How Rhiannon Learned to Read
written spring ’07 when she was turning 5
Only two or three times have I ever attempted to have a structured reading lesson with Rhiannon (using The Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, by the way, which I think is very good, just unnecessary). Despite no structured lessons, Rhiannon is reading at least on a first grade level. Most likely even higher, but since I don’t test her, it’s hard to say.
It’s also hard to say exactly how she learned to read. It’s rather invisible. However, I can list activities she and I have done many times which I think supported her learning to read:
I’ve always talked with her a lot, since she was a baby, in a real voice, about real things, in a voice not watered down with much babytalk.
We played with letters–scrabble tiles, blocks, magnets–just having fun.
I read aloud to her a lot. When she was three she was enjoying listening to Lord of the Rings. Right now (spring ’07) we are reading the Harry Potter series.
We have lots of books everywhere in the house, and she has been very interested in them since she was a baby.
She has played many computer games such Reader Rabbit and starfall.com, and watched the Leap Frog videos many times.
She often asks me to point to the words when I read aloud.
When she is reading something and asks me what a word is I just tell her.
We’ve played word family games, making several words that all end in -at, for example.