Monday, October 29, 2012

Next step into our phonics journey ~ Jolly Phonics!

I have not blogged for quite a while on our homeschooling journey. Mainly because Dumpling and I are doing 'lesser' activities but more focused and more in depth now that she is older and we are able to discuss more. 

We are very blessed because Dumpling caught on phonics when she was loads younger and was reading independently around 2+. Once a child is able to read, everything else becomes easier.Here, she does her read aloud on one of her favourite series Mr. Men where she read Mr. Impossible for the first time. 

She is now able to attempt Math questions on her own too. I'd sit next to her and I would encourage her to attempt the questions before I check it. Here's one of her favorite activities on logic:

Hence, reading is an important skillset to develop as it does 'overlap' into other disciplines since one would need to for instance to read the instructions to be able to attempt the questions.

With her grasping the oral part and reading well, she started to create and tell her own stories. Then she started to attempt short phrases. Hence with phonics, it helps her along as she is able to 'sound out' and form the words she wanted to write.

When she was younger, we were using Letterland. Now, we are using Jolly Phonics at home. Jolly Phonics teaches both sight words and phonics and I like that there's a continuation into Grammar for Dumpling. She is at a stage where she is ready for more and the 'system' is able to support her into setting her path for Primary One.

For the kinesthetic learners, Jolly Phonics would come in handy as it offers "actions" to go with the letter sounds. Being able to read is different from being able to recall and form words / spell out. While Dumpling can already read, when we first started, I still went ahead with revising all the letter sounds just to start off. This is because what was useful for us was the grouping of the letters, the 'system' does not start with "a" but into the letter groups below:
With this unique grouping, it allows for "blending" straight from Group 1 which is different from some of the other systems out there. At a later stage, the system also teaches alternative spelling which yet again, was a useful progression for us and for kids who are ready to move beyond the basic individual letter sounds. 

On the homefront, as Dumpling was ready, we also embarked on sight words and she has able to form words and started to write short sentences:

(picture above: 'play' with 'ay' as one of the alternative spellings)

Above shows a simple activity extended from after reading Mr. Bounce. She loves these sort of word formation / spelling exercises. I like using this series as it enables us to build on her vocabulary using funny and simple stories based on the personalities of the various characters. :) And of course, we are complementing the phonics bit with other homeschooling efforts to continue to build on her critical thinking skills and her general knowledge.

One of the resources which is helpful is the letter song and you can search for these on Youtube. Additionally, if you are not against using the PC / laptop to do short bursts of activities, one of the resources which Dumpling enjoys is the phonics games CD. Here's a video from a few months back on CVC. When the answer is wrong, the acorn does not drop into the basket. This is just one of the many games the CD covers.

Progressing on from there, Dumpling has been moving along steadily on building up her phonological awareness and here's another clip to share. This was taken after reading Mr. Impossible where we started with a simple CVC blend before working on vowel patterns and then sounding out a longer word - 'habit'. 

So far, I am thankful that the phonics journey has been useful for us. With the concept of phonics, she is able to sound out words that she is unsure of. We are happy to have embarked on Jolly Phonics and Grammar for Dumpling's next phase in the English language. Though at times, it is tiring to homeschool after work / a full day of activities, I am happy to see the little one enjoying her journey and progressing well so we will continue to strive on.

How's your phonics journey? What are you using and how have your experience been? Would love to hear from you. :)

A Juggling Mom Motiviational Monday

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