As an elementary school teacher, I saw many children struggle to read. It was painful to watch them as they attempted to read aloud with utter embarrassment and a mindset of failure. There are too many reasons to list as to why kids struggle to read.
Needless to say, I want Audrey and Sophia to have a literacy rich environment and access to a bounty of books. I want them to be phonemically aware and have a strong grasp of the alphabet principles. I believe that this positive mindset and environment helps to foster a love for reading. Audrey is 3 1/2 and loves to read books. Sometimes I read to her, but more often she has wanted to read books to me. I love it and she loves it:) It is FUN for both of us.
Some people think I must push her to read, but that is far from the truth!! At her age, when it is no longer enjoyable for her we STOP! I don't want to hinder her love for reading, I want to help. That being said, I look for reading readiness skills and I am quick to meet her needs and desires.
There have been a few tools that we have enjoyed and used to promote reading readiness and early reading skills:
1) Leapfrog Letter Factory followed by Talking Words. These DVDs are GREAT!! It helps to teach letter sounds and simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words. Sophia (17 months) knows all of her sounds too! She squeals with delight and starts waving her hands when I turn it on! I don't like to let the girls watch too much television, but this is VERY educational, especially when you need to take a shower:)
2) www.starfall.com - This is a big hit with the girls! Audrey is in charge of the computer and Sophia gets to pick a letter. This makes Audrey feel like a helpful big sister and I get to get dinner on the table:)
3) I am in the process of making word family minibooks printables for early readers.
4) I have also made some sight word printable, which have been helpful it building confidence for Audrey. We love to make sentences out of these too.
5) Bob Books- These books have been a tremendous resource to successful early reading. We LOVE these!
We are enjoying our journey and having loads of fun along the way. Audrey is so pleased with herself and constantly announces, "I did it!! I read that book! I am learning how to read, Mommy!" I feel so blessed to be her teacher, but mostly I am blessed to be her Mommy:)