Making Sense of Words

posted in: Parenting | 15

Last night my toddler read his first two words. We’d spent a few minutes in the afternoon playing what I named “The Almond Game” — an Egg Carton Reading game based on the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 10 Minutes a Day by Sidney Ledson (#afflink).

I had bought this book a year ago, when my then-two-year-old said he wanted to learn to read. We didn’t really do much with it at the time, but since we started working on letter recognition, I did bring it back out this week. And what a difference a year makes. It was impressive to see my son process the sounds and read two words on his first day of “lessons.”

Anyways, I’ve shared some “teaching reading” resources at the end of this post, but please first enjoy my poem inspired by my son’s new milestone (beginning to read). This bookworm mama is proud 🙂

Making Sense of Words

Letters and sounds
lines and curves
cover the pages of books.

A secret language
unreachable, unintelligible —
for the illiterate child.

Picture books are well and good
but nothing compares to
cuddling up with a good book
and letting the words come alive.

The desire to learn is there,
the goal to decode those mysterious
black and white lines
marching across page after page.

The letter’s name is not its sound
As the animal, a cow, says “moo”…
the letter U says “uhhh.”

What tricky business, separating
names from sounds — unlearning
the alphabet to learn how to
sound out the foreign words
comprised of familiar letters.

But success comes quickly for the young,
a glow of pride spreads from ear to ear
as not one, but two first words
are sounded out — independently.

“Uhh” …”Puh.” Up. Pup.
High fives awarded all around
my young reader beams
excited that the world of words
has finally been decoded —
the world of books is his.

Reading Resources

Here are some resources for teaching little ones how to read. Links will open in a new window for your convenience. Also, make sure to check out my Learning + Education Pinterest Board for more ideas.

Follow Betsy @’s board Learning + Education on Pinterest.

What About You?

Do you have any tips for cultivating the love of reading? Maybe a tried and true way of teaching sight recognition? I would love for you to share in the comments.

As for me, I’m looking forward to continuing to cultivate my son’s love of reading. Maybe “bookworm” is a nickname that will be generational 🙂 — based on how much he loves “reading” the pictures of books he knows, I’m thinking yes.

Making Sense of Words - Learning to Read Books

15 Responses

  1. How exciting! I love the Teach your Child book! What a beautiful post <3

    • Betsy Finn
      | Reply

      Thanks Amy. I just love your tot school activities, but we never seem to get all organized to do something fun like that. This game was a little easier to throw together for a makeshift learning session. I think we are going to try your lego alphabet letters soon though 🙂

  2. Simple Nature Decor
    | Reply

    What a perfect way to teach your kids words and sounds! your child is very luck to have such a talented mother to teach your adorable child.. I love this and happy you linked such a great post

    thanks Maria

    • Betsy Finn
      | Reply

      Thanks Maria for the kind words :). I am so glad I stumbled across both this book by Ledson, and the DIY game for learning the sounds. It has been a huge hit.

  3. adrian
    | Reply

    I think it’s wonderful that you are teaching your child to read. I taught both of my boys to read, long before school started. I used a rather unusual method, but it had terrific results and they really seemed to enjoy it. Now that they are mostly grown (25 and 15) they still are great readers. My youngest has been reading on a college level since Jr. High. Here is a post on how I did it.

    • Betsy Finn
      | Reply

      That’s fabulous, Adrian! I just checked out your post and I really love what you did. I think I will incorporate that into our (many) reading times. Actually, I did with the word “up” the other day (we read “The Giving Tree”). Now to work on longer words as you suggested 🙂

  4. My daughter is 5 and just starting to get interested in learning what the letters mean. It’s exciting for me (I’m a bookworm too!) to watch her get it. We do a lot of active learning with sight words – sight words hopscotch, sight words art, etc – because that’s how she learns best! 🙂

    • Betsy Finn
      | Reply

      Those are great ideas, Emma. I bet sight words art and activities would be very exciting for my son as well. He was so excited to play a reading “game” :). Here’s to cultivating future generations of bookworms!

  5. Mae @ Mommy Loves Trees
    | Reply

    Beautiful post. My son just naturally loves books and he is starting to read. The first word he spelled on his own was fire. Go figure. It may have helped that we read together everyday. Plus our kids see us read. I think it is important for us to set an example of for the behaviors we want to our kids to emulate.

    • Betsy Finn
      | Reply

      That’s awesome, Mae! Kids definitely learn by example. That whole “do as I say, not as I do” mentality never resonated with me either… kids are sure to want to “do as we do” 🙂

  6. Ashley
    | Reply

    That is perfect! We have done many hands on activities to learn reading, but as far as learning to love reading we have just read, and read, and read…..

  7. What a wonderful poem and it is great he is learning to read. Enjoy your time with him! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

    • Betsy Finn
      | Reply

      Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by, Carrie!

  8. Great job getting your son interested in reading. I wasn’t a bookworm till a couple years ago. I wish I had a stronger love of reading when I was a kid, I might have been an even better student. My kids love to readand I see how it has benefited them in school. Thanks for sharing with #SmallVictoriesSunday #linky.

    • Betsy Finn
      | Reply

      Thanks, Tanya. I’m glad you’ve helped your kids to love reading! My favorite part of reading is the imagination 🙂 — a good book beats a movie based on the book most days of the week (coincidentally, I can’t stand to watch movies that I’ve read the book for, it destroys the pictures I’ve created while reading).

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