Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Teaching Your Child To Read Early, From a Mommy who did

Since my son was born I have been reading to him.  When he turned three I introduced him to the Preschool Prep Company DVD called Meet the Phonics.  He watched it every night before bedtime and before long he was pointing to letters and saying their sounds. He already knew and could identify letters at that point, but there is a DVD before that for children who don't (or ABCs on youtube for free).

A month or so later, we switched to Preschool Prep Company DVD Meet the Blends.  When he conquered those, we moved on to Preschool Prep Company DVDs Meet the Sight Words 1, 2, and then 3.

All the while, I continued reading to him on a daily basis and made the corresponding flashcards for him to practice with.  Also if went went somewhere fun like the apple farm then I would give him a new flashcard that said apple.  If we went to the pumpkin patch I'd make a flashcard for him during his trip that said pumpkin.  I did things like that to keep it exciting for him.  They also have corresponding apps and simple books that can make learning more fun.

I have always explained the importance of reading to him by asking him "What is it you want to learn about?"

He always responds with different things depending on his interest at the moment, but a reoccurring one is "I want to learn to build a robot."

In which my response is always
"Reading is very important.  If you can learn how to read you can do anything.  If you want to build a robot you need to learn how to read. Then you can read all the books you want on how to build a robot and then you can learn how to build a robot.  If you want to become an astronaut then you can read every book you can find about space, planets, rockets, and asteroids.

Learn everything you can and someday if you really want to, you can become an astronaut.  If you want to become a doctor then you can read every book you want about the body, your skeleton and muscles and how everything works.  Then someday if you really want to become a doctor you can.  You can do anything you want and learn everything you want to, if you can learn to read."

 For the longest time this life lesson and motivational tool was followed up by him furrowing his brows and saying "I think I want to learn how to be become a robot when I grow up."  Priceless and funny.

After the DVDs (which I bought cheaply on groupon) and flashcards we began working on Hooked on Phonics k-2.  They are absolutely amazing and in reality all you need is the workbooks.  They not only make learning easy for him, but make teaching it easy.  They simplify everything and get back to the very basics.

Before we started h.o.p I was so overwhelmed.  So many letters.  So many sounds. So many combinations.  So many rules.   After Hooked on Phonics- problem solved.  We did try Learn to Read in 100 lessons, but it was literally like pulling teeth for the both of us.  If you search around you can find the workbooks much cheaper on ebay.  The set we use is

My son will be 5 on Christmas and is almost halfway through the hooked on phonics 2nd grade level 2 workbook (my corresponding blogs).  He is already reading fluently.  When we go anywhere he is pointing out and reading everything.  It still stuns me and makes me so proud of him.

There are links below of the Preschool Prep DVDs and a link to some of their YouTube videos for parents who want to check it out.

* Make sure to check out our great post on free educational learning websites for kids!!!!