JEM started reading at 4 and a half and was much easier to teach than MJ because she just listened to everything I told her. MJ has to do everything her way and loves to argue. I tried starting the reading process at 3 then 4 and now she is 4 1/2 and is showing more interest. I know that at 3 and even early 4 might be too young, but wanted to introduce it just in case, like I did with JEM. And this is after I know they have the basics, like knowing all the letters, vowels, and enjoy being read to.
The struggle is helping her start to sound out words and really learn how the letters form words. With JEM it was easy, she just soaked up everything I told her. But with MJ I have to use fun interesting ways to get her to focus and concentrate.
We started with various things. She has:
- Frig magnets
- Leap Frog frig magnets that sing the ABCs and tell you the letter sounds
- Leap Frog frig magnets that spell words as you place the letters on
- Alphabet books to learn to write the letters
- Alphabet games, books, puzzles
- Alphabet cards
- Boggle Jr.
- Used finger puppets as her teachers so she could learn about vowels and their sounds
- you name it we’ve done it
After all this she is definitely ready to start reading.We added Phonics Pathways to the list and reviewed the letters and are on to reading three letter words. At first she was struggling with sounding out the words. The hardest part was getting her to blend the sound together.
She would say each sound of the word, but with out blending them you can’t hear it right. I would do it over and over to be an example, but she still would do each individual with a pause in between.
Then I came up with the idea to write the words on a piece of paper. The Phonics Pathways book has one letter that pairs up with all the vowels and different endings. For example the letter Ss then A E I O U in a chart and then S-A then S-AD. and down the chart for all the other vowels.
I decided to take several words, like for the letter Ss and put them on paper and make flash cards. Then have her hold the word and jump up and down as she is sounding it out. This helped because she could concentrate better and made her stop pausing in between. Something about kinetics, I read that some kids learn better with physical activities.
The jumping made it fun too, especially when mom and sis are laughing and having fun watching her. After this she was doing much better. Then the other night she was pretending to be a puppy and wanted me to play along. I thought lets teach the puppy how to read. Every time she would read a word I would praise her like a puppy saying good job my little puppy real over dramatic and stuff. She loved it and did better each time.
MJ keeps me on my toes. I have to come up with new ways to teach her, but maybe she is teaching me.
Here are some great sites we use: