I always stress to my friends, readers of this blog and stranger I met who pick up conversation with me on how we could help our child to learn that the importance of getting our child to read. And we only realised after Yvette turned one. As since both of us are not really a bookworm, we have put in effort and covered so much for the past one year to ensure Yvette does love reading. And yeah, we do see the benefit after putting in effort and witness the outcome on Yvette.
From a toddler who struggles and shows no interest in book to someone who reads at least more than 10 books per day (and for some books we have to at least twice to her) or sometimes we can read together for an hour and more.
Unlike most blogs I have read, many started since their child was a baby. In fact many started to read to the child when the child was still in the tummy of the mother. We started to read to Yvette when she was one and she finally like to “read” with us when she was two. As such, there is certainly a gap for me to help Yvette to “catch up”. However, as I didn’t set a target for Yvette to meet, so it does make my job a little easier. My goal is to ensure she does love reading, and that got to be her part of her life as she grows.
We don’t have smooth journey. When I started to read to Yvette when she was 1, she didn’t show much interest. When she was more able to move around, she will run around the house when I read to her. She will never pay attention to the book nor looking at the illustration. The situation became better after she turned 2.
There is no secret on how I coach Yvette to read. I just laid down three golden rules for us to follow and the approach and my coaching are:
- Create the right environment
- Find the “right” book for her.
- Read to her and never give up.
Besides creating a “play” environment for Yvette, we also created a home that look like a school. I ensure books and learning material are everywhere so that Yvette could access easily – Here the bookshelves near the door
Here’s the learning material on the TV console.
Here’s the bookshelf in our bedroom.
And she loves to read on her bed (btw, her bed are for books) she only love to sleep on our bed.
And finally these are our collection!
What are on the shelves?
I tried to introduce book from Emily Gravett to her but it has never enter her world.
Reading is an enjoyment to her right now. And surprisingly her habit changed too. Now, she will go to books then to her toys. Nevertheless, I know she still can’t go without toys. These two are her sweetheart!
Book is not only the tool that help her in recognising words, it also a tool that impart her knowledge. She always want to find out more from the books she was reading.
Eating the Alphabet – Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is a book that she learnt: “Does this fruit has seed or not?” and she really can remember and apply them consistently.
We love Eric Carle book. She had really learnt a lot from his book. Her current fave are Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me & Draw Me a Star. (Planning to teach her solar system soon.)
Together with lapbooking, it is another tool that I help her in obtaining more knowledge.
I never quantify how many common sight words Yvette could recognise. One reason is, most of the time, she still prefer me to read to her although sometimes she will read together with me. No target is set too. But I do take note of her progress so that I can move on with much difficult book if she has attainted certain level, for this reason, here are her (reading) progress:
- We have covered all the ABC.
- She could spell 1-10 and a handful of common sight words.
- She has learnt Singular and Plural from this set of cards. She is really very good in this set of learning card.
- Completed one set of reader book. She has no problem reading them to me whenever I pick up any from the shelves.
- Could read Dr Seuss’ beginner book (with min help from me.)
- Week before she turn 3, I passed the two sheets below and asked her to read. She read all by herself without my guidance at all. Not a single mistake. (Got to know this from here.)
It’s a two years journey for us and finally we achieved great improvement. I feel encourage and definitely want to do more.
- I have brought a few reader books from Learning Resource and definitely want to set a stronger foundation for her.
- I want to work on expanding her vocabulary, ensure she picks up the right grammar too.
- Ensure she reads her book correctly (especially dealing with the tone and the “s”.) And the punctuation.
The above are three immediate tasks for myself and definitely not limit to that.
I hope my sharing on how I nurture Yvette to reach this level of literacy will help readers in achieving the common goal too. And lastly, I want to tell everyone I am someone that is not strong in English but I am a strong believer, as long as we put in effort, we should not be far away from what we want to achieve!
Stay Tuned for more post about Yvette’s milestones coming up.