I wrote this long and emotional post but it seems to have disappeared so I’m going to take that as a sign from the Universe that it was inappropriate. So instead, here are a couple of links that have been extremely helpful with helping Bern to finally figure out the magic of reading.
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
It has a a complete sent of free downloadable reading aids which I think is excellent.
Through a mixture of lively, colourful and entertaining sequences, Fun with Phonics introduces its very young audience to the 42 most common sounds that provide a foundation to literacy.
Each programme celebrates new sounds and is devoted to an individual phoneme (or sound). Children have to learn all of these 42 initial phonemes.
Individual phonics are brought to life through inventive animations and vibrant graphic characters, as viewers are invited to read with Whirlyword and spell with Pollyphonic. They can also extend vocabulary and increase familiarity with each sound, through stories, poems, games and documentary inserts featured throughout the series.
Parents can watch Fun with Phonics with their children to help them build their vocabulary, learn new sounds and practise using them to read and write.
The educational value of the show
Fun With Phonics helps children to:
- Learn the 42 most common phonemes (sounds) that provide a foundation to literacy.
- Increase their familiarity with each phoneme – through stories, poems and games featured in the programme.
- Have fun experimenting with sounds and words – and, in doing so, enjoy the process of learning to read
I’m very pleased to say the days of watching my son struggle; nights of wishing I could somehow fight that battle for him, those days are on the way out.
Approaching the celebrations, we were intrigued by all the leaf weavings adorning the people and huts.
This is a representation of The Mountain of Love. Circling it purportedly brings true love. Bern was careful to steer clear, having recently realising girls are different.
The sacred hut and food were painstakingly adorned with woven ornaments. The Mah Meri used to have lots to work with but the encroaching palm plantations have eliminated much of the local fauna they have used for hundreds of years.
The singing and dancing began at 10am. I was sceptical about what they would achieve with a couple of violins and bamboo instruments. And my jaded self was pleasantly mesmerised by the quiet soulful songs the women began to sing. The violins were somewhat off key but it added to the authenticity of the event; these people were honouring their ancestors with what meagre resources they had.
I loved how visitors were invited to dance along after the first couple of displays. The kids and some tourists jumped right in. I watched from beneath a tree, nursing a mild headache from the heavy incense that was permeating the air.
We left soon after people began to eat. We had brought food to be shared (it was criticised for not being shareable) but I was uncomfortable at what appeared to be local politicians and a photo OP. Some women also started giving out cheap board games and (maybe) sweets, stationary and clothes to the kids. It seemed a little condescending so I opted to remove my cynical self from the vincinity.
The experience has left me with lots of questions. Do they still use their language? How can their local craft and culture survive? What do they need to face a future that almost inevitably spreads uniformity and annihilates the small, unique and unknown?
Their Christmas present from Cerys. They really have so much fun with it I can’t bear to tell them it’s educational. So far they have looked at the eagle’s feather, leaves and a selection of textiles.
I am waiting for them to build up to squashing an insect to examine. They have declared it cruel but I can sense the morbid curiosity building.
We have been using this site for ages but my tired mind has failed to register that I have not yet blogged about Ken. He’s a good looking young man who write hilarious poetry from kids. Our family favourite is still Snow Day, which Eric Herman popularised by putting it to music.
And here’s an example of his humour. It always makes the kids laugh and Bern has been saying he wishes he could read (YAHOO!) so he can read the poems himself.
A Pug is a Dog
A pug is a dog with a curlicue tail. He eats like a hog and he snores like a whale. He's flat in the snout and his belly is big. The pug came about just by misspelling pig.
I think my fixation on artic climes began when I read White Fang and the Call of the Wild. Now, while fostering a 5 month old Husky pup, long dormant flames flicker to life. Aside from readingthe books to the kids, I’ll be looking here for some inspiration. Check out the official site of the Iditarod and the teacher resources!
Go to his website www.erichermanmusic.com and check out the music videos! They are so fresh and original. The kids love them. I think the current favourite is Snow Day. They keep asking when it’s going to snow in Malaysia, LOL. I am desperate to buy some of his music.