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Individualizing Instruction

In case you have missed it, I really enjoy using the Mother Goose Time curriculum that Little Guy and I receive for free in exchange for our honest reviews.  Every once in a while I don't think they do quite enough of something for my little man though, and at that point I individualize some things for him.

One of the most obvious things that I do is with the Sight Word Pointers and the I Can Read books.  In the usual course of the curriculum, the I Can Read books are used one day, then sent home with kids.  Since I really value literacy and reading, and Little Guy already knows all his letters and most of the sounds, I think these resources deserve more of our time.  So every month I dig out the books and pointers, add them to the first day's bag, and we use them every day.

My six year old is not great at reading, and so she is in a reading class at school.  She comes home with sight words on a little ring that she is supposed to study, I thought this was brilliant and used the idea.  Mother Goose Time always sends one of these rings in the Circle Time Bag, to make the song booklet.  I usually just have the Teacher Guide out in front of me so I don't use the song booklet.  But I DO use the ring!

Each morning during Circle Time we read the I Can Read book (well I read and Little Guy memorizes/repeats it) and then go over the sight words.  He knows most of them pretty well, and its adorable to hear him say "o-u-t spells out".  He gets a few of them confused, like "it" and "in" but I am pretty impressed with his learning.

learning to read sight words

Another way that we individualize his learning is by reading LOTS of books on topics of interest.  Little Guy has always loved books.  From the time he was tiny he would sit and listen to you read for as long as you were willing.  He was listening to multiple chapters of books in one sitting before he turned two.  So some days we read a lot of books about the things he is interested in.

If an activity is to difficult for him, I look for ways to make it easier, without making it to easy.  For instance when he was first starting out, I would play matching games with the pieces up, rather than down, so he could find them easier and focus on the matching rather than the memorizing.  Since he is the only kid in his "class" I often join him in activities, because although a six piece puzzle doesn't seem challenging to me, I know that he probably couldn't do it (a interlocking puzzle, he can do cut out puzzles).

Honestly I don't do much to adapt the activities.  If they are to hard I assist him, and if they are easy, I usually let him just feel good about being able to do really well at them.  My husband and I make an effort not to compliment mediocrity, only excellence, so I like to be able to praise him when he excels at something.  Don't feel bad for my poor, compliment deficient son, I compliment him on his attitude, manners, helpfulness, patience, and kindness regularly.  At which point he generally reminds me that he is patient... "like a friendly bee".


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