Archive for September, 2010

Some updates about stuff

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2010 by Budd Black

Took the kids to see Legend of the Guardians and then interviewed Ashli about it. 

went to the arlington martial arts meetup in Boston.  it cost $5 but was worth every penny. 

I have watched tv so you don’t have to. 


English is not a phonetic language

Posted in kids, parenting, reading on September 25, 2010 by Budd Black
Fun With Dick and Jane

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Well not entirely, anyways.  A while back I was tutoring English on Saturdays to a group of kids.  These kids were not having problems in school.  Their parents just thought that the extra attention would accelerate their children’s learning.  My class had 7 kids and they got plenty of individual attention. 

One of the older children was very choppy when he read.  It turns out that he was taught to read with a phonics program.  We were reading Charlotte’s Web and we would read out loud in class. He didn’t like to read out loud because he was so choppy and other kids that were younger were more fluid.  It was embarrassing.  One day, after he had read out loud, I stopped the reading and asked him what he had read.  He had no idea.  Turns out all his attention was focused on sounding out the words and not understanding what he read. 

This confused me to know end.  Phonics had been said to be the end all, be all.  Hooked on Phonics worked for the kid in the commercial.  I looked at how I taught my own kids to read and yes, I taught them by sounding out words, but I also used the Dick and Jane primers that I used when I was a child.  Looking at Dick and Jane, they are all about repetition and work recognition.  Sure you sound out spot a couple of times, but for the next 100 instances it is simply recognizing that S-P-O-T spells spot.  At that point they no longer read with phonics.  I can remember the first time I realized this as a child.  The word was boot.  I remember that. 

Look at the way that you as an adult read.  The only time you sound out a word is when you are unfamiliar with it.  And when you do this while reading out loud, it comes out choppy just like the kid that I tutored.  Word memorization is the key.  Phonics are great to learn how to pronounce unfamiliar words but should not be used when reading.

A great way to teach kids reading is with flash cards.  The Dolch Sight Word list is perfect for doing these flash cards.  You start with five words and you just add five more words every week.  The great thing about this method is that it teaches the child to sight read.  After a time the child just starts to learn to read by recognizing the word.  It is awesome how quickly the child’s reading would grow with this method. 

In conclusion, phonics is a great method for breaking down unfamiliar words, but should not be used as the primary learning method.  I didn’t try it with my kids but the Baby Can Read program proves that you don’t need to be able to decode with phonics at all to learn to read. 

Scifi Media Updates

Posted in movies, science fiction, SciFi Media, tv shows with tags , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Budd Black

this week at SciFi Media we had a lot of updates.  We have a new title banner.  let me know what you think.  We also had a rundwon of the top 10 scifi shows of all time, ever.  Steve let us know about The Strangers and the two month long Halloween Horror Movie Marathon that he is undertaking.  Steve also reviews The Passage, which sounds like great Halloween reading. I let you know if you The Event is the television event of the season.  Today, you have a chance to win a no prize by completing the a href=””>comic book quiz. 

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Top 10 TV Shows 9 year old edition

Posted in family, kids, tv shows on September 20, 2010 by Budd Black

Top 10 TV Shows I had fun putting together a list of the best 10 scifi shows over on SciFi Media for Blogfest.

I have decided to do a second entry here.  For this entry I will ask my oldest what her thoughts on the matter are.  in no particular order:

Fairly Odd Parents because it is really funny and his parents are done.

iCarly because it is funny

Martha Speaks because it is also funny.

The Middle and Modern Family because they also are funny. 

Farscape (wouldn’t you know) because it is funny.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it is action packed (I think Buffy is pretty funny). 

Mew Mew Power because she just liked it.

Doctor Who because it is fun.

Chuck because it is also fun.

Victorious because it is (getting annoyed with me) FUNNY!.

She also gave me the bonus of Big Time Rush

Most of the shows that she named without prompting she has seen within the last month and most within the last 24 hrs.  Her first two selections where Fairly Odd Parents which she was watching during the interview and Farscape which we watched last night.  So th 9 year old mind is pretty much only able to think in the now.  She is also not able to articulate why she really likes the shows, she knows she likes them and funny is part of it, but it isn’t the whole thing. 

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Art of Motion Boston

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2010 by Budd Black

DSCF2463 Yesterday,  Boston hosted the Art of Motion Free running and Parkour tour.  Jung brought the girls down and we had a burger at B-Good burgers in Downtown Crossing before going back to watch the Free Runners.  DSCF2452

By the time we got back there were any good places to stand so we couldn’t see the whole course.  After looking around I realized that no matter where you stood, you could only see about 1/3 of the course.  It was a lot of fun though. 

The girls loved it.  They were jumping over the flower beds in City Hall Plaza and when we went to get on the train to go home, weDSCF2458 spent an hour outside of the station running up the pyramid walls.  Ally really liked it.  She was born in the year of the monkey and loves climbing and jumping, so this was right up her “alley.”

Jung was only wearing a hoodie and didn’t bring a jacket for me and it started to get pretty cool so we missed the Parkour stuff, which I tend to like the concept of more than free running.  Jung likened free running to gymnastics and I totally agree. 


Vox Forever on Facebook

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 by Budd Black
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Lauren/Kawaii has created at group on Facebook called Vox Forever for all former Voxers. Go and post where your blog is now. 

Purgatory Chasm

Posted in family, Hiking, kids with tags on September 13, 2010 by Budd Black

This weekend we had a great time hiking in Purgatory Chasm.  The chasm has some great rock formations and I did a whole lot of climbing around on rocks.  They have an attached kids park that was a lot of fun because it had a merry-go-round.  Yeah, like when I was a kid.  This one was made with cables so was kind of safe, but oh well.  The kids didn’t know how to use it.  They thought the parents were supposed to push.  We did for a while but that is hard running.  they eventually go the hang of pushing themselves.  DSCF2389

Ally had absolutely no fear in the chasm.  Either that or she completely trusted me to not let her fall.  Probably a mix of both.  Ashli couldn’t hang with me when it came to bounding from rock to rock.  They both had me in the fat man squeeze, as I, a fat man, got squeezed.  The trail was marked well by spray paint on the rocks.  Effective but ugly.  There was a trail map available online and at the location.  So far, my favorite MA park.