What I just love about Grade 1 is the way they learn to read. How do they learn to read? Each child has a different way – for some it’s visual – for others auditory then again it may be a combination of both – tactile comes into it too. They use picture cues, contextual cues and a dozen other cues. Some children learn easily for others it takes longer and some might even need specialised help. The good news is that almost every child does learn in the end. I try to make each reading lesson fun and so far the girls seem to be enjoying it.
But before a child learns to read she should have had many many stories read to her. Parents and other adults in the child’s life should not stop reading to the child when she begins to learn to read to herself either. She will be gaining so much from having books with richer vocabulary read to her; books she can not yet read to herself. Hearing language builds language. I cannot emphasise enough how important this is. Then when it comes to helping your child at home the key is – no pressure. Do not ask her to sound out a word – or say things like – you know that word – you’ve just read it. It takes time for the new words to sink in. Make the reading session fun – read with your child – tell her the words she gets stuck on then come back to that word later.
Many parents say to me – my child doesn’t really know the words – she is reading the book off by heart. Or If I cover the pictures she can’t read the story. Please, parents – all of this is part of the learning process. Do not cover the pictures – they give important clues as to what is happening in the story. Learning by heart is also part of learning to read – eventually those words will be recognised. Let her read off by heart and then point to random words and see how many she eventually learns to read! Let her work out the word by its position in the sentence. Referencing is also a way that gets that word embedded into her head.
Over the past few weeks we have had fun doing lots of different activities.
We learned a new word – Symmetry – and filled in details on a face.
We know our colours and had fun colouring octopuses orange, cutting them out ( a good fine motor skill) and puffing them out to look 3D on our own.
We are learning positional words (prepositions)
After our work is done we can do puzzles, play games or read on the mat.