The thought of teaching reading really has me worried. It seems so huge! Reading is very important in life and I don't want to somehow mess it up. My husband has been really supportive. He keeps reminding me how much I have taught Megan already. And he thinks it will only be a matter of time before she's reading. We read a lot together and she loves snuggling and reading. Almost every time I am finished with a book she will run and grab another one. Before we know it an hour will pass by and we have read 10 books!
It still worries me though. It's like how I was with potty training. When I first started I was scared to death. But, each day got easier and easier and after one week she could go on her own! Now that I look back on it, I wonder why I was so worried! That was probably one of the easiest things I have ever done.
Even though potty training and reading are really different from each other; they are still two things that you teach your child that just come natural to you. So I am hoping that all my worries are for nothing.
Reply from Diane for Teaching Reading:
Teaching reading is not difficult at all. It just takes a little time. All of my kids learned to read just by being read to. I had purchased Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons but we never had to use it! Probably because we read...a lot!
Go to the library. Help her to pick out some Easy Readers that she likes and then read them, over and over. You'll be amazed on how she'll pick up what sounds the letters make just by doing that. Think about how she learned to speak English. Did you teach her English? No! She just picked it up after all the repetition. The same will be true for reading because you read so much! Trust me, been there! By the time my children were 4 or 5, I did not even worry about it. I knew they would be reading without much effort on my part other than reading to them and doing the flashcards. And they did!
I believe you must teach phonics when teaching reading. We used flash cards that you can still get. They'll teach her all the sounds that each letter makes. The cards will also help her to spell them correctly.
I purchased our flash cards through Spalding. The Classroom Size of phonogram cards sells for $23. The Individual Size is $13. The classroom cards are a little bigger for classroom use and comes with a laminated box to store them in. A storage box will hopefully keep you from losing any! =) We have the smaller individual size and they worked fine. It's really up to you. The sets are identical except for the size. I see that they now carry additional phonogram cards for older students encountering more difficult words. They're the large size and fit in the laminated storage box. Each card has a sound on the front. It can be one letter or a group of letters. The back of the card tells you what sound or sounds that letter or letters make. For example, the letter "g" has 2 sounds: "g" as in bag and "j" as in gem. Basic instructions are on the card. Additional instructions are included in the set. We used these cards a lot. Start slowly. I started with just a couple of cards in the beginning, like letters that were already in their name or that they already knew. That gave them confidence! As they mastered those cards, I added more. Before long they knew all the phonics sounds.
As you may already know, I really liked using Ruth Beechick's 3R's. She suggests, when teaching reading, not to teach the alphabet first. (It's okay if you have already!)
No need to worry. As much as you're reading to her, she'll be reading on her own in no time.