I had set a goal in September that I wanted my son reading by December. I had hoped by last year Spring he would be reading, but when a child is not interested, forcing it is not helpful. :)
I had learned that over the past couple of years of off and on attempting phonics only to be told at one point. "MOMMY!!! I don't want to learn sounds, I want to learn WORDS!!!!!!" He wasn't loud or obnoxious, but he was very straight-forward about his continued refusal.
I'd read and then stop and say...so what do you think this next word is. I started smart... I'd pick a word that would be obvious from a picture, or a word he already knew. He'd "guess it or say it" and I'd say good job lad.
If he mangled the pronunciation or completely guessed wrong I'd simply say.. well...the picture has a fish in it, what to try again? And then he'd say "fish". And if he guessed just based on the first letter I'd say, you know what... a th ALWAYS sounds like "TH" can you make a "TH" sound? Great! And did you know that a "ING" always sounds like "ING"? Frequently I got a No mommy? And sometimes he point to a different word and say...so what sound does this make? And so we learn some phonics....he learns and we stress not.
From that we built up a few words until I said Okay.. you're starting to guess words well, and you know some words so... what book do you really really want to have???
Bad kitty is one of his all time favourite books. If you want to learn how to hold an election, how to handle adoption, how to deal with the unexpected or with disappointment...Bad Kitty will teach you things from a somewhat different perspective. And in the eyes of one seven year old... you will laugh hysterically. :)
Told him he could have it when he could read a complete book.
ACK!!! he got all worried, was starting to get majorly stressed about it all, until I told him to chill out. This was NOT something he needed to lose sleep over. Mom wasn't going to stress about it so neither should he. I wasn't expecting him to read a chapter book. I wanted him to read a book for beginner readers (and I showed him the stash we were going to work through). OH.. was his response. That's good mom. I think I can read one of those mom....do you think Bad Kitty will be mine in two months? I said..Ah no... I think it will be yours in a month because I KNOW you can read lots of words, you just need to put them all together in a sentence.
We did a lot of practicing and trying and memorization until finally one day he could read a book...but he had to read it to his dad. Dad grinned. :)
Wow.. the confidence one seven year old gained from that.
He's not an avid reader yet, but he's starting to understand the joy of books and of trying to read. He's getting hooked on fun literature. :) He's willing to try and that's huge.
I did up this post as part of my participation in the Virtual Curriculum Fair.
Here's the link to it. :) enjoy learning and reading folks. :)