Teaching to Read
People are always asking me how I taught Laomai to read so well so early. Truth is, I am not completely sure. Let me just tell you that I found this idea completely daunting. How was I ever going to teach another human being to read? Truthfully, I asked God to teach her because I had no idea what I was doing. I taught her the letters of the alphabet when she was one and a half. From there, we started working on phonics. She was reading small words by two and a half. We would look at hundreds of flash cards together and read book after book each day. We went through Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons.
One of the things we did with learning the phonics properly was to do them with sidewalk chalk. Three days a week, we would spend an hour just playing and talking about the sounds letters and letter grouping made. We would write simple words and draw pictures. The secret here was to make it fun and never exasperate or bore her. She also did the phonics program on starfall.com at age 3. It's really good and fun. Outside of this, we just read and read together. We never read books that were dumbed down, but ones that were challenging. We read the Bible each day and talk about everything we read. I try to make it the most fun thing we do.
One thing I learned was to always praise the effort and never show disappointment or disapproval. When we react in a negative way, so will our children. When they feel rejected, they act out.
So many people tell me that they are not built to teach their kids and they could never do it. I disagree with this statement. I'll tell you why. I am not the kind of person who loves kids or loves teaching kids. I'm not sure I was ever a child myself. Kids make me feel crazy. As I knew I wanted my children to have a solid education, I had to make a choice. Would I do something that I did not feel equipped to do and wasn't sure I wanted to do or would I send them off to someone else? I chose to try. Like most aspects of parenting that people don't often choose, it involved a serious death to the flesh. I had to lay aside my hangups, irritation, lack of patience, and anything else that got in the way of me being Christ to my children so that I could teach and disciple them at home. Death to flesh sounds like a fun time, I know. It's a choice we need to make though in every parenting decision we make. If you need prayers for your attitude or lack of patience, let me know. I would love to pray with you to overcome and be the parent you desire to be. God's providence to you. Happy reading!