Thursday, July 9, 2009

Teaching Little Bean to Read--Update #3

Ironically, several days ago I scheduled out a post with my third update on teaching Little Bean to read, and it (due to the glitch in scheduled posting with Blogger right now) finally published this morning. I decided to take it down and rewrite it, because since I wrote it, I have come to some realizations about this curriculum and our reading experience and my plans have changed.

Since my last update, things have been going pretty well with the reading lessons; other than a few minor complaints about the content and structure of the reading lessons in 100 lessons, we have been moving along at a good pace and doing relatively well. However, in the last few days Little Bean has really be struggling again with the lessons, and I feel like my eyes have finally been opened to the true problem.

The problem isn't with this book or the structure of the book, it isn't with Little Bean, it's with me. I know Little Bean is bright; I know he is so smart for his age, and in my desire to see him meet his full potential, I've assumed that the struggles we've been having have somehow been the curriculum's fault for being too dry and repetitive, or Little Bean's fault for complaining and whining during lessons. But what I've recently realized is that the problem actually lies with me--with me pushing too hard for something to work that was simply too hard for him.

In every learning experience there will be a learning curve, an initial hump that you have to get over and then learning can be fun and you can experience sucess. The problem with this book is that Little Bean has never been able to get over the initial curve. This program progresses very quickly, and Little Bean scarcely has a chance to feel success before he reaches a new problem to figure out and learn. The result has been a lot of frustration for all of us, and it has left Little Bean feeling like he isn't sucessful.

I've decided to put this book away for a while. I may try something else to continue to teach him, or I may just give both of us some time off, time to mature, time to practice what he already knows, and to really gain mastery in the phonics rules he has already learned. I really don't know what we will do from here, but I know we won't be opening 100 lessons tomorrow, or next week, or probably even next month.

We need a break. All of us. From this book, from the constant struggle to learn the material. It's been such an emotional roller coaster, teaching him to read. For weeks it will go extremely well, and I feel so lucky to be the one teaching him this important life skill. Then we have days like today (and yesterday), and I have to sit back and wonder about the choices I am making, how they are affecting him, and whether I am making the right decisions for his life.

I truly appreciate comments from my readers, but I will ask that for this one post if you could refrain from giving advice at this point that would be greatly appreciated. I am only looking for support and encouragement regarding this post. :)


Annette said...

Jennifer, I really think you have been evaluating throughout. It's okay to now realize it's time for a break, especially with all the good success you've had.

I know you want what is in Little Bean's best interest. It shows in each of these posts as you boldly share out loud with your readers what is happening...good and not so good.

As you take a break, I wonder what his reaction will be!

Your friend...

Teaching My Little BookWorm said...

your doing great and following your heart and that is the only thing that matters as i always say we know our kids better then any book or person!

you deserve a big pat on the back! 2 thumbs up mom! :)

Anonymous said...

After all YOU are your childs best teacher, and you know him better than anyone else. That is the beauty of Homeschooling. Teaching your child at their level and when they are ready. I applaud you.

The girl who painted trees said...

I think you are doing a great job! The hardest part is realizing that a break is needed. Good for you for doing exactly that.

Lea said...

Don't be hard on yourself. You are doing a great job and have already taught him so much for his age. Just the environment you provide your children gives them such an advantage. It is great that you recognized the issue and took the right steps. Good for you.

I have two sons who are 6 weeks apart, both adopted from Russia, and I am homeschooling them. They will turn four in the fall (end of Sept. and early Nov.) so I am right behind you:).

Hang in there. You are doing great!

Christy said...

You are a wonderful teacher for your children, and that is all that matters.

Sherry said...

Why do we do this to ourselves? Just because our kids are bright we think they "need" to learn to read early. I say phooey! Good for you for putting that stinkin' ol' book down!!!!

Julie said...

I have recently found your blog and loving it! This post was such a great reminder to make changes when something isn't working. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in wanting to my daughter to finish something that I forget to make sure I don't need to make changes. Great job!!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for all the encouragement. :) I love all my blog friends! Who else can understand these issues but you women who are going through similar stages with your little ones!

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