One of my proudest moments as a mother is when I find a child asleep with an open book on her head. In case you're curious, that's JESSE BEAR, WHAT WILL YOU WEAR?
I read to my children from birth. My eldest child started phonetically sounding out words a month before her second birthday. My second child did the same thing at age four. My third hasn't learned yet, but loves to be read to and sits in on lessons. I believe in teaching children to read as soon as they are able and want to. Considering that, I thought maybe some of you would like recommendations for teaching children how to read. It really is very easy and you don't need expensive curriculum. First of all, you need to read out loud to the child every day. Nurture the passion for learning they're born with. Share the love. Secondly, get a good book on the teaching children how to read. Here are my favorites:
TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ IN 100 EASY LESSONS by Siegfried Engelman
PHONICS PATHWAYS by Dolores G. Hiskes
I think it's important to find a good program and stick with it. Don't just try and give up after a few days. Don't push your child. Make it a fun, quality-time activity you do every day. Also, contrary to what many programs claim, your child does NOT have to learn to write at the same time. Actually, children vary on their handwriting ability based on their fine motor skills. Each child matures differently in this area and I don't worry about any lag in skills until about age eight.
On with the children's book recommendations!
For babies through about age six, I suggest SNOW BALLS by Lois Ehlert. Ms. Ehlert is one of those authors you can buy any book by and know you're getting a winner without cracking it open. Her stories are compelling and her illustrations vivid. Her words are in large print, which is great for early readers. Run your finger under them as you read out loud.
Patricia Pollaco is another author whose books you can buy without even looking and know you got a winner.
This is one of our favorites for the preschool through about age seven group. Other Patricia Polacco favorites at our house include THUNDER CAKE and MRS. KATZ AND TUSH, both of which are loved up to about age nine.
Finally, for the older children, check out the Step-Into-Reading, Step 4 books by Random House publishers. This non-fiction series covers everything from the Titanic to Pompeii. My eldest child couldn't get enough of them!
That's it for this Sunday, Blog Buds! Now, go out there and make a difference in a child's life by getting her a new book for Christmas.