My little girl has turned 4 and you know what that means.
It means I’m starting to panic. I haven’t been spending much time with her and teaching her to read.
It’s like that with motherhood, isn’t it? You become exceedingly enthused with the first child, and with that enthusiasm you carry a big sack full of expectations which you pile on your firstborn, and when your firstborn meets your expectations and exceeds them, you breathe a huge sigh of relief and fall into the trap of thinking that the rest of the kids will naturally hit those learning milestones because the first one did it.
Well, at least I lived in that cloud for a while.
Ben and Becks are one academic year apart (18 months to be exact) and because I have finally gotten Ben to be reading and writing on his own, I had thought that I would be breathing a whole lot easier since Ben can now start impressing Becks with his much sought-after reading ability and maybe spurring her to start exploring books on her own.
But no, this little girl would much prefer to be writing gibberish notes and drawing and singing to her bolster – which is totally adorable still – that she’s not impressed much that Korkor has learned to read – from readers to subtitles to signs on the road and labels on food packaging. She now conveniently makes Korkor read for her and to her.
Oh, her royal highness.
And so I am going to back to the basics again, this time round with my middle child.
Becks is not a flashcard kinda girl, and if you were to approach with books and nothing else, she might only just give you five minutes of her attention. So I tried this with her, and she loved it.
First, a simple reader which would help her in decoding simple words.
Then a highlighter and a jotter book to get her to trace the words and blending the sounds out loud.
Followed by many rounds of a simple ‘find the word’ game:
Can you point to ‘sat‘? Now point to ‘mat’? Which is ‘cat’? Good finding, now let’s draw a cat and label it!
Wa la, and now she likes to be doing reading and tracing with me! She’s a pen and paper kind of girl, so a nice clean jotter book, a pink or purple pencil (preferably of the princess kind) and lots of encouragement would pretty much hook her in. I’ve to be prepared to let one jotter book go after every session though. This girl used up the remaining pages in the book to continue writing her stories and notes in gibberish after each session, but at least we’ve done some reading, tracing and drawing with it first!