School things, for a change!
Phonics is Paddy's most challenging subject. He has been reading since he was five and now reads quite fluently, so I am not using phonics to teach him reading. I'm going through phonics to teach him auditory discrimination and to prepare habits that you might call "pre-analytic". However, I don't think torture is a good way to teach habits so I am trying to make it as user-friendly as possible for him. Games are good. Another thing I hit upon the other day was this (I'm not sure if you can see the worksheet -- it's about the different sounds of "ea" -- bread, reach).
I used our math counters (which are never needed for actual math) -- green was for the long "ea" and red was for the short "ea" -- he had to label them with the right colors. This is no easy task for him -- the boy who does math easily and is very quick to learn science and history vocabulary and concepts really has trouble distinguishing what sounds go in what words (yet he can read the words properly -- go figure).
I did this again today with a worksheet with different long vowel sounds. Blue was for the "u" sound, green was for the "e" sound, and yellow was for the "o" sound. A couple of pictures:
In this case he got excited because he said he "saw the pattern" and quickly finished it off just fine.
We've also done more imaginative things -- he likes to make a story out of the words and sometimes we read the "nonsense words" they give him to test decoding skills and pretend they are aliens or we are reading a diffferent language.
Seems a bit twaddly in some ways, but it works for us better than coloring worksheets.
He is scheduled to be done with Phonics in April and is SO looking forward to going on to the next thing. I think they substitute spelling for phonics in 2nd grade which he finds more to his liking!
Those messy Cuisenaire rods in the top picture eventually became this: