My 4 year old daughter loves to read. We’ve been reading to her every night (and throughout the day) since she was born. She picked up language really quickly and also knew all the letters, the sounds they made, and how to write each one before she was three. But after she had learned all that, I knew the next step was reading, but I didn’t know how to approach teaching her. So, I started out with some basic sight words flash cards. We started going through 5 words each night and she picked up on them pretty quickly. After she had gotten them all down, we moved on to simple sentences. She also picked up on that pretty quickly, but she didn’t like doing it at all. She dreaded having to read her sentences each night and would beg me to just skip reading and go straight to stories. So, finally I decided to put the reading on hold. I knew she was ready because she picked up on it so quickly, but I didn’t know how to make it fun for her so that she wanted to read.
Then I came across a blog post from a parenting blog I really love called Play At Home Mom. She was in a similar situation trying to find a way for her son to learn reading and writing that was fun for him. She found that if she used something that he is interested in (super heroes) that it would be fun for him to learn and he would enjoy it and want to do it. Now as you all know, I have a little super hero lover myself, so I got some inspiration from her in hopes that Annalie would want to learn how to read and write.
I bought some magnetic sight words, blank magnetic sheets to add some of our own super hero words, a super hero notebook, pencils, and a mailbox. I also made some alphabet super hero flash cards that I found online.
I set up the sight words on our chalkboard in the playroom so Annalie could build sentences.
I gave her the notebook and the flash cards (which she was over the moon for) and we attached the mailbox to the wall just outside her bedroom.
So far, it has been a huge success. She uses her magnetic sight words and her flash cards to write letters. Most of them are about superheroes.
We’ve been writing each other letters almost every day. She writes me letters and puts them in the mailbox for me to read, and I’ll write her one in return. She loves waking up and seeing the little flag on the mailbox and knowing there is a letter inside.
She also loves writing me letters, folding up the paper, putting a stamp (aka sticker) on the outside and leaving it in the mailbox for me to find.
“Lots of pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.” “Flash is like me.”
And the best part is that she is having so much fun and instead of begging me NOT TO read and write, she’s begging me TO read and write!
I just love watching her learn and grow, especially when she is having so much fun doing so. Being a parent can be so rewarding.