My daughter started kindergarten last month and it
feels a bit like I've re-entered kindergarten as well, as we've
been doing "homework" and projects and really starting to learn
things. Preschool was a great introduction to school and the social
aspects of school, but I can really see the learning process taking
shape in her little head now. And her favorite thing to do is read.
Now, she can't read entire books yet, but we are moving forward
pretty rapidly, not just because her mother and I believe it's the
single most important skill she'll learn this year, but because
she LOVES it. We have flash cards and word games and easy
readers and every time she can put together a new word or sentence,
you'd think she just won the lottery.
I went searching for a few books to help me supplement
the process (and to make sure I don't goof anything up) and here
are several that have been great additions to pushing the reading
Mommy, Teach Me to Read!: A Complete and Easy-to-Use Home
Reading Program by Barbara Curtis
I was resistant to purchasing this book at first because I felt
like the title should include "Daddy" and I'm overly sensitive
to things like that, but after I looked at the book, I decided
I could overlook that one flaw. I'm glad I did. The methods
are all based in the Montessori teaching philosophy, but I think
they work well for anyone looking to give their kids a nice
introduction to reading basics. There are lessons for kids as
young as two and they steadily progress all the way up to kids
in kindergarten. A really simple, really effective primer.
Teach Your Child to Read in Just Ten Minutes a Day
by Sidney Ledson
This book was a little expensive for my tastes, but worth the
money. Doesn't provide a whole of lesson type instruction, but
reads more like a how-to book. The information about introducing
phonics to your child is particularly helpful and easy to follow.
The phonics information will also be helpful for kids that struggle
with memorizing the so-called sight words, which brings us to...
Sight Word Readers: Learning the First 50 Sight Words is a
Snap! by Linda Ward Beech
My daughter has developed an early love for flash cards and
memorization, which is funny, because I know I was resistant
to those things as a kid. But she can't get enough and wants
to add a new word to the flash cards every night. The sight
words are linking words or words that simply show up regularly
when reading - me, my, you, go, etc. This book gives you 50
common sight words and memorizing just half of them will allow
your child to read a good percentage of the words in early readers.