Mom read a book quite some time ago called “Why Johnny Can’t Read” talking about how the schools teach “sight words” and “guessing” instead of phonics. This book laid out how you can teach your child phonics on your own. The book made such an impact on her that she bought a copy right then to eventually give each of us kids so when we had our own kids we could teach them to read before they went to school. I tried it with Jenna when she was about 6, but she wanted no part of it and I eventually gave up. I’ve been wanting to make flash cards out of the lessons for over a year so I could start working with Alex, but just could not find the time. Mom took over and sent me the cards yesterday.
Alex saw the cards and asked what they were. I told him that I was going to use them to teach him how to read. So Alex and I started out today naming the sounds of the alphabet which you’re supposed to do until they know them all before moving onto the first lesson. The only letter that gave him a little bit of trouble was E. But he suddenly remembered it without help from me. So we moved onto lesson 1, which focuses on the A sound within 3 and 4 letter words. The 4 letter words are words that ended in a double letter, like ll, ss, and zz. He had no problems with that lesson. We moved onto Lesson 2, which focuses on the E sound. That one gave him some trouble which was not surprising since E itself game him some trouble. We eventually made it through Lesson 2. We almost stopped once because he seemed to be getting frustrated, but he just wanted a drink and then came back to finished the last 10 cards. Then he was done.
My plan is that if he wants to try again tomorrow, we’ll do the same round of lessons. Lesson 1 then Lesson 2. And we’ll keep doing that until Lesson 2 is not a problem anymore.
I truly cannot believe how little trouble he had with the first Lesson since this is the first time I’ve tried to have him sound out words. We had heard from his teacher at Fall Parent Teacher conferences that the new reading program did get back to basics and start teaching phonics again, so I think that really helped. He did do some guessing, but I made him back up and try again to show that guessing doesn’t work. Hopefully he’ll stay interested and by the end of the summer, he’ll be reading like a pro!