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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could we share some ideas and tips on encouraging our preschoolers' literacy skills?<br><br>
I know that many MDC mamas homeschool, others choose traditional education, and I am sure that we all have different backgrounds and information on early literacy and its development. We have done some cool things at our house, as I am sure many of you have, and I would love to share ideas. Also, if you use any great websites, those would be great to share.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<a href="http://www.studydog.com/" target="_blank">http://www.studydog.com/</a> I just foudn this and my kids 4, 7, 10 like them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We like this one....<br><br><a href="http://www.starfall.com" target="_blank">www.starfall.com</a><br><br>
We also are doing a word bank for our 5.5 yr old. Its like flashcards, but it is totally initiated by him. He has journal time everyday and when he wants to know how to write a word we ask him if he would like to but that word in his word bank. We go to the internet together, get a picture of the word, he types the word into a word document, we print both things, and make a homemade flash card. He loves it, and then he uses his word bank cards later to know how to spell his favorite words.
 

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I like the word bank idea! When my son started to recognize certain words we started a "Reading Words" file. Whenever he read a new word (like when we were driving around and he'd say- "look, that says x") I'd write the word on an index card and put it in a little recipe box. Occasionally he would thumb through all the cards in the box and remind himself how many words he knew. We only did this for the first 2-3 dozen words; after that, they started coming so fast we couldn't keep up!
 

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My kids like StudyDog too! It is very engaging and covers soome great early reading skills. I know because I've taught primary grades for 13 years. My kids love the different characters and the storyline. I also like bookadventure. My first grade daughter and I are going to set up a reading list for the summer.
 

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My daughter started reading at a very early age. I attribute this partly to genetics (I was an early reader myself), the fact that she's just a bright kid, the fact that she's been read to since birth, and the fact that she and I always "played with language" when she was a toddler. Looking back, a lot of the little games we played strengthened her phonemic awareness skills. We did a lot of rhyming, and making up silly words by changing their ending and beginning sounds (as in, "Okay, it's time for your BUNCH!!" "Mommy, you're silly, you mean LUNCH!!!")<br><br>
I don't think that early reading should be a goal, but I do think that a lof of the things we did at home made learning to read more accessible and easier. Make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LunaMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think that early reading should be a goal</div>
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Really? Why not?
 

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We sit down every day to read and have done so since both kids were born practically and my oldest always has her nose in a book and my 3yr old is always in her room "reading" out loud. We also have tons of books -- a bookcase in each of their rooms and many packed away that we rotate in. Dd#1 learned to read around 6 1/2 but has been going strong ever since.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LunaMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My daughter started reading at a very early age. I attribute this partly to genetics (I was an early reader myself), the fact that she's just a bright kid, the fact that she's been read to since birth, and the fact that she and I always "played with language" when she was a toddler. Looking back, a lot of the little games we played strengthened her phonemic awareness skills. We did a lot of rhyming, and making up silly words by changing their ending and beginning sounds (as in, "Okay, it's time for your BUNCH!!" "Mommy, you're silly, you mean LUNCH!!!")<br><br><b>I don't think that early reading should be a goal, but I do think that a lof of the things we did at home made learning to read more accessible and easier.</b> Make sense?</div>
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ditto this!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I read lots of books to my girls. They love books. Oldest DD was very early to speak complete sentences and knew her alphabet before she was two. She started teaching herself how to read before she was four. But I don't believe in pushing my children like my parents pushed me. I feel very uncomfortable with that approach, and simply follow their lead instead. They *want* me to read to them, that's cool with me. I don't do flash cards or label things around the house. But we do play word games, rhyming games, and such all the time. That's what *they* want to do. I'm just along for the ride!<br><br>
Younger DD doesn't even talk yet, and if she doesn't read before she's 10, that's okay with me. She won't be going to school, and may not need to read (schools depend on literacy in order to be able to teach, but my approach is more unschooling instead). All kids learn things at their own pace and when the time is right for them to learn those things.
 

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I really believe the best thing you can do to promote literacy in your kids is to read to them from birth and let them see YOU reading to yourself. Just having lots of reading material around and using it. As with anything else, kids will learn by example and if you read they'll see it as a natural form of entertainment and not something that is separate and "academic."
 

