Due to the Nebraska law, Olivia didn’t make it to the preschool a couple years ago because her birthday fell three days later than the cutoff date (Darn it!). Instead, we enrolled her at the preschool at the church in town where she learned more about the alphabet, numbers, and songs.
Marie didn’t have to go that preschool because she made it to the cut-off date and we didn’t know about this program before that. So, Olivia attended preschool twice. Right now, she’s five years old and wanting to learn how to read like her sister. There are days when she airs her disappointment of not knowing how to read yet and comparing herself with Marie always comes next.
We’re trying hard to help her how to read even though I told her she’s only a preschooler and it will take time. But Marie learned to read at the age of five. So, I understand why Olivia is being hasty. Lately, Olivia has been so happy for reading two books just by herself. Of course, those are the books for her age. Easy words and pictures help her a lot.
These are what we are doing to help Olivia how to read…
Read to her. Aside from our bedtime routine, we make sure reading is part of our day. Not only nights when the girls are holding a book. We read book together in the morning, in the afternoon, and read bedtime stories at night. Reading to them helps their vocabulary by hearing new words.
Provide reading materials. It doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy. I saved all the reading materials that Marie had when she was in kindergarten where words are easy for Olivia’s age to understand. I also cut out alphabet letters and glued them on the white board where she plays and studies with it a few times. Another reading material I made for her is writing simple words like and, of, she, he, the, can, or, on, in, etc. on the white board and that makes easier for her to remember when we read a book together.
Books, books, books! Make books become part of their life. Expose them to books at the early age. We go to the library more often and they have their own book shelves. Our daughters have time for everything whether it’s playing, watching TV, going outside, or watch a YouTube video, but I always make sure reading a book is part of their daily activities. I don’t know how many books they have but surely they have plenty.
A few days ago, Olivia was so happy to read “Mary Wore Her Red Dress” on her own even though I know she memorized it. She recognizes each word and that makes her so proud of herself. She even brought those books to preschool and read to her teacher. Olivia came home and said her teacher told her she did a great job of reading (Yay to her!).
Although there are words that she forgets, I always teach her to “sound” the word and that’s when she gets it and becomes super happy.
Teaching a 5-year-old how to read takes patience and dedication from a parent or a teacher. But I always believe it’s a two-way street where a parent/teacher and a child need to work together. As always, it pays off when you see the development of your child when it comes to reading.