How to teach your child to read

Learning to read marks a stage in growing up.  It’s a special time and it can be so much fun. But how to start?  Do you initiate reading or does the child?  Is there a right age to start? 

I think that with children under the age of seven it’s best to let the child lead; if you are reading heaps to your child then it won’t be long before he is asking about reading or letters of the alphabet. 

The alphabet comes first.  It’s a well known and widely accepted fact that children need to gain skills in phonics before learning to read.  Because when children know the letter shapes and the sounds that the letters make they are well on the way to becoming confident readers.

It is great when learning is happening casually and slowly.  But sometimes it’s nice to have guidance and direction in something like this, and it’s great to have a wide variety of products to choose from which fit together and teach in the same way.

 One of the nicest ways to teach phonics is with Letterland.  It’s a great system, comprehensive, successful, popular and used throughout the world.   

A unique aspect of Letterland is that each letter has a character that the child can relate to, (e.g. Annie Apple, a…, Clever Cat, c…) and each character has a story.  This makes the alphabet interesting for young learners and it helps them to relate and remember.  

Something about Letterland that I like very much is the wide variety of material available for teaching the alphabet.  For example, the alphabet book, ABC is a best seller. And then there’s lots more to accompany the books.  For example,

Rhyming flash cards,

Magnetic letters

Alphabet songs,

Activity books 

and Bedtime stories.

Another point in favour of Letterland is the completeness of the program, with lots of support for you, the teacher.  There are a variety of teacher manuals to help you understand how to teach Letterland.  For example,  Early Years Handbook and primary Teacher’s Guide, which is a solid, 200-page, spiral bound book.   These two both provide you with plenty of follow-up activities and there are also discussion topics and activity sheets for you to photocopy and use. 

There are even software programs, Living ABC and Living Code CD ROM for those who want computer support.

Letterland is suitable for homeschooling parents and for parents of children at school too.  It’s not a reading scheme, so it won’t interfere with a school’s reading scheme.  It’s a phonic system which helps children to understand and learn the alphabet.  So it integrates nicely with most good reading schemes.

So if you are looking for a top quality, comprehensive and thorough start to learning to read for your child, thentake a few minutes to check out Letterland.

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