We've had good and bad days since the last post. The kids were away for the long weekend (I joined them on Sunday). Tuesday and Wednesday did not go well – lots of yelling (me and the kids, who fought with each other). Even so, we did some of our reading. I also put P in a time out for not doing his reading lesson with me. I then apologized for yelling and said that I used to do the same thing – be miserable for hours about a task that would take fifteen minutes. Something about the whole ugly incident clicked with him (maybe just that he wanted to play) and he came down and did the lesson with me in under five minutes. Later in the week I had him read a picture book to me instead of doing the Really Reading lesson, and that went well. I think he feels a lot of pride about it – I overheard him say to his brother "Now that I can read . . . ."
When I think about it, phonics lessons seem like a good way to kill any joy of reading, and really don’t fit with my philosophy of learning from living books. So *I’ll* review the phonics rules so that we can go over them when it makes sense, and reading lessons will simply be reading practice. And I’ll have to think about how to approach it for the next son. Hmm, maybe a term of Sesame Street, followed by a term of Between the Lions, followed by real books!