I love to see my children learn to read! It is simply one of the best things in life. We’ve used many approaches in order to learn to read. My preference is to mix a phonics approach with a sight word/whole language approach. In my school teacher years, we called this balanced literacy. I see pros to both methods so to me it just makes sense to mix the two approaches in learning to read.
We begin early in teaching our little ones the letter names. We take a fun, hands-on approach when learning our letters. By the time our kids start kindergarten, it has been easy to move on to letter sounds and the blending of sounds because they have been exposed to the letters for over two years.
It takes a lot of repetition to get the letter sounds committed to memory so we try to make it fun. Some of our favorite learning to read are games. Some of the kids’ favorites are:
A simple file folder, some markers, and a little time can made a board game that our kids love. We use this to review letter names, letter sounds, and sight words. It could be used for math too.
For a little variety, I quickly made this game on a piece of cardstock. Despite its poorly drawn path, the kiddos enjoy using it for a quick review.
Our curriculum calls for a weekly letter name review. Sometimes we play go fish or memory with the cards. One day, I just dumped a bunch of letter tiles out onto the table and called out a letter. They would try to find as many letters as they could as quickly as they could and put them back into the jar. Such a simple game but they loved it!
We can’t forget about good old Bingo either! We’ve had these cards for years but it is really easy to just make Bingo cards too.
We have recently added a morning message to our calendar time. I write a message with the children who are with me. (This morning it was just Abby. Sometimes it is also Evan. He joined us a little late today though.) We write a quick message and I have Abby help me fill in what she can. I plan on incorporating more sight words into the morning messages and having Abby find the words.
At the bottom of our morning message, we work on different reading concepts. Today it was rhyming words/ –at word family. We’ve also worked on number words, color words, and words beginning with the letter sound we are working on. They love to watch me draw goofy pictures to match the words. (I am so not an artist.) Then they try to draw the pictures too.
This year, we have been using the sight words printables from 1+1+1=1. We go very slowly through the words. Actually we spent weeks just going through unit one. For more great ideas, be sure to check out 1+1+1=1. She has wonderful ideas!
One of the most important things we do is read! We read a lot. Everyday, the little ones and I sit down and read books…many, many books! They love it and I love it.
Resources we use to learn to read:
Easy books like Bob Books