Saturday, August 31, 2013

Teaching Reading & the Three Period Lesson

This year we have begun reading lessons with the Ginn basic reader, We Are Neighbors. As you will find with many reading series, new words are given for each page in the back of the book. I use a technique for teaching reading based on Montessori's "three period lesson". For details on how to implement the three period lesson, see the link above.

The first thing I do is go to the back of the book to see if any new vocabulary words are listed. If there are, I point to the word on the page and simply say it, ie., "This word says neighbor." If it is a phonetic word, I will also demonstrate sounding it out. I have Beezy look at the word carefully and repeat it. This is the first period.

In the second period, I take one paragraph at a time and ask Beezy to find certain words, ie., "Point to beautiful." She really enjoys picture and word searches, so this is especially effective in reinforcing previously introduced words, and it helps me to see what needs additional attention.

In the third period, I have Beezy read the page we have just covered to herself while I leave the room. When she is finished, I return, and she reads it to me. During this period any issues of comprehension can be addressed.

This whole process makes reading lessons fun and provides a solid method for building reading confidence. It is this one-on-one teaching that makes homeschooling so ideal. There is no need to go any faster, or slower, than the child is able to go. Sometimes I have focused too much on how many pages are read rather than on how well vocabulary is being learned and the story is being understood.

Always in the forefront of my mind, I endeavor to instill the joy to be found in reading, to help my child build confidence in her abilities, and above all, to nurture her spirit. These are the ultimate goals. Progress, not perfection. Heaven first, and peace on earth.

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