This week I have been thinking about schools and learning and my mind inevitably turned to reading. Personally, I love to read – old letters, newspapers, blogs, anything from mysteries and chick-lit to classics and magazines. It helps me learn and escape as well as entertaining and informing me. I really want my kids to feel like this about reading.
My daughter starts school very soon and so far she can read her name. Well, she can read her name as long as I don’t join up the letters or use a capital A that is! We‘re about to begin that ‘learning to read’ journey!
I remember it well with my little boy, the endless patience of sounding each letter and word, the slow steps forward then frustrating memory lapses where we seemed to have to re-learn things again and again. Then there are the moments when he got it! Wow, like when he read his first word, first sentence, his first page, and then finally, his first book. Learning to read is a labour of love and it can be the most wonderful journey.
I say we’re about to begin my daughter’s reading journey but actually, like most kids, she has been on the path from the day she was born. Looking at pictures in books began at the start, putting names to images, pointing out simple words. I have read to her daily; stories from simple books with fabulous expressive pictures. Later, these became longer stories but still with many pictures, now I read her chapter stories and she follows and remembers.
We’ve also bought weekly children’s magazine and traced letters, found everything beginning with B, read poems and guessed rhyme endings. We’ve stuck letter magnets on the fridge and written Daddy and Mummy and Boo. She’s got favourite books she knows almost off by heart like the wonderful ‘Room on a Broom’ and old favourites like Little Red Riding Hood that she ‘reads’ to her teddies. It’s part of her night-time routine to choose two stories every night before bed. The library is part of her weekly routine. She sees mummy reading a lot and her big brother now greedily gobbles up books and puts reading on a par with his Lego!
Learning letters and learning to read has been part of her play from the start.
To read more on this please take a look at the Endless Play blog that I write each week for Chad Valley toys.