If you’re here reading this, that’s because like me; you’re likely worried about what Kindergarten will be like for your little one. Trust me, I get it. I’m pretty sure all I did in my Kindergarten class was crafts, singing time, and plenty of outdoor play. It’s safe to say Kindergarten is just not what it used to be. Now it’s 7+ hours of curriculum. My son was required to know 100+ site words, basic math, and how to read and write independently by the end of the school year. Now, I feel this blog post would be a lot better if it were coming from an actual school teacher. I am not a professional, but I will say I think these simple tricks will get results a lot faster than most.
Here in New Jersey most of these kids have been in some type of school since they were 2 or 3. My husband and I have lived all over the US, and we both agree that NJ seems to be the most centered around education. A lot of families even move every few years to make sure their kids go to the best schools in the state. Did I mention it’s ranked Number 2 for top schools in the US? Yeah, crazy right? So, I think it’s safe to say that the school teachers here are incredible. Caymans Kindergarten teacher was the best, and when volunteering at his school; I picked up on a few tips and tricks that will help kids learn to read super quick.
Now before you start thinking to yourself, “Why teach them early? Isn’t that what the teachers are for?” Why not let them be kids? My answer to you is, “why not?” Trust me, there will still be plenty of things your kids will learn in school, but giving them a head start and some much needed confidence will go a long way. Plus, aren’t we as the parents the biggest teachers in their life? Isn’t it said that the most teaching should be done within the walls of your own home? It’s just 5-10 minutes a day.
Here are a few things I learned that will teach your kids to read super quick.
Note** The first step is always letter recognition, but id suggest starting my tips for reading once they’ve mastered that.
First it’s Letter Recognition-
This is a no brainer, but I personally think any child who’s entering kindergarten should at least be able to recognize their letters. I started with my boys at age 2 and 3, and did the “Letter of the Week.” We’d usually do a craft, a few worksheets, etc. Here’s a link to an awesome website for some great ways to teach your kids their letters.
A little throwback to Cayman doing his letter of the week. He was three. I can’t believe how little he looks!
Fundations Sound Chart-
Now, this is the fun part! This right here is how I got Beckham reading before Kindergarten. He started reading at age 4, and is now reading independently 1st and 2nd grade books at age 5. He will be going into Kindergarten this upcoming school year. 🙂 If your kids know their letters and the sounds they make, it’ll make it that much easier for them to sound out words.
This is all about REPETITION!
Here’s how to it works. Every morning we go through this chart. We say the Letter, the word for that letter, and the sound it makes. A Apple /a/, B bat/b/, C cat /k/, etc. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll go through the list faster and faster. When my kids got bored of that, we started making games out of it. I say, “who can think of a funny word that starts with the letter ____.” Then they come up with a silly word for that letter, and say the sound it makes. We go through the list on the way to school, in the checkout lane at the grocery store, while making breakfast or preparing dinner. It’s so simple, but it makes a HUGE difference when you’re teaching your kids to read. It’s just 5 minutes a day you guys. 5 minutes.
You can download this chart, and the entire fundations packet HERE.
Next, is site words! There are a ton of fun ways to teach your kids their site words. My kids are very competitive so we would play games to see who could get the most site words. The first few times Beckham was loosing because Cayman was also learning the words in class all day long. So, while he was at school we would practice. He started winning towards the end of last year, and now knows ALL of the required Kindergarten site words.
Here is a link to download the Dolch site words for Kindergarten. Now these will likely be a little different from state to state depending on the program used in class. I’d suggest practicing site words every day at your most convenient time. For us its right after breakfast, or right before bed. We play games with them and try to make them fun! You’ll be amazed how quickly they’ll pick them up!
and here is a link to download Dolch Site Word flash cards.
Now that your kiddo has mastered site words, it’s time to start READING!!! These decodable books are my favorite. You can honestly start these fairly quick, because a lot of it is just remembering certain high frequency words. Help them sound out words, and eventually they’ll be able to read independently. It’s all about repetition, consistency, and memorization.
Now, as you get deeper into reading; you’ll want to teach them the “tricky” sounds. Wh, Ch, Sh,Th, and Ck. Trust me, it’ll come naturally as they learn to read and start seeing those types of words.
It is so fun watching kids learn. It is 100% true that at this age their little brains are like sponges! My advice is to always stay positive, stay patient, and stay consistent. If you do this, they will learn to LOVE reading. Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by!
Do you love reading with your kids? Here are a few of our current bedtime favorites, as well as some great beginner reading books my kids love as well. <3
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below. <3