Every parent is excited when their child learns to walk, talk, throw a ball, learn to swim and learn to read. We didn't push Lillie to read and she learned to read at her own pace. I kind of think of it as "we accidentally taught her to read," because we were not focused on teaching her to read. We were just doing doing activities with her. I expected that she would start to read in kindergarten, not her first year of preschool. Not every child will read by a certain age, just like Lillie crawled and walked after the other kids her age.
Lillie started reading just after her 4th birthday. One night, Lillie said to my Husband, "Would you like me to read 'Sleepy Dog' to you?" She read the entire level 1 book with little help. She is now 5 years old and she is reading 3rd grade level books.
After she started to read to us. I looked back at how we "accidentally taught her to read." We tried to do fun activities to keep her interest in learning.
- We started reading to her when she was only a couple of days old.
- I started taking Lillie to story time at the Library when she was only 6 months old.
- When we drove in the car, I would tell her to look for "Target, Wal-mart, PetSmart" and names of other businesses. At first, this was to keep Lillie entertained, but she started to correlate the name with the logo and letters. At the age of two, Lillie would tell us "S-T-O-P" when we would pull up to a stop sign.
- Lillie's name was spelled out in wooden letters on her bedroom wall. Or you can have their name written down on paper in areas that they play in.
- Magnetic letters on the refrigerator. We have the Leap Frog ABC letters on our refrigerator.
- When we would go out to eat we would play "name this letter or word" with Lillie. We would write the letter on the back of the paper place mat. Lillie would tell us what letter it was.
- Toys with letters - The toy says the letter as the child pushes the letter. You can play a game with wooden blocks that have the letters written on them. Ask the child to find the letter that you ask for.
- Level 1 books. When reading to Lillie, we would stop and ask her to identify the picture with the word underneath it. It help her correlate the picture with the word.
- Baby Board books are great to correlate the word with the picture.
- After learning to read, we started to write words on her bathroom mirror. See link:http://happiestmomontheblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/mirror-mirror-words-on-bathroom-mirror.html
- Tag reading system. Lillie received this as a Christmas gift. Lillie can play games with the Tag pen too.
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