For families who are on our waiting list, but would like to get a head start, here are some tips for teaching the early ABC sounds; the first step to reading.
1) Get a blank set of flash cards that your child can look back to for practice.
In big red letters, write out 3 letters on 3 separate index cards, with both Upper and Lower Case letters side by side. ie: "Aa" Make sure they sound out the sound of a as in "Apple". Make sure you know the correct sounds. Show them the card and say a..a..a... apple. Everytime they see this card, point to the A and say aaaaa (as in apple). Do this with a few letters at a time. Not too many because they'll get overwhelmed.
*When teaching vowels, stick to one vowel at a time. (vowels are: a,e,i,o,u) Some of the vowel sounds sound the same and are the trickiest letters to learn.
*Your children might want to start out with the letters their name.
*Make sure you make this fun. ie: Hide the cards around the room, and have them say each sound (with your help), when they pick up the card. Practice each letter until you know they really know it.
2) When reading books to young children, use books that have colorful pictures, and that also have very few words that are large in size. Then point to each letter as you sound it out. You'll want to stick with short vowel/3 letter words to start. Since it's hard to find books with just three letter words that all rhyme, read the words that aren't the short vowel sounds, and then point out the ones that are and practice them with your child.
*ie: A page that says: Sam has ham. For Sam: with your finger you'll point to each letter while making it's phonetic sound, and then run your finger back under the word from left to right. S....A....M.......SAM! If you can teach your children how to do this finger trick, they'll pick up reading quickly.
* A child at age 3 or 4 doesn't yet know that you read words from left to right. Doing this finger trick will teach their brain to start looking from left to right when reading. If you don't follow through each time, the child will get confused until you teach them properly. So pointing to the letters saying S...A....M with the phonetic sounds (S like Sam, A like apple, M like mom), and then immediately running your finger back from left to right, saying the whole word, without sounding it out...SAM!
ALWAYS use short vowel sounds when starting out, and teach one at a time. ie: If you're teaching 3 letter words with the short "a" vowel sound, don't mix in a word with any other vowel. Stick to one vowel, and one word family at a time.
A: ad, ag, al, am, an, ap, at
E: ed, eg, en, et
I: id, ig, im, in, ip, it
O: ob, od, og, om, on, op, ot
U: ub, ud, ug, un, up, ut
. But first things first, they need to learn each sound of the alphabet!
Check out phonetic alphabet letter sounds on you tube if you don't know what they are.
Or write and ask us for our cd that teaches all the sounds through music!