Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two Quick Tips for Distar

Click the link on the sidebar for "Distar" under "Labels" to understand what this reading program I'm talking about is.

1. Take Wiggle Breaks
One thing that I love about Distar is that each lesson is pretty short.  But once your child approaches the middle of the book, the stories get longer and the child is expected to read them twice in a row.  That can be hard for short attention spans and wiggly bottoms!  A little bit of physical activity, and then he can focus on the task at hand better.

As soon as Tertius is done reading the story the first time, I have him stand up and do jumping jacks.  He doesn't know how to do them correctly, but at least it's getting his body moving and blood pumping.  He thinks they're really fun, too.  I used to just have him do 10.  But recently he started insisting on doing more.  The first day he wanted to do 11.  Then the next day was 12.  He is now up to doing 18 jumping jacks before sitting to read the story for a second time.

2. Skip the Writing Section
I'm sure it's meant to serve a wonderful purpose.  And I'm sure it's great for some families.  But I have always skipped it.  

Once my kids are done reading the story for the second time and have answered the comprehension questions while looking at the picture, they're done.  Everyone of them was eager to jump up and do something else. And that "something else" does not include sitting still and putting pencil to blank paper.  

Instead, I teach my Kindergartners to write their letters using colorful handwriting books in the D'nealian/Modern Manuscript style (I can never remember what it's actually officially called-it's the one where all the printed letters have little "kicks" at the end as a way to ease into cursive in later grades.)

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