Despite the fact that Charlotte can sit and look at books for hours by herself and loves to have us read to her, she’s been reluctant to start working on reading. I finally decided that it was due to her personality that doesn’t want attention (or excessive praise) shown to her. Her typical reaction to us praising her effusively is to tell us that we’re “too excited” so I knew that a “typical” approach to learning to read that I would naturally lean toward probably wouldn’t work.
I knew that Charlotte tended to do better when she could see her progress and could mark it herself, without the pressure of a parent (or anyone) being overly effusive with the praise at her accomplishment. I don’t understand it, but I get that that’s what Charlotte needs so I decided to try my best to accommodate her.
[Sidenote: For the record, I have no idea if this approach is even remotely close to how you’re “supposed” to start helping them learn to read, it’s just what we’re doing. There was NO research done into what the best way to help your child learn to read. I’m just winging it!]
In thinking about how to approach the problem, I remembered that I had bought two magnetic tiles from Target a while ago when they were on clearance. They still weren’t hanging anywhere and I decided that making Charlotte a “Word Board” might be the push that she needed. She hasn’t liked the “pressure” of sounding out letters yet (let me clarify that I promise we don’t pressure her, she just doesn’t like the attention) so I thought that we could start with some sight words. You know, words that they basically memorize what the letters are and then can begin to pick those out of books? I randomly chose the word “and” one day and we started pointing it out on the page and getting her to say the letters and recognize it. And then I introduced the Word Board concept and you would have thought I hung the moon Charlotte was so excited! In case you want to recreate, I’ve included steps below.
– Some type of board to put the words on. I used the magnetic tiles shown below because I didn’t want her having push pins in her room for a bulliten board. The Pinterest trick of using an old cookie sheet as a magnetic board might work too. But the point is to create somewhere where they can see the words they know so they can be proud of themselves and can constantly see them and remember them!
– Note cards
– Sticky hooks (that’s what I hung the boards with on her doors so that they’re easy to get off when she tires of this)
Step 1. Hang your board somewhere at the kids eye level.
Step 2. Write the words that they can “read”/recognize on an index card and have them put them on the board.
Step 3. As they learn new words, add more cards!
As soon as we got this set up with the three words that Charlotte knew (And, I, Charlotte) she raced to find a book so that she could learn another word. Now she’s constantly looking for new words that she can learn and even wrote out a card for the word “A” herself when we talked about how it’s a word that she knows too! I know it’s just the start, but I’m excited about introducing her to the world of reading one word at a time!
– This magnetic board just happened to be something that I had laying around. I wasn’t given it or compensated in any way for using it.