Emma is really away with her reading at the moment. I don’t know when you suddenly ‘got’ reading, but it’s clicked for her and her confidence is really growing week on week.
I’ve found her road to learning to read to be quite different to Daniel’s. Perhaps it’s just reflective of the different way they both learn and their general differences. Daniel was very keen to learn but was less keen to put the effort in and found it frustrating at times. Emma, on the other hand, has been much happier to go at a slower pace. She hasn’t needed the charts to tick off the books she has read, and she’s happy to read the books all in one sitting, whereas Daniel would want to spread them over two sittings.
Emma has really learnt to read following a phonics-based method. I’d not intentionally set out to teach her that way, and if I’m honest I haven’t really had much input at all! She has learnt to read using the games on Skoolbo and by just sitting with me as I read to her. We talk a lot about language and one of the big things that I noticed with Daniel when he learnt to read was that we played eye-spy a lot. For about four or five months eye-spy was the only game we played when in the car. That, inevitably, helped Emma with the sounds of the letters and the spelling of the words.
We have some phonics-based readers that we used with Daniel (we used the Usborne ones) but Emma hasn’t really got on with them. I think it might be in part that she is already so familiar with the stories, having heard Daniel read them aloud. I picked up a few books from various reading schemes in local charity shops and she enjoyed the Songbirds ones. The Book People have a lot of the reading schemes and I ordered the Songbirds collection as well as some of the Biff, Chip and Kipper books for Emma a week or two ago.
Each day the children get around 30 minutes 1-1 time with me. The other two play on the laptop/iPad on an educational game. During Emma’s 1-1 time we do some maths work then cuddle up together on the comfy chair and she reads to me. The simple act of that being our reading chair makes it a more special time for her and she really does enjoy snuggling in and reading to me.
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Emma turned five last week and she seems to have really suddenly grasped her reading a bit better. I admit we haven't done too much serious work on this, just working on it when she feels like it but we are now doing daily practice at her request. I picked up some books in a charity shop last week so we are working through those. She enjoys them so I might try and pick some more up soon. What reading schemes have you enjoyed with your children?
I’ve found the process of learning to read fascinating, and both the older two have learnt in such different ways which makes it even more interesting for me. The only consistent thing for them both has been that we have books everywhere. The children are read to every single day. We read at different times of the day and always at bedtime. They see Damian and I reading and we make regular visits to the library. Reading is a very regular theme throughout our days and I think it is this that has really helped them both take off with reading with relatively little input from me.