Today I was supposed to go to church with my family. (I know, I'm as surprised as you are that I don't actually burst into flames when I enter a place of worship, but there it is.) Instead, I woke up with the intestinal flu (So, maybe it is ill-advised for me to attempt to enter a religious building and this was me receiving that message loud and clear. Hm.). It was Scout Sunday, so Hunny took the boys and went to church without me. They all looked very cute in their scout uniforms, but since I was dashing for the bathroom as they were exiting the premises, I did not get a picture of the adorableness. That might make me a bad mom, but my laundry thanks me.
Since I was essentially chained to the toilet all day, I decided to try my hand at being a good mom, and do some phonics lessons with Ms. Thang. She just turned 4, but she's known most of the letter sounds since she was 2, and lately has taken to reading 3 letter words. (Yes, I said 3 letter, not 4 letter. See, I'm an excellent parent.) So, I figured it was time to start actually trying to teach her something since she seems to be ready for more formal instruction. With my other 2 children, I've taught them to read using the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and while it's a bit boring, and dry, it's inexpensive and it has produced very effective readers. You can't argue a whole lot with results. I've used this a little bit with Ms. Thang, but she doesn't really like it. I've also downloaded some apps to my iPhone that she really likes, and she seems to respond to this better. She loves the starfall phonics app. (You can use the same program for free on the computer, but she can manipulate the touch screen on my phone better, so I decided it was worth the cost of the app.) She's also done really well with the Bob books reading apps. Seeing how well she responded to those, I was pretty excited when I discovered that Funnix is hosting a free giveaway of their award-winning reading program right now, through 2/16/12.
I figured that there wouldn't be a better price than free, and decided to download the program. The Funnix program is similar to Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, but it's computer based, and I thought that my daughter might prefer it. It turns out I was correct. We've done 4 lessons with Funnix so far, and she really likes the computer based lessons. I'm still engaged with her for each lesson, as I listen to her side of the interaction and make sure that she's following through the way that she's supposed to and that she's enunciating the sounds as she's meant to. The program also comes with a teacher's guide which includes placement tests if your child is beyond the beginning lessons, and a set of worksheets to go along with each lesson. All in all, the free download includes 2 years worth of reading instruction. Now, that's a bargain!
Anyway, here's where the amusing story portion of the blog, where you're grateful that you're not me enters the picture. Or maybe that was when I talked about the intestinal flu. Whatever. This morning, I thought I'd sit down with Ms. Thang and do some work with her with the Funnix program. All was going swimmingly. Ms. Thang was engaged, she was performing the exercises well for the lessons. I was impressed with how quickly she was breezing through. We made it to the worksheet portion of the lesson and that's when it happened. The phone rang. I answered it and had to pause the lesson. Ms. Thang poked me a couple of times. Then she said, “Mommy. I'm ready to do this part, now.” Then, she made loud noises. Then... Well, then she stabbed me with her pencil.
So, on the plus side, I'm glad that she likes her reading lessons that much. On the other hand, I am a little concerned that her response to me stopping is to stab me. Fortunately, she didn't have a good angle and it didn't actually hurt me, and I'm pretty sure the offense won't be repeated since she howled like she was the stabbing victim when I stopped the lesson completely and sent her to her room for a time-out. Thank goodness we didn't spend much time studying the shiv display when we toured the state penitentiary this past summer or I could be in real trouble, eh?