Encouraging Your Child to Read
My child was unable to read at 3, 4 and 5 years old. I did everything the parenting websites and books suggested. I read with my kid everyday all day long. Using the local library's "Best Books to Read to your Kids" and our preschool's "A 4 year old reading" lists, I read books with diverse subjects. My daughter loved it and wanted me to read to her all the time. However she did not want to independently read.
My older daughter, who is two years older, tried to help her with phonetics but the little one resisted. I thought, "how I could make reading fun?" I tried games phonics where I pasted -at, -an words on the Candy Land cards to help her read. But she refused to sound out the words let alone the letters.
When she was in Transitional Kindergarten, her teacher taught phonics so that she was able to sound out letters and blend the sounds. When she would see a word she started decoding letters into words. You might be asking, what is decoding? Decoding is the process of translating the printed word into a sound. At this point, I felt that my daughter needed more practice decoding words. I needed easy books for her to finish cover to cover so that she would know the feeling of success when finishing a book.
After going through the following 7 steps 4 times a week for 6 months, my child is at the point where she can read easy books. And best of all, when I ask, "Who can read?" She jumps up and says,"I can!".
- Bob Books set 1, which contains 12 books. Author is Bobby Lynn Maslen. Illustrator is John R. Maslen
- Printing paper, the ones with 3 lines, the top and bottom solid lines, middle one is dotted lines. I used the leapfrog writing tablet. But you can purchase writing pads at Target such as the Sesame Street one in the video.
- No. 2 pencil
- Start with the first book, Mat. Have your little one read the title. If unable, help by sounding out the letters. Don't let your child get frustrated. You want to let her struggle but then help her. Your child's decoding ability may not be strong. You want to help her. Sound out the letters and say the word and have her repeat you.
- Go to the title page. Have your kid read the title by sounding out the letters. Again, you want him to struggle but not get frustrated. Don't bother making him read the author's or the illustrator's names.
- Go to the first page. Your child should try to read the first page by sounding out the letters. Do this for 4 pages.
- Repeat from cover to page 4 five times or less depending on whether or not she is sounding out the words. The goal is to have her recognize the words and say them. You do not want her to sound out the words. By the fifth time, if she is still sounding out the words, don't worry and move on to the next step.
- Tear a page out of the writing pad. Have your little one copy the words on the cover, title page up to page 4. As he is writing a letter, he should sound out the letters. After he writes a word, he should then say the word. His page should look something like this:
Writing Literacy Strategies
6. All letters should be written as neatly as possible. When he makes a mistake, make sure he erases his mistake completely so the page is clean. Pay attention to the spacing. One finger space in between words; two finger space after a period.
7. After she has finished copying, have her read what she wrote to you. Praise your child for doing a good job.
The next day, have your little one read and write the next 4 pages. The books are around 9 pages long. The last page in every book is the same -- "The End". I make her write "The End" when she gets to that page even though by the 5th book she knew it pretty well. I think it helps reinforce the 2 words especially since "the" is a sight word and difficult to phonetically sound out.
The books do get harder as you move up so I scale back the number of pages to read and write from 4 to 2. Sometimes I even let her work on only one page especially when there are 2 sentences in a page. However, I try to finish a book a week.
I do this process 4 times a week and it usually takes her 20 minutes. Sometimes it can take as long as one hour depending on her mood. I find that if I set a timer to 20 minutes, she will finish quicker.
In conclusion, I've been doing this process for over 6 months and she can now read easy books. She tries to read road signs and text on boxes. She is motivated and is constantly asking me, "Can I read it?". I hope that these 7 steps will encourage your kids to read too. Good luck!