Work books? — The Bump
Pre-School

Work books?

I have been struggling with how to teach DD to read in two languages and have been asking friends with older kids, looking at stuff on-line, etc. On a whim, I was at Barnes & Noble yesterday and looked in the Spanish kids' book section for something. Most of it was flash-card type stuff aimed to teach word recognition, but I found some workbooks that billed themselves as the Spanish version of some English pre-school learning series.

So, I went over to another section and looked at the English learning books. There were DOZENS of work books to help pre-school-aged kids learn to draw lines, recognize shapes, learn how to color pictures according to a specific key, distinguish opposites, etc.

My serious and not-meant-to-be-snarky question is: who are these meant for? Are they for homeschooling or other situations where parents choose not to send kids to preschool/pre-K or are a lot of people out there sitting their kids down with these kinds of workbooks regularly? Honestly, if I weren't the only person responsible for teaching DD to read in Spanish, I don't know that I would have even stumbled on this workbook industry. So now I'm curious.

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Re: Work books?

  • I think they're mainly enrichment activities. We do some with DD and the LO I nanny, the Kumon series. They both really enjoy the guided activities in addition to the usual free play/free arts and crafts that we do.
  • Sam LOVES those things.  It drives me crazy.  My Mom originally bought some that Target had in the dollar spot for him.  He will beg to do them, and work in it until I just can't take sitting there with him anymore.

    So little boys do them too.

    And it drives my Montessori loving self crazy.  LOL. 

    Samuel Joseph May 26, 2007 Catherine Sylvia September 27, 2011 <BR>[IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/14mgu86.jpg[/IMG]
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  • We live in a society where people think academic work=success.  We are forgetting (or not knowing) the value of play, discovery, and exploration.  So, people can make a lot of money making workbooks for kids because there are parents that think that workbooks are the key to their children's success, and if a 3 year old is not doing table work, they will not be prepared for school!!!!  It's dumb.  

    Is teaching to read in spanish any different than learning to read in english, with the exception of the phonemes?  

    And since this is my topic of craziness (work vs. play for kids), may I recommend the book: Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown 

    ETA: clearly I am a bit rabid, obnoxious, cynical, and one sided on this topic.  =/ 

  • imagesusanmosley:

    Is teaching to read in spanish any different than learning to read in english, with the exception of the phonemes?  

    And since this is my topic of craziness (work vs. play for kids), may I recommend the book: Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown 

    ETA: clearly I am a bit rabid, obnoxious, cynical, and one sided on this topic.  =/ 

    Hi. You answered my post about reading the other day and it was really helpful. Thanks for this book reco, too.

    The teaching to read in two languages simultaneously is the part I am struggling with. Ok, actually, all of it is hard since I've never taught anyone to read from scratch, but specifically going back and forth between sounding things out in one language v. the other is hard. Hence looking for some books. I was actually looking for something that might have been tailored to the bilingual educator, not the educatee (is that a word?) when I stumbled on all these work books for kids. I will check out the Play book.

     

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  • I've bought those workbooks for my boys for over the summer.  They love working in them. They go to private school during the regular school year, but I like to buy the workbooks for the extra time we have in the summer.  

    I'm from Costa Rica, so my kids already know spanish cause that' what I speak at home to them.   

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  • imagemabma80:

     

    I'm from Costa Rica, so my kids already know spanish cause that' what I speak at home to them.   

    DD is already fluent in Spanish as well, but is really questioning me when I try to tell her the letters make different sounds than the ones she has been taught at her English-language preschool.

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  • imageanna7602:

    The teaching to read in two languages simultaneously is the part I am struggling with. Ok, actually, all of it is hard since I've never taught anyone to read from scratch, but specifically going back and forth between sounding things out in one language v. the other is hard. Hence looking for some books. I was actually looking for something that might have been tailored to the bilingual educator, not the educatee (is that a word?) when I stumbled on all these work books for kids. I will check out the Play book.

    That play book recommendation wasn't really directly at you, or related to what you are looking for - it was just related to my rant ;)

    But regarding teaching reading, I'm not sure how hard you need to be working at it right now...at this age, you know?  I think learning what the sounds the letters make in english and spanish, recognizing letter blends (ch, ck, sh, th, ph, rr, etc) rhyming, segmenting words, matching words by beginning and ending sounds, etc. is where you should be focusing....in addition to predicting the patterning and sequencing in age appropriate books.  But I really don't know.  I'm a speech therapist with great interest in literacy and language and play, but I'm no reading specialist and not bilingue ;)

  • I don't know anything about teaching anyone to read, let alone in a bilingual environment, but I would think that since she's living in a bilingual environment, she'll pick it up naturally.  You read and speak to her in Spanish, right?  I don't think you need to worry about teaching phonics in Spanish right now. 
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  • My dd loves doing workbooks on occasion. I consider them just for fun since she enjoys them.

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  • My DD loves doing anything in those books too....tracing, coloring, cutting, pasting...you name it!  We will do them in addition to the myriad of things we do on a daily basis, including free play, exploration, trips in the neighborhood etc.  I think that they are a beneficial boost in a child's cognitive development if used in moderation.  There are many, many different ways for a child to learn and grow cognitively....and those books are just one of them.
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  • My DD1 has several. She's on the autism spectrum and I do them with her as a way to introduce concepts she's going to encounter in the classroom, and to use the mazes, dot-to-dots, tracing lines, etc. to work on her fine motor skills. 

    She has a great memory but a lot of initial frustration with those kind of tasks, because she has fine motor delays. Being able to take a new task, accomplish it, make mistakes and ultimately be competent is really important for her, and sometimes we practice that via her workbooks.

    image

    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
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