The last two weeks have brought "seasonal" reading - fall and balloons. And man are the balloon books horrible. It turns out that 90% of hot air balloon books involve an animal stowaway - perhaps because a child stowaway would be too frightening to parents? And the fall books all involve starting school. I thought they would be more nature/fall oriented, not back-to-school oriented. But clearly I have no idea. However, regardless of the quality of the books, the balloon fiesta was fantastic.
IMG_5215, originally uploaded by middles.
I've started taking our weekly stories from the Rainbow Book of Fairy Tales, available online here. The ones we've read so far are very prop-friendly, but are short enough to hold H's attention without any pictures.
What I have decided to not try: Circle Time. Perhaps it is because my heart is not in it, perhaps it is because the 2 year old's mission is to climb furniture, perhaps it is because I feel too pregnant to lead children in follow-the-leader kinds of stuff, but it is not working for our unit.
What new thing is working: I bought The Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading, and we've been doing 15 minutes or so of learning letter sounds while I goes for her nap (ok, 5 minutes of me trying to "teach" him something and 10 of him making up a new game to learn it himself). Since doing this over the last 2 weeks, we've noticed he's started taking apart words and trying to identify the first and last letter without any parental prompting. And although he won't do any of those tracing worksheets on how to write letters, given enough pens, chalk and appropriate things to write on, he's started writing the letters on his own when the mood strikes him. So I'm considering this a successful early-reading experiment. I think we'll probably try and get the Bob books - mom has an in with a Scholastic rep - but at this rate that won't be until after we've done been through the alphabet.
I feel like I've whittled down our schedule to what is working best, and now we're ready to add a couple of new things.