My son, Zyler, has been rocking in grade one. His strengths are in math and he has kept that up, but obviously the biggest part of that first year of grade school is learning to read and write. For the last few years we have been getting prepared, with nightly homework of writing letters and letter recognition. But, this is the big show, it is time to bring all of that work together and start reading some books.
Reading and writing are clearly important to me, as I happen to host a book blog somewhere in the interweb. There is no words to describe the proud moment of watching Zyler read his first sentences and books. Riding a bike, learning to skate, scoring his first goal, were all great moments. But I am a nerd of a Dad, and watching his progress in reading is one of the coolest parent moments so far in his little life.
Of course, the process is not without its frustrations. A six-year-old kid naturally doesn’t want to work at anything that does not have instant gratification. When he has to pick up the next book that has bigger more intimidating words, it can be daunting. The responsibilities themselves are always met with some resistant. As a parent, as much as I don’t want it to be, it can be a frustrating event itself. When the ‘d’s’ and ‘b’s’ get mixed up, or he forgets what sound ‘th’ or ‘ch’ make, it makes me want to just give him the answer and move on, but, that doesn’t help him problem solve.
Then recently Zyler’s teacher set up her class with an internet program to help with reading at home. With the modern era of technology and video games, I couldn’t think of a better way to get kids excited to read. Raz Kids, an online program carries 400+ ebooks, to help learn to read. With leveled reading programs, children can start from beginner to ready for chapter books. eBooks in English, Spanish, songs, poetry, there is a multitude of words to sound out. The most exciting element for children is the rewards program. For each book that is read in full the child collects stars. The stars can than be exchanged to build robots and rocket ships.
It works. Zyler has been on the program for a week now and has completed almost 50 books. He has approached Mom, Grandpa and myself at random times to sit with him and do some reading with him. He is excited to read as many books he can so he can get the big prizes, and, will read a dozen books in one sitting. I said that watching him learn to read was a proud moment, but nothing like seeing him excited to read. If your child is getting into the age and development, I would absolutely recommend signing them up for Raz Kids, and watch the reading happen.
Thanks booknerds, now if only I could teach him to wash the dishes properly.