Friday, January 10, 2014

Teaching your child to READ! (Part I)

I thought I would share how I've been teaching my boys at home. I do have my Elementary Education degree, which puts a huge itch in me to teach. But, you do NOT NEED a teaching degree, or ANY degree to teach your children. So everyday we do some kind of lesson. Some days it's super small and some days it's longer. Some days, no lessons but learning a new game. Which in our house is a lesson on sharing and waiting your turn. My boys are currently 4.5 and 3.5 years old. 

I started this post as a complete post on "How to teach your child to read from home". But, after writing and writing, I realized I can't write it in just one post. It's way too wordy, and you would get way too bored. HA!

1. The very first step is: BEING READ TO!

As mom's we've heard this a trillion times. From the moment that your babe comes out of the womb, they should be read to, sang to, and talked to. The more you talk, the more words they hear, the better they mock you, and the more words they will speak. (That's the key)

Don't just read at bedtime. If you're home with your kids. READ! Sometimes I am good about this, and sometimes I'm not. We'll get ready for bed, and I'll tell them to pick their stories and I'll realize this is our first time to pick up a book for the day. In our toy room, I have a chalkboard I made and I always have "READ TO THEM" at the top, so I remember! 

2. The next step is LETTER RECOGNITION. 

I have started with this Alphabet Book with both boys. I made it in college and it's just perfect. I know there are a lot of flash cards out there, but this is so great because of the ring that holds them all together. It's easy to flip, and none of them get lost. I also laminated each card so they wouldn't bend or rip. 

I started when they were 2 just flipping through the book each day naming the pictures that go along with each letter. They got to where they knew all of the pictures but still not the letter. I would always say the letter and keep repeating myself. "B is for Ball" I would also point to the capital B and call it Big B and the lowercase b Little B. 

After they knew all of the pictures, then we started on knowing and recognizing the letters. I have always kept this book on my end table by the couch and when we would sit to watch TV we would flip through and do a few. If their attention span was getting short, we would stop. I never forced this on them. They both have really enjoyed learning their letters. 

So after lots and lots of repetition they will learn their letters. I would make up ways to remember the tricky ones that they had a hard time with. Kipton made the connection that H was on mommy's van. (We have a Honda) so whenever he can't remember H I remind him that H is on my van. Any kind of trick you can make, helps them remember. (The letters in their name. "Remember this one, it's on your name)

So by 3.5 years old, both of my boys knew all of their letters. 

More to come: Stay TUNED!

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