It’s Still Greek

I love baby babble.  It’s just so darn cute.  You can’t help but get caught up in it and babble back.  I think the cutest sight is to see a baby with a book, babbling away, patting the book and thoroughly enjoying the moment.  Eventually, the babbling turns into sounds and the sounds eventually form words.  It’s a process, a slow process.

Learning to read, is also a slow process, in the beginning. Breaking and understanding the code is the key to success.   TMI, or too much information, can cause problems later.  It is better to learn one thing well in the beginning than to learn everything at once and not remember it.

When I have preschoolers that are just itching to read but not developmentally ready for it, I teach them one thing.  “A” , both upper and lowercase.  Right now I only want them to know the name of the letter because that is how we are going to use it.  I do tell them, however, that when the “A” or “a” is standing alone it becomes a word and the word is pronounced just like the letter name.  Then we might play a game where the “A” or “a”gets picked out of a group of letters.  When the child becomes comfortable with recognizing and saying the letter name then we begin to read.

So we sit down with a book that I know has the word “A” and “a” in it and I say, “I am really tired of doing all of the reading, so if you could please read the word “A” for me everytime we come to it, that would really help.”  As I am reading I am also tracking and in the beginning, I let my finger slow down at the word they are going to read.

Now

! $)&^  (*   &%  !  #&^

becomes

A $)&^  (*   &%  a  #&^

and the decoding has begun.

At this time you can slowly start teaching your preschooler the letters of the alphabet in order.  You are only teaching letter names.  “B” and “b” come next because it is the order of the alphabet.  You work with A, B,a,b a lot before you add C,c.  They need to be recognized in a crowd, put in alphabetical order and  called by name.  Add one letter at a time, know it well, before going on to the next.

They do not need to be written…that is another skill entirely.  TMI

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