I am an avid believer in teaching children to read at a very early age. As soon as your toddler starts speaking did you know that they can start reading too?! Reading is all about memorization; once the word is known to the child and when they see that word anywhere, they will be able to read and speak it. Hence, the beginning of their reading journey.
I started to teach my daughter how to read at a very early age. I am going to share how she started reading books before she even reached Kindergarten.
What we did was pick a book that was interesting to her and we focused on one page a week. I took every single word that was on that first page and put them on flash/index cards. I started with three words. I would show her one word and I would say the word out loud and asked her to repeat it. I did this for about 5 to 10 times on the first word. As soon as I saw that she was able to say the word without my help I would go on to the second word. I repeated the same process. I then revealed the first two words she just learned and repeated those for about 5 to 10 times. Once she got the first two words I then proceeded to the third word and repeated the process again. Once the third word was memorized I introduced all three words and did this for 5 to 10 times. After about half hour or so she learned three words.
If time allotted, I introduced another three words; same process, however after the fourth word was memorized, I introduced all four words together to keep her remembering the first 3 words she learned. When I got to the fifth word repeated the process and introduced all five words and so on. You get the picture. After about one hour or so she learned 6 words.
Every child is different you don’t have to repeat 5 to 10 times. You may need to repeat it more or repeat it less until they have it memorized. You can do more than 6 words a day or less. It can take 30 minutes or more again every child’s learning capability is unique, however, every child can learn to read regardless of their learning ability.
After the first days words are achieved when you resume (i.e. following day) you will need to repeat the six words or however many they learned in the first day. Make sure they have those words memorized before going on to the second day of words. If they forget it’s okay put that word into the batch for the second day and treat it as it was a new word (always do this for words they don’t remember or get wrong). Remember to repeat each word several times. Repetition is key in this method.
Make sure that the words are mixed up and not in the order in which they are read in the book. The goal is for your child to learn the words first and read the book second.
After completing all the words on the first page and the memorization is complete, they are ready to read the entire page in the book.
Can you imagine their face when they can read all by themselves? My daughter was ecstatic and she wanted to read the first page to everyone that she saw!! Which was great…talk about repetition ;)! They will probably be eager to move on to the second page but let them know they have to learn the words first to continue to read. Rewarding is excellent for such a time as this. They deserve some type of prize or recognition. Be creative you know what will make your child happiest.
When going on to the second page of the book review all the words from the first page and have them read the first page again. Again any words they have missed continue throwing them into the pile for review (you might want to mark these words and make games or talk about the word so that they will not forget it again). We all have those words that just never stood with us so please be patient!
One other nice feature of this method is also making it a vocabulary lesson. Tell them the definition of the word or if applicable show them the object that corresponds to the word (they will learn even faster doing this…object lessons are the BEST in my book).
It may take one week for them to read the first page or more. Be patient the end result is so rewarding and seeing their face light up when they can READ is a memory that will forever make an impression in your life. I’ll never forget mine!
I hope this was helpful and parents please be patient, dedicated and consistent in doing this method either every day or every other day. You might want to set aside minimum 1 hour or more daily and set a goal on the number of words you’d like to complete.
**I would love to hear your success stories either using this method or any method that has helped you teach your child to read. We would love to post it on our blog for other parents to benefit**