Teaching children how to read is something that can mystify even the most seasoned of teachers. Especially in this time of technology. Children seem to pick up songs and much quicker from tv shows than some of the skills we teach them the way we learned them. But it does not have to be something that causes frustration from either side. With a few tools and a big dose of fun, you can help a child learn to enjoy reading while still improving the skills needed for reading.
The Journal that Mother Goose Time sends us every month is a good jumping off point for children. They are able to see and copy the print within the books along with the encouragement to express themselves creatively. Being creative is something most people do not think is important. But creativity helps children with the phonics process. This is because they are learning to put together letters and listen to them. If you ever have a child spell out their own stories you will clearly be able to see the way they were able to creatively come up with the spellings of words. We want to encourage that!
My children enjoy the journals and the writing prompts. If your preschooler is not ready to write watching you write down their words with dictation and spelling out some of the words is another way to continue exposing them to different types of print. When we talk about children being exposed to print we often forget that their own print and the print of adults is something very important in the reading process.
Giving them new places in which to write words is also very important. Do not limit them to just paper. Chalk outside on the side walk, black boards and white boards are a way for them to get use to using different mediums to express themselves. Remember how exciting it was for us to be able to write on the board during free time in class? That is the same feeling they have and we want to make sure we are giving them at least some of the simple fun we had as kids in this technological era.
POSTCARDS!! This is a forgotten medium and I love that we get to do one every month. I loved the idea so much that at the beginning of the year I send out welcome postcards to my children. Receiving mail with their names on it is exciting and can be encouragement for them in learning to read and write their own name.
This brings me to how I actually teach children letter recognition and writing skills. It's with their names. You would be shocked at how fast they are able to pick up the letters and sounds from not only their name the names of their classmates. By the time December rolls around your children will know most of the letters on sight and can tell you the letters in not only their name but their friends. I have been doing this since I opened in 2012 and it has been fantastic.
Teaching children does not have to be about sitting at a table trying to memorize sight words, or spelling things out on a spelling test. It can mean spelling words during a race outside, it can mean jumping up and down to letter sounds. It can be drawing a picture of your favorite R letter animals and creating a collage. Learning to read can and should be fun.
Live long and Keep Teaching!
*Mother Goose Time is provided in exchange for a fair and honest review.