So with Caity entering kindergarten this year, it’s time for her to learn how to read. I firmly believe that reading is better addressed when the child is ready and not on a time table. She’s been showing interest for the last few months and has already picked up some sight words on her own just through playing and watching us read.
Right before the school year ended last year, I received a copy of The Reading Lesson to review. At the time we were ending our school year and I tried a few lessons with Cait but she just didn’t seem ready or interested in the lessons. So I decided to put it on the shelf and bring it back out when school started again this year.
I spent all summer researching ways to teach her to read. I talked to friends and other teachers. I read articles and books. I found there is just not one perfect way to teach reading. I also learned that with my reading learning disability and Chase’s possible dyslexia, that Caity may have the same issues we do not hearing phonological sounds correctly. A friend who was a reading specialist in her former life, suggested that I give her a strong foundation in sight words due to these issues.
So armed with all of this knowledge I set out to teacher her to read. This is scary for me because Chase taught himself to read before he even started kindergarten. They reenforced it in kindergarten and he had various online activities that helped too.
There is a quote that says “readers are born on the laps of their parents”. Basically it means the best way to teach your child to read is to read to them. So reading has become a big part of our kindergarten day, we read at least one book daily, but most days more.
Next I remember from my early childhood education classes and my experience as a day care / preschool teacher that a print rich environment is essential to learning how to read. Based on this everything in our school room got a label and I may possibly label the downstairs. She’s already started walking around asking what the words say and trying to put the letters together.
Next I created sight word cards to go with our letter of the week. After this week we are abandoning the letter of the week stuff for more themed based activities, so the sight words will be based on theme not letters. Yes there are more here than traditional sight words but that’s goes back to giving her a large sight word foundation based on a family history or reading issues.
Next comes phonics, I’m outsourcing this a bit. I’m allowing her to watch Leap Frog Letter Factory videos on Netflix, she is playing on Time4Learning and The Reading Lesson comes with a DVD and CD for lessons on the computer. I don’t hear the sounds the way I should so I don’t say them correctly sometimes either. It’s important she hears them correctly so I’m using other sources for this.
To tie it all together we are working through The Reading Lesson workbook together. The workbook combines traditional phonics with sight and CVC words, so Cait is getting both when doing the workbook. We do as many pages a day as she feels comfortable with each day. I completely follow her lead here.
The goal is to have her reading somewhat by the middle of the year and fluently by year’s end and I think by combining these different methods we should be able to reach or exceed this goal.
As a special treat my friends at The Reading Lesson are giving all Peanuts Are Evil readers a special discount code for 30% off your entire order (CODE: peanutsareevil2013 ). Not only that one lucky reader will win the following package just by entering the Rafflecopter below!
- The Reading Lesson Workbook
- An interactive Reading Lesson CD with games, printouts, and more
- The Storybook CD
- The Writing Lesson CD
- The Sounds of Letters DVD
- Verbal Math Lesson 1
- Verbal Math Lesson 2
- A soft Giggle Bunny toy