Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Teaching kids to read


I have a grandson going into kindergarten in September and it seems that when kids go to kindergarten they are expected to be reading. In the olden days kindergarten and the first grade were when kids were taught to read. I guess this new approach comes from kids now being in preschool and the task of reading being tossed to those teachers?

Some kids take to reading really easy. They want to read, love books and are almost self-taught. None of my kids were this motivated. They were completely content to have me read to them, tell them the menu at McDonalds, read the instructions to the newest toys etc and it seems my grandson is the same way.
Fact is, Nate has three main interests in his life...cars, his iPad and the part of his anatomy that makes him male. (IMHO this makes him a typical male)

But I digress. Back to reading... I taught sixth grade for seven years then went back to teaching as a special ed teacher and taught kids to read. The thing with being a teacher kids have to listen to you whereas my grandson thinks my purpose in life is to take him on outings and bring toys.

First I have to try and convince him reading is a good thing. I think I’m going with the idea of Nate, you’re going to the big kids school and everyone there reads. This might work unless he comes up with the answer of Good, I’ll stay home and just not go to school. Kids are pretty crafty like that.




I’m pretty old school in teaching reading...I do phonics. I’ve looked at the other methods of look-say and whatever but phonics makes sense. Fact is, I still use it if there’s a word I don’t know. You learn a few basic rules like letters have sounds, vowels have two sounds, y is like a vowel at the end of a word, when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking, divide words between consonants.
Actually, those rules take care of a multitude of reading situations. 

I found this series that goes along with my phonics approach, Primary Phonics. It teaches the basic rule then there are short books the kid reads that use the rule. I think it’s brilliant! I just hope Nate agrees.

So what about you? How did you learn to read? Phonics? Self-taught, look-say method, memorized the words?