your child to read? We have some suggestions to make the task easier.
the sounds of the letters together with their names.
sound (or sounds) of the letters are often different from the name of the
letter. In reading, it is the sounds that count. When you read to the child,
point to the letter C, for example and say; "the name of this letter is
[see] and it makes two sounds: [kkk] as in the word cat and also [sss]
as in the word cent." Then ask child to give you examples.
not be rigid in how the child pronounces the sounds. Regional accents and
weak auditory skills make it hard for children to say most sounds in an
academically correct way. Accept a reasonable effort. Recognize that learning
sounds is only an intermediate step to learning to read.
lower case letters first.
you noticed that nearly all ABC books for young children teach uppercase
letters first? Yet capital letters account for only five percent of all
letters in written English. Therefore, pay more attention to teaching the
lower case letters. Lower case letters are far more important in developing
not worry about grammar at this point.
kindergartners, and first graders are very concrete in the way they think
and cannot handle complicated concepts. It is not necessary at this stage
to teach them about consonants, vowels, long and short sounds and such.
They can learn to read just as well without these rules.
age four, most English speaking children already have an excellent grasp
of grammar of the language and in due time, they will learn all the formal
grammatical rules in school. At this point, you need to concentrate only
on the mechanical skill of reading.
your child writing along with reading.
learn to read faster and easier if they learn to write at the same time.
The motor memory of the letters, listening to their sounds and seeing them
in writing will reinforce new learning. So, teach your child to write letters
and words. Download our Writing Lesson demo to get your child started.
the initial reading vocabulary.
is a very complex process. Not all words can be read using simple phonic
rules. Many important words need to be learned by sight. Teach only the
simple and common words at first. The knowledge of 400 key words called
Dolch words, is all a young child needs to be able to read well.
our word list on the main page.
video or software cannot teach children to read.
young child can pay attention to any one activity only for a short time
particularly if it is challenging. Instructional tapes and most software
with music are distracting, and weak listening skills paired with short
attention span make audiotapes and most videotapes non-effective.
put a lot of faith in computers but software by itself also cannot teach
your child to read. Unfortunately, most commercial reading programs emphasize
flash and entertainment over structure and content. These programs entertain
and engage the child but fail at actually teaching them to read.
really learn to read, your child needs the most important tool of all -
the kitchen table - where you sit together and spend about ten minutes
a day working through the process step-by-little-step.
What is the right age to start learning to read?
Most children can begin at age four. You can begin teaching the sounds
of letters at about four years. Simple reading instructions can be started
about the same time. By five the pace of new learning and reading fluency
can increase dramatically. Most children can learn to read at the second-grade
by age six.
I hurt my child by starting early?
Of course not, but you may help significantly. Studies conducted over the
last thirty-five years concluded that early reading gives the child a significant
advantage in school. Children who start reading before the first grade
maintain their lead in reading and comprehension over their "regular pace"
peers through grade school. Early readers are also likelier to excel in
other academic subjects as well.
10% of all children show signs of reading problems in second and third
grade. By starting early you decrease the chance that your child will be
one these children.
What about phonics?
Although the Reading Lesson is primarily a phonics-based program, we do
recognize that there is a great deal of brouhaha over phonics. Any reading
program based solely on phonics is both boring and difficult for the child
and is incomplete. Our language is not totally phonic and many words do
phonics rules and need to be memorized. We need phonics to teach the child
how words sound. But reading fluency can only be achieved when the child
learns to recognize the word as a whole rather than sounding out. A successful
reading program must combine phonics with some elements of whole word approach.
is exactly what we have done in the Reading Lesson.
Where to start?
Start with the Reading
believe that the Reading Lesson best meets the criteria of a good reading
program. This course was created by a developmental pediatrician (Michael
Levin, M.D.) with an understanding of abilities and limitations of the
young child in mind.
program has been particularly successful with children who have had difficulties
learning to read.
form an integral part of the program. The program is visual and innovative,
easy to use, and produces results quickly.