My son is a very boisterous 4 year old – he loves having books read to him but previously not really into sitting still and doing drawing/craft etc etc. I have never pushed him to start reading or writing – he goes to a very good nursery school and childminder who, between them, are introducing him to it all in a very fun way so I always took the view that he was doing enough learning elsewhere, and he should just have fun with me at home. However, just recently, (due a very precocious best friend), he has displayed a real interest in identifying words and ‘reading’ – so I bought a highly recommended set of books with very simple individual words, or extremely short phrases, and matching funny pictures, and he is so proud at being able to identify and sound out the words for me. I wondered if any of you more seasoned mothers or educators could offer some advice on how I should proceed with these books? I have just been reading the word, talking about the picture and then asking him to sound them out by covering up and revealing individual letters, and then asking him to put it all together. I don’t want to push too hard and put him off – or not push enough and him get bored…. How would (or have) any of you encouraged or taught your children first words?
Finger phonics books are good for really embedding the phonics sounds and there is a book with CD for songs of the sounds. When we read to my 2 yr old my 4 yr old will read some of the words in the more 'baby books' to him. When we are reading books to my 4 yr old I've been told to point to each word as I'm reading it and he's naturally picked up a lot of words. Have nursery got him on a simple reading scheme? Ours started with picture books and then moved onto books that they gave simple words to read but we read a more complex story from a sheet so that they also develop their vocab. Also, ask him the meaning of words in books as it is about understanding, not just reading. I'm no expert though. I'd ask your nursery. They have the experience and knowledge of him to advise.