Thursday, July 05, 2007

Getting Started

This new language program -- The Association Method -- really has me coming and going. One moment I'm feeling pretty optimistic and the next I'm completely overwhelmed again. Fortunately, my neighbor is a stay-at-home mom who is also a speech pathologist and I've recruited her to be my head cheerleader. She has looked over the materials and in a few weeks we will sit down together and go over all my questions. In the meantime, I've been methodically reading and re-reading the relevant parts, hoping for divine inspiration.

My original plan was to learn as much as I could and develop an instructional game plan so that we could begin by August 1st. But the other day I decided, what the heck, let's give it a try. So I picked out a couple of phonemes: M, T, and P, wrote them in his new composition book using purple and red markers and pulled out the corresponding 4x6 drill cards that I purchased with the manual. Then I got some paper and wrote the letters out in cursive script, large enough for tracing. For good measure I also wrote them on the chalkboard wall in the play room.

I was a bit apprehensive when I called Oliver over to me to begin. I shouldn't have been. He loved it. To my relief and utter surprise, he loved every single bit of it with the possible exception of the tracing of the letters. And why wouldn't he? Every chance he gets he studies a book or video cover -- or anything handy with letters on it. It isn't the pictures that interest him -- it is always the letters. Especially if the letters are white on red or otherwise in high contrast. He LOVES the Scholastic logo. In fact, throughout our little lesson, Oliver was positively giddy. Especially when we got to the M. I pointed to the letter and made the sound expecting Oliver to repeat it. He got it right everytime and I also got a kiss with each M. Apparently the sound of the M is also the sound of our kisses: "Mwah!" It certainly doesn't get any better!

I've put Oliver's composition book and the letter cards on the shelf, near his favorite spot on the couch, where he can reach them anytime he wants. Everytime I found him with the book I took the time to review each of the sounds with him. He also added the word cards that say "Face" and "Ham" to the other three phoneme cards so I read those to him each time as well.

I feel so bouyed by this beginning success that I have to be careful not to push too hard, too fast. I want to keep it fun for him. And for me.

On a completely different note, I think someone has stolen my youngest child and put a two-year old in his place! His favorite word has become "No!" Said just like that, with the capitol letter and the exclamation point. "No," is closely followed by his second favorite -- the single most annoying sentence ever spoken: "Why?" All I can say is that it is a good thing he is so darn cute! Actually, they both are. See for yourself:


  1. oh yes...cute indeed! And I am so glad to hear of the initial success with the language program. Hooray for you!

  2. Awww... Great news about the new language program and thanks for sharing the pictures! You'll have to post a picture of yourself one day, so we can see if your sons resemble you.

    I'm glad Oliver is so receptive to your "work". Isn't it humbling to realize how often we dread trying something new with them, only to find that they love it?!

    "Mwah" to Oliver and Sam!

  3. Anonymous2:35 PM

    Very cute, indeed! And isn't it funny about this Association language book? My LogoBoy did the same thing with his that your Oliver did. I thought he'd find it completely boring but he doesn't!

  4. Yep, they ARE cute! And we LOVE those "mwah's" around here, too! So glad to hear the progress already! Way to go! :-))

  5. Extremely cute!

    The language program sounds interesting. I can imagine that working for us down the line. Both of my boys are very interested in letters.

    The kissing part must be wonderful!

  6. Looking forward to learning more about the new langugage program, teacher mom----- (and slp).