J and I have the routine of reading almost every night before going to bed. It could be a stretch of 30 minutes or just a quick 5 minutes, but Hubby and I make sure we allocate some time everyday to reading.
Being teachers, we firmly believe that reading opens up many horizons for discussion and brings objects, people and nature to life. As young readers ourselves, we are also convinced about the vast benefits of reading.
Today, the book that I chose was City Signs. It’s more of a picture book than anything, and each page had only 1 sign on it. It was borrowed from the NLB (National Library Board) and what attracted J to it was the cars and buses… Ha! Boys will always be boys. 😄
We started off by looking at the pictures in the book, then continued by describing them in detail. Colour, function and where it was etc. Then, an idea popped into my mind! ✨💡Since each page only had that one word, why not I attempt breaking down that one word into its phonetics and teach him how to read words from letters?? 😄
Prior to reading this book today, J already knew that 'B-U-S' was the spelling for 🚌. To add on to that knowledge, I intentionally made use of a song the alphabet that he learnt in childcare. I said, 'B is for bird, brrr brrr bird; U is for umbrella, urrr urrr umbrella; S is for sun, ssss ssss sun.' I continued, 'Brrr… urrr…. ssss, bus. BUS!' J mimicked my words with a big smile.
I went on to try on other pages in the book where the City Signs were just a few letters. He listened to the pronunciation with great interest and helped fill up the gaps in reading the sounds of the letters. What fun!! 😄 It was thrilling for me as well, because I knew he was absorbing something and learning real fast by forming new knowledge from his prior knowledge.
These were the pages we covered:
Finally, the last page and J had to give me the largest surprise of the day. 😉
He confidently said, ‘Stop! Ssss… Terr… Ohhh… Perr…. STOP!!!’ He did it!
I couldn’t help it but I was swelling with pride. I threw him a big hug! ‘Well done, J! Mummy knows you can do it. You made me so so happy today. You can read!’ He was beaming as well. I could see the joy of learning on his face. It was so radiant. ☺️
Today’s incident may well be the start of him learning to read. Of course, it’s not a one off learning and there are many more similar sessions to come to fine tune it. It’s still something worth penning down and learning from.