Teaching your child how to read can seem like an enormous task. Especially when we have such busy schedules! I have kept it as simple as possible, providing a short and simple daily learning opportunity. There is a small amount of printing and laminating but apart from that we want you to relax and enjoy the journey with your child. Stay present, watch the videos together, get involved with the tasks and enjoy the precious time with them. Maybe keep a learning journey with notes and picture for you to look back at in years to come and see how far your child has progressed since beginning their first steps of learning to read.
Get comfortable with your child, watch the video and find out what letter and sound you will be learning about. Connect the sound with what they already know and take time to explore new words and experiences.
The timetable provides simple ideas to stimulate your child’s senses to support their brain development and connecting new and previous knowledge. This is a great time to bond with your child and create fun and lifelong memories.
This is where the flashcards come in handy. Flashcards alone will not provide the child with meaningful understanding of reading (or any other subject at that) but to use them alongside their experience will connect those wires for deep understanding and strengthen their focus.
Every child learns differently, do not feel pressured to rush through. Work at your child’s pace. Each session should not last more than 15 minutes a day. When it comes to the sensory ideas it is okay to allow the child to explore new subjects along the way – you might find drawing the letter ‘f’ outdoors inspires your child to create a fairy garden or the letter ‘p’ takes you on a pirate adventure!
With my own child, I started teaching single letter sounds when he was 5 years of age. We had fun with the letters and learnt how to blend and identify the sounds. We then started following a gentle reading program once he showed an interest a few months after he turned 6 years old. You may wish to use this prior to them starting reception to ensure they have a strong foundation or, like me, you may wish to wait until they take an interest. Go with what works for you and your child.