Teaching My Baby To Read

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Don’t Sound it Out!

Phonics Game for Kids

Phonics Game for Kids

Last year I made a game for my daughter called Put Your Socks and Shoes On.  It’s sooo easy to replicate, because all you need is construction paper and a pen.

Yesterday we brought the game out again and I’m happy to report that Jenna (3.5) was pretty much able to crush it.

The really exciting thing is that she can now say “J-am  JAM!” and “S-am  SAM!” instead of sounding out every single letter.  That got me to thinking about:

When you don’t want kids to sound something out!

It’s really tricky.  Teachers and parents give kids inordinate amounts of praise for sounding out letters.  Thats good!  (I’m not saying that’s bad.)  But then it gets to the point where you want kids to stop sounding out every letter, and start reading the word for Pete’s sake!

That transition can be rather tricky.

Here are some tips to make that easier:

  1. Stop praising your child for sounding out every letter.
  2. Ask “Can you read that faster?”
  3. Use a visual to show the relationship between word families, and present that visual super fast.  (See below.)

Kids with strong phonemic awareness to begin with, will make this transition faster.  So try to incorporate rhyming as much as possible in the rest of your day.

Make your kid think you are just being goofy all the time.  “We’re getting into the car/jar/tar/.  We’re driving to the store/bore/tore.   I’m making dinner/blinner/zinner.”

You can teach reading, when you aren’t even teaching reading!

Then when you come back to a game like this, your little reader will be ready to crush it too.

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