Spike has literally been exposed to books since the day she was born. There have been books around her ever since, easily accessible for her to look at. And of course she’s seen me reading my books – knowing she cant and wouldn’t want to read them yet! Now she’s started school she’s become even more interested in reading and its making me so happy.
Books from birth
I started reading to Spike from the first night and I can count on one hand how many times she has gone to bed without a bedtime story. Even when we used to leave my mums house to drive home after a visit there, I used to read her a story before we set off. I read her the whole first book from the Harry Potter series when she was 4 months old. Reading a few pages each night as she nursed and fell to sleep. It’s no wonder she loves books really is it?
Picture book favourites
From a bedtime story every evening and asking me to read to her during the day too, plus a very good nursery team who were always happy to oblige when she asked to read there, she picked up some favourites. There were obviously some Julia Donaldson books, especially Room on the Broom, but her absolute favourites at home have to be the two Izzy Gizmo books we’ve got. If you haven’t checked those out I definitely recommend!
Learning through phonics
I’ve written before about Spike reading, but to recap, Spike has obviously been taught phonics from a young age. She went to nursery full time and they started teaching her phonics early on. She picked it up well and appears to be carrying on with that learning well at school too. Her school split the kids up for phonics learning into three groups. Spike is in what could be described as the higher ability group. She comes out with some fantastic ‘tricky words’ and can recognise a lot of sounds. During our homeschooling this week we’ve been learning ‘what’ and ‘are’, plus the blended consonants ‘br’, ‘gr’, ‘cr’ and ‘tr’. She’s been getting everything really quickly and its not an issue to be going over new things with her at all.
Extra phonics at home
Thankfully Spike also loves Alphablocks and the app ‘Teach your monster to read’ which is a fun phonics game. I don’t even think she really realises that she’s learning when watching the show or playing the game to be honest. These are definitely great ways to get your child learning if they don’t really appear to want to as they are so much fun without the traditional sitting down and reading thing.
‘Reading’ her own books
Spike has always picked up books and talked about things in them, but over the last 6 months she’s been picking them up and talking about the actual story. Talking about what the characters are or could be doing and ‘reading’ them. She hadn’t been reading proper words from them until recently but now she has started. She’ll tell me what words are as I read and has been becoming more and more interested in actually reading the words recently. I love seeing her learning develop into full blown reading and she can read her school books with very little input too! I don’t think it’ll be long before she’s reading books on her own so I will be following up with her favourite first reads soon!