While watching an episode of WordWorld a PBS program for preschoolers, I noticed my 3 year old sounding out words with the “ST” sound. St-age, St-airs St-ars she stuttered. I challenged her by writing a list of “ST” words, STOMP, STEP, STOP an so forth, she carefully sounded them all out, she asked for more. Needless to say, I was beside myself, “my child can read!” So, I immediately went to my computer and did a search “teach toddler how to read”. There was a lot of information in cyberspace and products too. Surprisingly, I found a little controversy over how to teach, when children are ready to read and what they can do by a certain age.
I just wanted a list of things to do to help my child with phonics and words. We are past learning the alphabet, we do workbook activities, have read countless books since the day she was born. We read several books a day and she knows the sounds each letter makes. What I needed was something that put it all together for FREE.
I did not want to buy a new toy, software or dvd’s just something to incorporate into our reading routine to help her move forward. So, I called my sister, she has a 6 year old. She suggested I visit Spelling City a website where I could find Dolch Words or sight words, FYI, the 220 most common words and 95 additional nouns in children's reading books.
I took about thirty of the Dolch words and wrote them on colored pieces of paper and put them in groups around my daughters room. They are not just for her, but there to remind me of the words we see in books all of the time.
I also found this cool site called Starfall.com. We have been working through this site for a month now. We read the simple stories at the end of each lesson together. We practice phonics in the ABC’s section too. I have learned, rather than trying to read books with brief sentences, simple word books are perfect. We just brought this one home from the library Billy & Milly, Short & Silly.
baby pistachio’s helpful tips:
1. Have fun
2. Learn the alphabet (maybe even learn to sign the ABC’s)
3. Learn the sounds each letter makes
4. Identify letters in words
5. Refer to your old baby picture books, that just have one or two words on a page before reading long sentences (that’s my two cents)
6. Find Dolch words
7. When child resists stop
8. Workbooks come in handy
9. Continue to read to your child
10. Find a website with simple progression of lessons