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Midwesternmomma, when I said I don't think early reading should be a goal, what I meant was that parents shouldn't push their kids to be early readers unless the children themselves seem interested in learning to read at a young age. I think that kids are ready to grasp the concept of reading at different ages, just as kids talk, walk, and learn to use the potty at different ages, and if parents allow children to take the lead, learning comes much easier.<br><br>
Here's my DD's story, if you're interested:<br><br>
My daughter started showing an interest in letters and words at a very early age, recognized the entire alphabet by 18 months, and was "spelling" things with a surprising amount of accuracy with her magnetic letters on the fridge by age 2 1/2. This came with very little input from me, other than occasionally singing the alphabet song and reading an ABC board book or two. The last thing I wanted to do was jump on her with a bunch of phonics lessons, so I just answered her questions when she asked me things like, "What letter makes the sound 'MMM'?" At 3 1/2, she told me she wanted to learn to read "for real," so I sought the advice of a homeschooling cousin whose child also began reading very early, and she directed me towards some useful resources. I used "Phonics Pathways" for a bit, but after a few weeks of doing about fifteen minutes a day (at DD's request), she stopped asking, so I stopped teaching. We were up to one-syllable, short-vowel words with two-consonant endings, such as "milk," "lamp," "rust." We haven't done a "reading lesson" since - but she just sort of took off on her own. The only teaching I do is when she needs help, so if she asks what a word says, rather than just tell her the word, I'll identify the spelling pattern that's giving her trouble and tell her what that part of the word says, and then she can sound the rest of it out. Often it's a long vowel sound, because those are the hardest.<br><br>
So she's almost 6 1/2 now and if I had to quantify her reading ability I would say that she's probably reading at about a third or fourth grade level, but she hasn't been formally tested to my knowledge (she attends kindergarten at a public school). I don't necessarily think that being an EARLY reader will benefit her in school - if she had gone into K just knowing her letters and some of the sounds they made she still would have learned to read easily, for the reasons I wrote in my first post. But the fact that reading seems to come naturally to her (and of course, that she enjoys it) will be a huge plus all through her education, because successful reading is essential to success in almost every other academic area. I taught public school for a number of years and it was pretty much true across the board (with occasional exceptions, of course) that the good readers were the best all-around students and that the struggling readers did poorly in every subject - even math.<br><br>
So I love the title of this thread, because raising good readers does start with encouraging emergent literacy, rather than with pushing children to learn to read. It can be weird being the parent of an advanced reader because people naturally assume that you pushed your kid. It's getting better because she's actually less "impressive" now that she's getting older! It doesn't shock people as much to see a 6 1/2 year old reading as it did when she was only 4!
 

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I second Starfall! We love love love that site.<br><br>
Dr. Seuss' books come on software I like.<br><br>
Reading signs is a good start...the shapes help... like Stop. Then kids of course notice labels like McDonald's or Gap...<br><br>
Rhyming words... stop, pop, hop... out loud for fun.<br><br>
Reading books over & over.<br><br>
Labeling things around the house.<br><br>
Writing notes to friends & family. Kids can do this phonetically if they know letter sounds & can write. Doesn't matter if it's messy.<br><br>
Typing in a word processor program.<br><br>
Games like I Spy. I Spy with my little eye something that starts with D. etc.<br><br>
Games like bingo or dominos (matching), sequencing cards, Boggle Jr...<br><br>
Bob Books.<br><br>
Encourage them to "read" picture books. Part of reading is processing external clues in books like pictures (or for older readers, context).<br><br>
Some kids live for workbooks. DS does not but his cousin eats them up. She loves to "play" school.<br><br>
Books on tape where they can follow along.<br><br>
Learning sight words like platysaurus or Egypt is easier than simpler words like something like "that" because the letter combination is very unique. If you start with the first couple letter of "that" it might turn into "the" or "there"... So you can gather a bunch of "hard" words like dinosaur names which kids love anyway!<br><br>
Writing stories. Transcribe their stories (write fast!) and have them "read" them back to you.<br><br>
Looking forward to other ideas!
 

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Oh, couldn't leave without saying Between the Lions. That is such a cute show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LunaMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">parents shouldn't push their kids to be early readers unless the children themselves seem interested in learning to read at a young age.</div>
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I totally agree with this... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I too have a very interested child and it has been so nice to watch him grow and learn. Your daughter seems like such a sharp kid... its nice to watch, isn't it?
 

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Yes, it is. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Because I'm such a freak for learning myself, it sure is nice to have a kid who loves to learn! Just yesterday I taught her all about solids, liquids and gases - brought on by a question she asked while helping me cook dinner!
 

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My son's still in the toddler age range, but he seems to be on the bibliophile track, too. He's always dropping a book in someone's lap, and he's got two alphabet sets (one foam, one stuffed) that he's forever toting around. Another thing he loves is Magnadoodles - he'll come up and hand one to the nearest adult and wait for us to write words for him :LOL He's starting to recognize the letters, too, which is a little weird to hear from a child that doesn't have more than two recognizable words!
 
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