When one is better…

What do you do when the younger one is better than the older one??

Last year Megan started school and did well. Amazingly well, to be honest. She was like a sponge and just picked things up so quickly and seemingly easily. 

Last year, the phonics program we followed at school was pretty basic. We taught a letter and the main sound it made. The many letters that made several sounds were covered only when they popped up. This year we have followed a different program that taught each letter and ALL of the sounds that they made (did you know that ‘a’ makes 5 different sounds? I didn’t until this year!)

Alex started school this year and we honestly thought his lack of concentration would hold him back. Turns out he only doesn’t concentrate at home! Typical kid…angel at school…devil at home! So now that Alex has mastered the basics of letters, sounds and reading, he is taking off…sometimes ahead of Megan. 

While they bring home different levelled books, Alex is so much better at putting sounds together to read a word. Much to the frustration of Megan. When they read their school books in the back of the car on the drive home from school, it’s Megan’s job to help Alex if he needs it. Her sight word vocabulary is much greater than his, so for words that can’t be sounded out (eg, who, they, said) she’s the expert. But when it’s Megan’s turn to read and she gets stuck, Alex is often the one who can decipher her sound-by-sound reading long before anyone else. His knowledge of all the different sounds that each letter makes puts him at a better advantage than Megan. Although she expects to know more because she’s older. 

So….How do you combat that?

Do I let him help? Do I ask him not to?  

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3 thoughts on “When one is better…

  1. It’s tough, isn’t it? I think that it’s important for both of them to know that they have their own strengths. That there are some things that Meghan is better at than Alex and there are some things that Alex is better at. I would try to put the emphasis on the fact that their personal strengths in reading complement each other and that when they’re together, nothing can hold them back.

  2. I guess you just have to let her know that everyone is good at something and everyone has an area they need to work on. I also explain to Phoebe that I’m really good at reading and writing and her dad is good at Maths, so we can help each other out.

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