My latest DIY:
Our solution to the Hundred Board:
I had a free printable hundred chart from Livable Learning on our shelves last year, that we only used briefly because the interest in it was very little. Miss Priss used it some in the end of the year with glass gems to work hand-in-hand with the tens boards, but never was extremely interested in either, to be honest with you.
This year, though, she asked about the hundred chart on her own about the second week in, and I spent a few days trying to think of a fun way to re-create it to be more like the Montessori Hundred Board. So far, this is the best I've come up with, but I think it just may work!
I had already laminated the hundred chart, so I cut each number square out, making 100 tiles. Then, using velcro (I found a pack at Walmart that has 80 small rectangular pieces, and then cut them in half again to be the right size to go behind my chart. (Note - the printable that I used from Livable Learning was the one sized for scrabble tiles there is also a larger, 1 inch printable hundred chart). Then, I just stuck the other side of the velcro to a piece of cardstock - it was easiest to do this by only taking off one side of the adhesive paper and first sticking it to the number tile. I know that sounds simple, but if you aren't careful and place the velcro *exactly* the same way on both the tile and paper, it just won't work right.
After getting all the numbers on, I cut the blue piece out and used hot glue to attach it to a white piece of plain printer paper. This was un-laminated - I know it probably would have looked better had it been laminated, but I just didn't have the time or the will power to drag the laminator out while working on this. After that, I spent a minute thinking before pulling out an old picture frame. I used hot glue once again to glue the back of the computer paper to the glass of the picture frame. Then I put it back in the frame, but instead of on the glass on the top, the paper itself comes through the opening of the frame.
And there you have it - our hundred board. I actually really do like the Montessori Hundred Board, and wouldn't mind investing the money in one, but I am going to watch a see if this one does the trick, or if it was just TOO easy of a DIY. However, I am sure there is someone out there that could probably take one look at this and find a way that it could have worked just a bit better, and I am definitely open to suggestions!
Before I go, I just have to celebrate with everyone - Miss Priss is now officially a READER!!!!
We began the school year using Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons, a decision that was made after the book was highly recommended from a friend who has used it for all of her children. After the fifth lesson, I learned again that what works for some does NOT always work for others! We got stuck somewhere in the middle of the sixth lesson and Miss Priss became VERY discouraged! The book itself is a very good book, and I am sure after looking at the lessons that it can easily be a great way to teach reading -if the child is absorbing the method the right way. She just wasn't, and it was quickly causing her to lose the desire to read that was there in the beginning of the year. So I decided to try something that I used with Hoss while he was learning to read - I pulled out our A Beka 'A Handbook For Reading' book. This book is what caused Hoss to go from just barely getting it, to reading full time, and I don't know why I didn't think to use it instead - I had almost forgotten about it being stashed away. We went through the first page and it was like the light went on - it was exactly what she needed! Almost immediately she caught on to the different, much more simple way they teach you to read. I admit - I haven't read everything there is to know about teaching reading Montessori style, but I do know from what I have seen, it appears to start with c-v-c words, and grow from there, which is NOT how 'Teach your child to read' started, but IS how our A Beka book starts. Whatever it is that caught on with her, I'm just glad it did! She is so excited about reading, and tells me daily she wants to do 5 lessons a day (a 'lesson' constitutes 1-2 pages in the book). By the end of the week, she was reading a c-v blend for the possible beginning of a word, and adding her own ending, and then spelling it to me! For example, by following the book, she would first sound out 'm', then 'm-a', and then she would make her own ending (this was her idea) and sound out 'm-a-t' and then she would spell it for me.
Watching your child learn to read and really understand and enjoy it has been one of my favorite things in homeschooling my children - something I love. I know even a parent of a public school child can appreciate seeing their child start to love reading, but to actually be there, seeing the moment that 'light bulb' comes on and watching them make that last big jump towards reading, is such a blessing and I wouldn't trade days like that for the world!