Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to start teaching my little one to read?

That was my question for Kari "Momma Snail"

(who is working on my PhD in Early Childhood now)

I loved her answer so much that I asked her for permission

to share it here in my blog...

here is her response...

From my experience, and from my professional research,

a great way for kids to learn how to read is to write...a lot.

Here is my suggestion and an idea

that is often used by kindergarten and first grade teachers.

Have her start a journal.

Each day, she draws a picture and writes a sentence.

At first, you teach her how to write "I see the..." or "I like the...".

Then, she can dictate to you her story...

she watches you sound out words as you write.

She also writes her own words and sentences...

she might use random letters,

she might use inventive spelling,

she might try to sound them out.

So there are three things that you can do when she writes in her journal...

she can use simple words that you teach her

(you can even have a "word bank" for her),

you dictate her story and she watches you write,

and she writes using her own letters.

The journal is not for corrections..."teaching"...

it is for her sole use of exploring her own writings.

If you do this everyday,

by Christmas you will see a change in her reading and writing...

but remember that it is a process

and you are helping her to learn

that the sounds she hears are the sounds that she writes.

Writing is the true application of other words,

it is the "hands on" part of reading.

The more she writes in meaningful ways

(making a shopping list, making a wish list for her birthday,

making cards for family members, writing stories, making books),

the better reader she will be.

Also, go to the dollar store, Walmart...whatever and

buy reading games and alphabet games.

To get an idea, you can visit my store on my blog and go to "Language & Literacy."

Help her make her own language and literacy games...

buy workbooks and cut them up to make games.

In a few days, I will be showing some games on my blog that I just made.

Read about 10 books a day or for 30 minutes a day.

It sounds like a lot but teachers tell parents

to read 30 minutes a day for your child...and

early childhood teachers read between 8-10 books a day to their students.

You are on the right track and doing a great job!

Remember that she needs to be writing in meaningful ways

and she needs to be doing it a lot!

Thank you so much Momma Snail

Of to buy a journal today :)


  1. That is GREAT advice!
    I wanted to let you know that Target had a great Primary Journal that I got Cheeky a week or so ago. It has a spot at the top of each page for them to draw a picture and then lined paper on the bottom half for them to write their 'story'.
    Since Cheeky isn't writing on his own yet, I have him tell me what he draws and then I write a sentence for him and let him 'copy' it on the line below.
    It looks just like this (same brand and all):

    It was in the 'office' area at Target for like $2.99 :)

  2. thanks so much for letting me know about the journal, is great, I defenetly have to get this one :)


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