I am still plugging away at writing and reading a Morning Message each day with Jenna(2.5). You can see from today’s example that I highlighted the words “We are going”. This is an example of a Whole Language type of activity. While normally I lean towards the phonics end of the Balanced Literacy spectrum, Morning Message is a good example of how you can do something really simple, every days to help build up reading skills such as word to print correspondence, name recognition, and sentence structure.
For a child like Jenna who knows all of her letters and sounds but is not yet ready to blend vowel consonant vowel word yet, Morning Message is a great way to keep working on her reading skills in a way that is developmentally appropriate for Jenna. I could keep sounding out C-A-T with her until I was blue in the face, but she’s just not going to read it yet. Bruce however, could sound out words at this age. Every child is different, and that’s okay.
Sometimes you will hear educators say that children are not developmentally ready to read until four or five. I disagree, because I agree with Maria Montessori’s philosophy that there are early windows of readiness where it is actually easier to teach reading skills than it would be later on. I’ve also heard this same idea applied to potty-training. “You’ve got to catch them when they’re interested; otherwise you’re going to have to wait until they are much older.”
So long as you are not putting any pressure on your child to learn, and so long as you keep things really up-beat and positive, then teaching early literacy skills to young children is a great way to spend quality one-on-one time with them. What child does not love 100% of their mom’s attention?