Friday, January 29, 2010

How I Taught My Son to Read, Basically

I am a blogger, but I am also a mom!  I consider the day I found out I  was expecting my first baby a HUGE PROMOTION! As a mom, I am also very passionate about teaching my little ones to read and to be good learners.  My son has a natural interest in letters and thinks they are lots of FUN. I am not an educator nor am I an expert. I just want to share what I have learned.  I know this is a HOTLY debated subject, but this is my blog and I want to share :)  This is how I taught him to read at a basic level by 3 1/2:
  1. ABC Song and Read to him at least 30 minutes a Day: I sang to him the ABC song ALL of the time when he was a baby.  We are now teaching him the ABC song in spanish using the same tune.  We also tried to read the recommended 30 minutes a day. 
  2. Playtime Letters: My sister-in-law bought him Bath Tub Letters when he was a baby.  He still loves to play with them in the bathtub. At 2 years old, we gave him Alphabet Flash Cards that he would play with ALL of the time. I like them because they are sturdy and not easy to destroy! There are others out there like HERE!
  3. Dr. Seuss's ABC book: I read to him the book Dr. Seuss's ABC from 6 months on! He LOVES this book!
  4. Learning DVDs: A friend of mine suggested I start him on these Leapfrog videos: Letter Factory Talking Words FactoryCode Word Caper  and Learn to Read at the Storybook Factory.  I LOVE these DVDs.  He learned so much!  (I saw 2 bundles as well Leap Frog Bundle of 6 DVDs plus 26 Flash Cards and Leapfrog Learning DVDs 5-Pack  but I bought the DVDs  individually. ) I personally do not like the Your Baby Can Read because I think it is a little dull and I like phonics personally.  Some find that they have great results with that program.
  5. Sing and Learn EVERYWHERE: In the car, we sing the songs from the Leapfrog DVDs!  I also taught him some silly spelling songs that I know, like "it's bananas, b-an-an-as".  We just try to have fun with learning! We look at words and letters everywhere we go!
  6. Fridge Phonics: I also bought him the  Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set.  He loved to "play" letters ALL of the time. I never forced him to "play letters"! He LOVED it!  We bought the  Word Whammer Fridge Phonics but I am not crazy about this product.  
  7. 100 Library books in 100 days: To increase his interest in reading, I started my own campaign called 100 books in 100 days at 2 3/4!  We read 100 books in 100 days together in hopes that it would help to increase his desire to read, increase his vocabulary and keep me accountable as a SAHM.  I went to my local library and checked out books instead of buying them.  
  8. Games: Once he knew his phonics, we would go to the grocery store together.  I would say, "this is a b-b-b-banana.  What letter does this start with? " This is a game that you can take with you everywhere.  You can say, "we are going to stop at a s-s-s-stop sign.  What does stop start with?"
  9. Bob Books: Right now, we are reading through the Bob books!  I love them and they have increased his confidence that he really does know how to read words.  
  10. Tag Reading System: At night, we let him "read" his books through the Tag Reading System (32 MB).  He loves the fact that he can "read" by himself! 
Some of my favorite websites on Reading are: Starfall and Reading Rockets if you would like to read more!  Now back to finding deals :) .....

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