Do you remember learning to read
It’s amazing what we forget from our own childhood. Take reading for example – we all learnt how to read, but I don’t actually remember how I did it. The one memory that I do have that to this day is crystal clear was practicing for a spelling test in grade 2. The word Wednesday was my nemesis. I couldn’t wrap my head around the first D in the word. I would sound it out to myself, and each and every time I forgot the D. My Mom helped me break out the spelling to make it easier to remember WED-NES-DAY.
I’m fascinated watching my daughter learn how to read in Grade 1. Instead of teaching her phonics, they’re teaching word recognition, which baffles me. So every night we sit down with her 'Snuggle up and Read Books' and she reads them to me. We teach her the sounds of common combined letters – ING, ED, ER, ST, RE – and we try to keep reading sessions short. By the time we finish cleaning up from dinner and other household chores, bedtime is quickly approaching. Although this may not be the best time to practice reading, as busy parents, finding time can be challenging. If she’s already tired when we begin reading, frustration can quickly bubble up to the surface and tears quickly follow.
So here are a few tips I’ve learnt through trial and error to help my kids learn how to read:
Keep a wide variety of reading material everywhere, not just on a book shelf. We have books in the cars, bathrooms, bedroom, and family rooms.
We implemented a 15 minute reading time in our house where everyone is encouraged to pick up a book to read. Whether it’s a magazine, a story book or a chapter, everyone sits down for some quiet reading time. And no, read-a- long book on the iPad are not an option.
Share your love of reading. Both my husband and I love to read. My perfect Sunday afternoon is spent snuggled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a good book. Our kids see us reading and how much we enjoy it.
The world is full of words. We try to incorporate reading everywhere, not just with a book. Whether it’s reading a menu at a restaurant, signs at the grocery store or instructions for a board game – encourage them to read where ever they are.
Visit the library. This is something that most of us grew up with, but in today’s fast paced world, it’s something we’ve taken for granted. I love the tactile feeling of a book. Yes, I could download books from the library, but there’s something to be said about walking up and down the rows of book shelves at the library that is so peaceful. Take the time to go to the library and let your kids pick out books to bring home.