Thursday, February 25, 2010

Learning Explosion

This post is more for recording Lee's newest accomplishments, rather than just bragging on our smart boy. When Lee started to preschool, I asked him what he wanted to learn. He said to tie his shoes and to tell time. I wasn't sure either of those things would happen, but he has learned to do both. He hasn't mastered either perfectly, and he gets frustrated easily with both tasks. But when he tries, he can do both. At his mid-term progress report, his teacher said he counted to 49. I had never heard him count that high before, so I was surprised. That was in December. He has since learned the pattern to count by tens. I knew he would love to count if he could remember that, and I was right. He can now count as high as you'll let him. The other day in the car, he easily counted to 330. He would have kept going if we had a longer drive. He now loves to count and wants to count every single thing. In school, they have been really focusing on writing lower case letters lately. Lee has always written in upper case letters, so this has been a challenge for him. His teachers asked that the kids address their Valentines themselves and to use that as an opportunity to practice writing names the correct way. It took several days and lots of patience, but Lee wrote all of his Valentines himself. He has gotten SO much better at writing his lower case letters in just a few short weeks. He still forgets sometimes and will write names in all caps, but he has come a long way in a short time. They are also learning the sign for each letter, and Lee thinks that is wonderful. I can see him becoming very interested in sign language later on. Right now, he practices and practices making his letters with each hand. Finally, what Matt and I consider his biggest accomplishment lately is learning to read. He has been sounding out words for several months and up until the past month, I would guess that he could read 100 words or so, not counting names. Now, he is reading beginner books. He is very focused and determined when he begins a book. Sometimes he wants you to read a page while he takes a break, but then he wants to take over again. He is still very much a beginner and still gets frustrated easily. There are many words that he doesn't want to sound out. He would prefer to either skip them or have you just tell him what they are. He got a "Sight Words" Bingo game for Valentine's Day, and I was so excited for the challenge. To my surprise, he could easily read 67 of the 72 sight words. It's still good practice, but it wasn't the learning tool that I hoped it would be. The video attached is from this week of him reading a beginner book about Star Wars. I'll admit that it's painful to watch if you're not a proud parent. It is a 5 minute video, and he is barely half way through the book. But it is music to our ears, and we could not be more proud of him. Tonight, he read _The House that Jack Built_ to Matt. He could recite that book a year ago, and it was precious. But to hear him actually reading the words tonight was so much sweeter.

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