From the time I was pregnant with Norton, I was hoping to instill a love of books and learning. I just knew that we had to promote early reading as best as possible.
But there was a bit of a stumbling block with that. Sure, I went to school to teach… but I wanted to teach high school, not elementary school. And I definitely did not want to teach early childhood education. After chatting with Heather of The Parenting Patch, I went with learning sight words as the first step of early reading.
He’s impressing the devil out of me. We read together a lot. Now, though, he does a lot of reading to me. We started out reading our old faithful books from the Spot series by Eric Hill, to the point that Norton very nearly had the books memorized. (And so did I.) The last time I wrote about Norton’s early reading progress, he had just learned to recognize a handful of words. Now? He’s got the basic words down pat.
He sits beside me, putting his finger under each word for me to read it to him. I read the words that I suspect will be a bit harder for a four year old who is just starting to recognize words, like “summer” and “chocolate.” The words that I know he knows, I stop and ask him, “What’s that word?”
He always answers… and continues on with the next word or two if it’s one that he recognizes.
At first, I chalked a lot of it up to how well he’d had the Spot books memorized. But when we started reading Little Golden Books and the Cars Step Into Reading books… that was when I realized that, no, it wasn’t rote memorization of the Spot books.
He had learned these words.
Now he loves to show off his early reading by pointing out words that we’ve already learned to recognize by sight. He points out words that he knows when he sees the on TV with the same enthusiasm that he used to point out letters on the screen.
Maybe now it’s time to figure out how to teach him to sound out words. Either way, I’m out to continue working with Norton on early reading.
Did you teach your children to read early on? What tips do you have?