could start All About Reading Pre-reading (affiliate link).
Well, out of desperation to find more school for him to do (I'll burn out if I try to row with him every week!), I pulled it off the shelf to see if he could do it, and guess what?
He not only can do it, he loves it!
He especially loves Ziggy the Zebra. :)
Bo is 3 years, 7 months. I started this level with Eliana when she was 4 1/2 and we moved through it quickly. Looking back, I wished that I would have taken more time so that she was more mature and ready for Level 1. (We did level 1 over K and 1st grade to give her time to mature.)
But Bo is eager and wants to learn right now. He also loves to color much more than Elli did at even a year older than he is now.
So, I plan on moving slowly. I'm giving him just enough that he asks for more, but not too much that he gets bored with it. So far, we have been doing two lessons a week, and often spend the rest of the week practicing or reinforcing what he learned.
The Big Five
All About Reading Pre-reading focuses on the Big Five Skills, the five most important pre-reading skills for young children:
- Print Awareness
- Phonological Awareness
- Letter Knowledge
- Listening Comprehension
- Motivation to Read
But, what do these mean? As I share each activity we do, I will share which skill is being focused on (to the best of my knowledge).
We begin by singing the Alphabet Song. This skill focuses on Print Awareness and Letter Knowledge, as we are pointing to each letter as we sing it (see photo below). The manual not only explains why it is important to learn the song, but it also has some valuable tips on page 197.
Next we read the poem for the letter A from the book Zig Zag Zebra, and I have Bo find the letter A in the text (Print Awareness). These are very short poems and easily keep a young child's attention. (Bo is noticing letters in words all around him and points them out to me.)
Then we do the ABC Craft Sheet for capital letter A (Letter Knowledge and Print Awareness).
Then I choose "one or more activities" from page 195 in the manual. These are very simple and easy activities to do. I had Bo stick magnetic letters on the white board and find the Letter of the Day. (Letter Knowledge)
By the way, I love the color coded magnetic letters because they match the letter tiles in the All About Reading program, but they are larger and easier to manipulate with little fingers! :)
Bo enjoys several handwriting apps on my iPhone or iPad. Here he is doing Letter School.
Then we play "Rhyming Body Parts" with Ziggy to introduce Bo to the concept of rhyming. This is a Phonological Awareness concept. Ziggy makes this so fun!
At the end of our lesson, I am encouraged to read a story or poem to Bo for 20 minutes. (Motivation to Read and later Listening Comprehension).
It will always be my heart to instill a delight for books and reading. It is not only important that I read to Bo, but that he sees me and others reading too. In our homeschool, that is easy! :) I also take every opportunity to point out words and writing in our daily life and read them to him.
We are either reading a Before Five in a Row book or books from Sonlight P 3/4 - part of my original preschool plan. I will be updating my plan soon!
The wonderful thing about All About Reading Pre-reading is that it establishes a rhythm of learning that is predicable and easy to complete in a short amount of time.
Each lesson in Part 1 follows a similar pattern:
- New Letter of the Day
- Sing the Alphabet Song
- Complete Letter Activities
- Language Exploration: Play a Game with Ziggy
- Read a Story or Poem
It provides a wonderful rhythm to learning time!
In today's lesson for Letter B, Bo is playing a rhyming card game with Ziggy.
And we mustn't forget to add our sticker to the progress chart!
We did two letters this week and spent the rest of the week reading lots and lots of NURSERY RHYMES!
This is NOT a Sonlight P 3/4 selection (our primary source for read-alouds, besides Before Five in a Row), but I bought it to replace two books in the core and it is wonderful for teaching the Phonological Awareness concept of rhyming.
I prefer to read short poems with predictable rhymes.
Or poems with lots of repetition and that are fun to sing!
Rhyming is a tough concept for little ones, so if you try this, don't give up! Bo caught on by the 2nd week. He can easily match rhyming pairs and play memory games from All About Reading Pre-reading and now in everyday life!