Monday, July 11, 2011

My Journey teaching my almost 3 year old to read. Part 2

Welcome back fellow readers.

Posting on from last night, Besides from DVDs I also made my own books and I made some of my own word cards and hung them around my house explaining what each object was. I took them down each time people came over so people were not aware of what I was doing. You could say I was in the early learning closet and that is because I did not want Miss S being made to 'perform' for others and I did not want to be bombarded with questions from other parents as to 'why' I was doing this. Also I was skeptical myself so I was quietly keeping the results to myself to as I was unsure to believe them or not.

Okay so why post words all over your house. Well I wanted to increase Miss S's vocabulary but I also wanted her to be immersed in learning to read so to speak. I wanted written words to be a part of her everyday life. As I walked by a word each time I would just run my finger under it from left to right (So Miss S knew which way the word went) and said the word aloud. Within a month she knew all the words around the house and she was approx 8 months old. By this time Miss S knew approx 300 words. (I knew by asking her to pick say the word cat out of 5 cards and she was able to. I discovered the words she knew through a process of elimination) and I don't say these things to brag about my daughter. I say this because I believe ALL young children have the capability to learn to read given the opportunity, and to prove to you all that any child can learn and I hope through some of the methods I have used you can find a way to suit you to and begin the journey.

Around the time my Daughter turned about 8 months old I returned to work 3 days a week. So some learning had to be done in the mornings before work and after work not just when it suited me through out the day. I also used the time I had at work in my breaks to create the books. They were very simple books which I made to bring her reading together while Miss S knew lots and lots of single words we needed to build her reading stamina to couplets and then on to phrases and sentences. This part actually took a lot of time and I went a bit backwards because at this time I introduced Little Reader another reading programme but more on that tomorrow night. Back to the books. All I did was by a blank spiral book A4 size and on every second page I wrote a couplet. For Example White Hair, Brown Bear, Tall Tree. etc etc. and once to twice a day (on my days off and weekends) we would go through it. I also wrote up more word cards and made up colours and I would sit on the floor with her and made a couplet game. I would get a colour card. A card with Red written in red and Green written in green and pair it with a noun card gloves, shoes, chair and put the words together. For example I would put green hair together and go in a silly voice that's silly people don't have green hair but people can have brown hair and change the card from green to brown while I ran my finger from left to right. under the card.

Now my biggest problem here was that I was not consistent. I did not show my DD the book regularly enough as well as the cards, but it was still a fun game to play and my dd still learnt something it just took longer because I didn't dedicate myself to a regular routine with Miss S. As in one of my earlier posts consistency is king. As I had returned to work I found I was not in the mood to always play games and after daycare Miss S was tired so it didn't always work, but she did enjoy playing the game on my days off and on the weekends.

Onto Part 3 tomorrow night Little Reader.

Happy Teaching

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Journey teaching my almost 3 year old to read. Part 1

Hi Everyone,

Before I get into how I taught my child to read, I would first like to point out that my child is not gifted nor has she ever been assessed by a professional and given the label 'gifted'. Miss S has been taught to read through a process which I am now doing currently with my youngest daughter. I have also taught her other things like maths, which is for another blog. What I am hoping to do is to DISPEL THE MYTH That children before the age of 5 can not be taught to read.

I first started with Miss S when she was 3 months old. We started with a program called Your Baby can Read. (Which I will now refer to as YBCR) We followed this program methodically doing exactly 8 weeks of each DVD plus I did all the flashcards and books that came with the program. By 6 months Miss S could differentiate between approximately 20 words. By the end of the programme she knew all the words and what they meant.You could hold up the card 'mouth' and she would open her mouth. Hold up another card like point and she would point. You get the picture. By the end of the programme S knew all the words (approx 150-200).

I thought YBCR was and is a great programme I also felt that this programme was not enough and as Miss S was 10 months old when we completed the programme I felt she needed something more as YBCR covers a lot of single words it does not go into couplets e.g (White hair, blue bricks) to building into phrases e.g (I'm standing up) to sentences. Please also note that I also introduced in this time Baby signing time which she learnt to read all the words off those DVD's to. I taught my DD1 Sign Language (ASL) as she was pre-verbal it was how I knew that she knew what words she was reading and she could sign what they meant.

At this point it is where most 'well meaning' people say it is not reading it is only memorisation if the child can not phonetically sound out a word it is not reading. The definition of reading and this is from The Free Dictionary is as follows
1. To examine and grasp the meaning of (written or printed characters, words, or sentences).
2. To utter or render aloud (written or printed material): read poems to the students.
3. To have the ability to examine and grasp the meaning of (written or printed material in a given language or notation):

As you can see the definition of reading does not say you must be able to phonetically sound the word out all it states is that you are able to examine the word and understand what it means. I do not knock the teaching of phonics I do believe it certainly helps in teaching an older child to read whether it is necessary or not in the teaching of a child under the age of 3 is still up for debate. Why? you may ask when we were taught to read through strong phonic instruction is because if you show an under three approximately 200-500 words and their meanings a lot of those children intuit the phonic rules without formal instruction but not all. The child is able to sound out the word without hours of  formal instruction.

I will discuss the next thing I did tomorrow night in Part 2.

Happy Teaching