My four-and-a-half year gal is starting to learn to read.
She picked it up all on her own. We did not use any flash
cards or teaching materials to encourage her to pick up reading. She did so
naturally, all by her own.
The only thing we helped to facilitate the process was by
reading tonnes of books to her night after night.
The bedtime reading is a real
pleasure. Kids’ books are just so much fun! The storylines are usually very
simple. Yet, at the same time, they are so heartwarming and humorous. The best children’s
book is a fun read for both the parent and child, and we can read them over and
over and still not feel tired of it.
It is also a great bonding time for the parent and child. I
love to put the little one on my lap, with his sister crowding in near us. We
will then read through the two to three books that they have selected on the
bed. It feels so nice and cosy.
This has become so much of a bedtime ritual that if I dare
to suggest to temporarily stop it for one night (maybe because we were so late
getting into bed, or I was dog tired from a day of work), there will be howls
of protest. In the end, it was faster to just give in to their request to read
a few short books.
Now the ritual is starting to reap its benefits.
The first time my gal started to read a word or two, it came
as a surprise.
“Wow, you can read this word!” I exclaimed as she interrupted
me in my bedtime reading. Ever since then, she has been surprising us more and more.
Now she can read through a simple book all by herself. We show off her skills
by asking her to read to her grandparents, aunties and uncles.
Now we are proceeding to the next stage of buying more
age-appropriate books to let her practice her reading.
Very soon, she will be able to read on her own. Then we will
still continue the ritual of bedtime reading, but I will have a “covering
officer” when I am too tired to read to the little ones.