First Steps to Reading at Three

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Lately, we’ve been more aggressive with Zem’s phonetic learning. 

First Flash Cards Encounter:
I had to buy new flashcards because the first ones I bought was when she was less than a year old.  I’d sit with her and just teach her words through the pictures, and although she didn’t know how to talk, somehow I hoped that she’d learn to understand the relational aspect between the pictures to the sounds I made.  Unfortunately, many of those flash cards were folded, torn, and eaten along the learning curve.

flashcardsalphUse of Flash Cards:
She’s 3.5 now and although we’ve been trying to teach her the phonetic sounds of letters, there’s been a boom in her learning again.  So I bought two new sets of flashcards.

Trend Enterprises make these cards that you can use to continue the review of your toddler’s knowledge of the alphabet, while also using the letter flashcards to teach it’s individual phonetic sounds.  With the example of its correlating picture, Em’s able to see the relationship between the letter, its phonetic sound, and the picture.

Sight Words:  Memorization Vs. Phonetic Awareness:
flashcardwordsI also bought the “Sight Words” because in my experience teaching Emma her letters, she also learned how to read certain words because she saw them as signs/pictures.  That’s how she learned how to read “Emma” or “STOP” and “OK”.  It’s similar to showing her a picture of an apple or a letter and assigning it a name for her to memorize.

After I bought the Sight Words flashcards, I’ve been able to slowly get her to understand that the individual phonetic sounds of each letter work together to form words that she knows, so I kill two birds with one stone ;).  She’s learning how to put sounds together AND even read through sign memorization- like “YES” and “NO”- she doesn’t really have to sound out the letters, but she can read them because she treats them like pictures.

Of course, this has to be routine, and we even encourage her video game Wii playing because it always asks her to choose buttons like ‘yes’ and ‘no’…as she plays, we read her the choices and she chooses which button to press, with the words that become more and more familiar to her.

I honestly wish they really had pre-school games on the Wii…

Along with reading, once she turned 3, we’ve been teaching her also how to write.  Encouraging her drawing and coloring really helps her hand control.  Drawing flowers help her make her scallops for her Bs and Rs, Us, Ps, Ds, and Cs.  Her faces and circles help her make her Os and Qs.  Her rollercoasters help her make her S.  And of course, her lines help her make all the other letters.

So yes, she knows how to write her name Emma (even on the computer), and the alphabet.  It’s still pretty messy, but last Christmas, her presents for people were self-made pictures of roller coasters, murdered elves, flowers, faces, and even letters :-).

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