Thursday, February 11, 2010


Owen, at five, wants to read so badly. He's fascinated with letters - their formation, which ones make which sounds - but the poor kid can't make sense of them yet, try as he might.

We play rhyming games, read great books (two current favorites: Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies and the equally hilarious Way Out West with a Baby), and play games from another superb book, Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye.

But sometimes, you just want to be entertained while learning to read, and that is when we turn to YouTube. Here are some of Owen's - and Luke's, and my - absolute favorite reading/silly skits, from PBS's Between the Lions; this first one is the best:

By the end of that video, I am wiping tears of laughter off my face. Every time.

Next up, the Monkey Pop-Up Theater:

Now, the Amazing Adventures of Cliff Hanger:

And finally, Gawain's Word:

This skit is based off of Wayne's World, the movie with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, which (due to my overly silly sense of humor) makes it all the more endearing to me. We have even been known to 'do' Gawain's Word in our pool in summer!

So, maybe these skits help Owen take in the principles behind decoding text. I can tell you, watching them with him on my lap at the computer, seeing his expression as each new goofy thing happens on-screen, breathing in his little-boy smell, laughing along with him - that is what I mostly like them for.


Rana said...

I have the same issue with my boy. He wants to read, but it is slow going for him. I will have to show him these videos. He'll get a kick out of them.

jugglingpaynes said...

When my older two were younger they were big fans of Cliff Hanger and Chicken Jane!

Speaking of chickens, yours are adorable. I miss having chickens!

Peace and Laughter,

The Stone Age Techie said...

Rana - I hope he does :-) Also, the book I mentioned, Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye, has lots of good ideas for helping kids learn to read without it really seeming like work, if you know what I mean.

Cristina - We haven't happened upon a Chicken Jane yet, but I love that skit too! Do you remember 'What's Cooking With Theo and Cleo'? That is another one that we'll have to check out, it was so funny!

Cheers girls -

Rana said...

We have that book. I bought that when I first started our homeschool adventure. I need to pull it out again.

bugsboysandbooboos said...

Eli is the same way! He likes to copy words, rhyme them and sound out letters...and what letter sound is at the beginning or end of a word...but when he's looking at a word I have to prompt him to try to sound it out. He skips over letters...Actually, now that I think of it, he's skipping over vowels and just doing the first sound of each syllable...hmm.
Little boy smell in my house has been replaced by morning breath and sweaty head smell because we use pillow protectors and their apparent sweat from their sweaty little heads stays on the pillow case rather than seeping into the pillow and sopping up the odors. Gross. No dust mites, but now I have stinky babies.

shannon said...

Whoa, Sloppy Pop is a great song!

I have some Oak Meadow kindy materials that I'm wondering if Owen might like. They have a very low- key approach to letters--all art and story based. They don't believe in any "formal" work until the child is seven. I'll have to bring it next time I see you, I'm curious to see what you think.

Anonymous said...

Oh, H-T and I used to do the same thing with Between the Lions! We would both be having tears come out of our eyes. LOVE that show!!

The Stone Age Techie said...

Rana - you've got to tell me what games you guys like when you pull Games for Reading out, and we can have a share session on helping children learn to read.

B&B&B - I love that they all learn differently, and that we can totally see how their minds work. Ain't motherhood grand?

Shannon - I know, you wouldn't expect PBS Kids to create catchy tunes like that, would you? As for Oak Meadow stuff, I say, bring it on - and thanks :-)

Topsy - Next time I watch it I will be thinking about you and H-T watching it... do they *have* to grow up? Really? Cause I'm not sure I am ready to talk about this stage of Owen's life in the past tense yet.


Susan said...

My favorite Between the Lions snippet is when, as I recall, a rooster reads a poem that goes a bit like this:
I danced with a chicken
It was full of emotion
I danced with a chicken
It was poultry in motion.
I'm looking forward to watching these with Greta. Thanks!