Monday, June 11, 2012

It's reading time!

Amelia is four, going on seventeen. The moment she reached her 4th birthday, "I can do it - I'm four!" became her daily mantra. She can unbuckle her car seat now. She can unlock any door. She gets her own drinks out of the fridge. She can reach things she had not been able to reach before.

Lately, she is frustrated. She is annoyed that she cannot read. She does not understand why she cannot spell. She writes her letters for hours on end, asking me how to spell names and words. She writes random letters and asks me what they say; then gets mad at me when I explain that she wrote DHYELAI, which is not an actual word.

All of this tells me it's time to start teaching! I am not a teacher, nor do I have the faintest idea how to go about this, especially since Amelia is a bit younger than what I would assume is the optimal time for learning to read. I have to tiptoe around her frustration, because I do not want her to get down on herself if it is difficult. But learning that things are difficult is not a bad lesson, either.

Since she is initiating this new phase of learning, I will play along.

The other day, we labeled the house! It was really fun to point out objects, write them down, and stick them up. Amelia reads out the letters each morning and tells me the word. She is showing a lot of excitement, so much that her eyes twinkle when we run through our house of words and play our "game". 

We began with 15 words: Floor, Chair, Drawer, Stove, Water, Books, Toys, TV, Clock, Stairs, Bath, Bed, Window, Closet, and Door. Each day, I plan to add another new word or two to the mix. We've added Fireplace, Mirror, Plant, Table, Tree, Music, Upstairs, and Downstairs so far. My house looks a bit crazy, but it's fun!  

I want to make up a game with sight words soon, since I've been told those are usually a first step to reading. (Sight words are those like if, at, the, or.) It will be a summer of words!
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