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Children shouldn’t be forced into reading, but sometimes kids can show an interest in reading at a very young age. You do want to capture this interest and build on it, but how? Here are a few tips to help.
If your child knows their letters by sight, it is time to start working on letter sounds. This can and should be taken very slowly, however. Even before they focus on actual sounds for each letter, see how they do with recognizing similar letter sounds.
- Pick a letter such as t for television. Say the word “television” and have them repeat the word back to you.
- Then, ask them if they can think of any other words that start with t-t-television. If it helps, you could ask them to find something in the room that sounds like that (provided there is something there).
- If this seems too advanced you could give them some words that sound like television along with a few that do not. Ask them to tell you what sounds like t-t-television. Oftentimes it is easier for them to catch you in a mistake than it is to produce their own answer.
- Work your way through five different letters in these two ways, and have them master these two skills. Then move on to five more letters. After they have mastered a new one, add it in with the five previous ones they have mastered from the first two steps.
- Proceed through the alphabet this way.
The key to this activity is to let the child set the pace. If they don’t show any interest, be done. Revisit in a month or so to see if they show interest then. If you have tried it a few times and they just don’t show an interest, move on and find a new way activity in which to incorporate beginning letter sounds.
*For the more advanced learner, or for those who have mastered the entire alphabet with beginning letter sounds, you can do this same activity with ENDING letter sounds. For instance with the word top you would be focusing on the “p” sound.