You can begin to teach your child how to read … right now … perhaps while you’re awaiting the arrival of curriculum. Or perhaps you, like what would occur with me, are tired of the curriculum you’re using and simply need a brief break. So, why not teach your child how to read using something different and close at hand?
Most families have a home library. If your bookshelves are like mine, there are numerous picture books on it. On my shelf is a book by Margaret Wise Brown – Big Red Barn, a rather engaging story. This book is chock-full of three- and four- letter words. Any of which could be used for teaching a new word for a reading lesson.
Before I begin, I need to set up my go-to writing slate, a baking sheet covered with a film of flour or cornmeal. Not to heavy, yet not to skimpy since you’ll need to “erase ” what your child writes by gently giggling or tapping the baking sheet on a firm surface, like a kitchen table. I like this writing slate because it has no lines that a beginning writer needs to conform to. And their finger is the pencil, a natural writing instrument, easy to hold.
Now begin the reading lesson by choosing a word or a letter you are wanting to teach to your child. Since I’m using the book, Big Red Barn, the word BIG will be used during the teaching time.
Tell him about the new word or letter that he’ll be learning. Have him explain the meaning. You may want to use a child’s dictionary and read the definition aloud to him. Pronounce each letter sound in the word, Have him repeat it. Do this as many times as you feel necessary. Until he firmly knows it, more or less. Inevitably, my children would seem to forget the sounds, that’s okay just keep at it. He’ll get it.
Show him the book and read it aloud to him. Use your finger to follow along under the text. Pause at every BIG word. Sound out each letter, blend the sounds, form the word. Have him copy.
As you read make it a game, the hunt for BIG. See how many he can find. Race to see who can find the word first. Kind of like “I spy”. Of course, you mom, will act like you missed one or two and praise him for finding the word before you did.
After finishing the story, show him the flour writing slate. Use your pencil finger to show him how to write the letters in the word. Both upper and lower case. You, his teacher, will know if he is able to write the entire word or one letter at a time. Have him write to his little heart’s content. Leave the writing slate out for him to use as he wants during the remainder of the school day.
My children are long past the learning to read stage of homeschool. I recall how they enjoyed these little learning side-roads that lasted for a day or an entire week. I needed it and they did too.
Remember, keep-it-simple, go easy on yourself and …
Home is where Wholesome School Begins.