I've taught all seven of my children to read and to love reading, and I want to share a few simple steps with you as well.
- Read to your children. Hearing lots of stories will help engage their curiosity and imagination, and it will awaken the desire to read that will help them push through the work of learning.
- Teach them the letter sounds. When you are making glitter glue flashcards in the Peaceful Preschool, tracing letters in sand, or matching capital and lowercase letters, name them by their sound. As your children begin to identify the letters by their sound, it's a simple next step to blend the sounds together.
- Play with letters and words. Match letters and words to objects, pictures to words, and stack words that rhyme together. (The Picture Word Cards are great for word and letter matching activities). Children who aren't ready to sit down for a workbook based lesson will happily grab an apple to match the letter “a”, or place the “lamp” word card by a living room lamp.
- Dictate words, letter by letter. As their fine motor skills develop and they are ready to write, you can begin to dictate words to them, one sound at a time. “A-n-d”, “b-a-l-l”. This is the method used in reading programs such as The Writing Road to Reading, and forms the basis of many Spalding method reading programs. As children write words, and familiarize themselves with the ways that sounds fit together, they are incorporating a mulit-sensory approach that helps the information stick.
- Keep reading to them. Children learn to read at different speeds, and the main reason to help a child learn early is so they can begin to build their moral imagination and vocabulary. For children who need a little more time to get fluent, keep reading out loud so they are getting the same benefits as the earlier readers.
- Flash easy or sight words. One of my children struggled to read because her auditory processing was delayed. We began to copy down words that she stumbled over while reading and used them as flash cards throughout the day. We simply showed her the card while saying the word out loud, and in this way she gained fluency while waiting for her auditory skills to catch up and strengthen her ability to decode words.
- Keep repeating these steps until they take off. Children vary widely in the age they begin to read, and some just need a little more time. You can teach your child to read with just the phonics activities from The Peaceful Preschool and Nourishing Nature Kindergarten, but if you want some extra help check out All About Reading and Explode the Code, our favorite easy to use reading programs.
Are you getting started with early learning with your child? Shop our Early Learning Collection. A perfect early learning packet includes The Peaceful Preschool for phonics, math, motor skills, and art, The Good Gospel, our A-Z life of Jesus, The Chore and Routine Pack, and The Picture Word Bundle.
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