Saturday, February 21, 2009

Early reading, Russian festival verdict

So, things didn't go quite as envisioned (when do they, with kids).

A. Festival:
We've gone to the Russian festival in SF twice before, and enjoyed it. First time, well, it was the first, novelty of it certainly was interesting. Second time, there was a pretty good song & dance concert which both of our boys enjoyed. Third time is the charm? Not so much. The food is a highway robbery and it's ridiculously bad (come on, it's hard to botch up buckwheat & mushroom julienne). The concert which we could attend was performed by kids, which is great if you're that child's parent and mildly interesting if you're simply any parent (for a different, somewhat schadenfreudenish/apprehensive reason), but not so much in terms of artistic quality, obviously. All in all, the experience was a bit bleh. Plus, a huge blow for us: the library sale had meager selection (we bought one book, whereas the first time, we bought 30).

Verdict: kind of interesting, if you've never been; second time: skip it.

B. Early reading:
We've been skating the edges of pre-reading (in Russian) with my oldest, 3.5-yr-old L. for a while now. He's known all the capital letters for at least 6 months, he can tell the first and last letter of the word by ear, and often middle letters as well, he's able to put together two and three letter combinations when asked (we have a game), he can read with my assistance a significant number of words in headings of books and poems (we always do that, when we read a book, if we see anything written in capital letters). So, I decided to start him teaching him how to read proper, following a textbook. What a spectacular flop! Not quite sure what doesn't click. First of all, he didn't seem interested. Maybe it was just this day? Secondly, he didn't seem to get it at all. Even such obvious things as MY (moo) next to a picture of a cow. Maybe it was the context of learning a lesson? He certainly has done such easy two-letter reading before, when we're reading a book or playing a game. Or, of course, maybe he's simply not ready at all and I'm just have a strong case of "people remember successes better than failures" bias with regards to his reading successes. Or maybe it was just this day.

Verdict: try next week again.

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