Learning to Read: Rhyme, Memorization, & Phonics {and a llama llama review}

You probably know by now, our family loves to read! My youngest children begin their love of learning with poems and rhyming books from some of the greatest authors of children’s literature. I have videos of my oldest at 18 months old reading a Llama Llama book from memory; that book, as well as many other Llama Llama books have become favorites in our home. But my favorite part of this character series is the rhyming!
The latest book from Anna Dewdey, a teacher, mother, and enthusiastic proponent of reading aloud to children, is Llama Llama Loves to Read. Anna’s passion for children and building their love for reading is evident in all her books. This time our children shared Llama Llama’s love for learning to read in this beautifully illustrated (as always) 40 page picture book.
llama llama loves to read
Llama Llama learns at school.
Counting, writing, reading, rules.
Friends and school — there’s nothing better.
Llama learning all the letters!
All of my children have learned to read organically; simply by listening to others read to them. We know research tells us reading aloud to children increases their own love for learning, as well as relationships, and test scores (yes, especially test scores!). What many may not know, is that reading rhyming books, poems, and nursery rhymes to children increases their overall literacy!
Rhythm and rhyming increase listening and speaking skills, which are the very foundation of learning to read and write. A child will not learn to read as easily if they lack the skill of hearing rhyming patterns and sounds-which is done by being read to early in life. (This is also why educators take courses in all areas of development, including physical education, where we learn to combine rhythm, motion, and rhymes! Think of the hand clapping games from your childhood-they were important, whether you knew it or not!)
Rhyming books like Llama Llama Loves to Read not only help build a child’s confidence as they learn the rhyming words on the pages, these books increase their fluency and set the stage for future independent reading.

Learning to Read With Rhyme and Memory Work

As I type this, I am thinking of my 3.5 year old daughter (3rd born) that read cvc words to me last week. On her own. Without an ounce of formal instruction or prompting from me. I don’t say this to brag, or inflate my mom ego, I say this to you because it truly has to do with our family culture and environment combined with her eagerness to learn to read. She has told me for months she was going to read soon “like Mister!” (her older brother).  I told her she could learn as soon as she wanted and it wouldn’t be long; she’s been asking all of us to help her write her letters so she could tell us the sounds, and eagerly listens to any book we will read to her. One day last week she brought her little journal to me at the homeschool table and asked that I write words for her … I randomly wrote cat, asked her each letter sound and then she read the whole word. Just blended it. Boom! She continued on to do several more and I was able to record her on video.
So how do I use rhyming to encourage literacy? Simply, we read a book, and the next time (after all, there is always a next time!) I leave out one word of each line or page. For instance, I would read: Llama Llama learns at school. Counting, writing, reading, rules the first time.
But the next time we read it, I would leave out the word school, and maybe even rules, allowing my kids to fill it in for me as I read. This pulls them even more into the story and encourages not only their comprehension but also application of vocabulary, as well as “reading” along with me. So far of my 4 children, none of them have ever been disappointed with their chance to say the next word. Even my youngest, only a toddler, can fill in the simplest words in rhyming books (Llama Llama Time for Bed being one of them).
We also start learning poetry very young, simply because it is SO fun! My oldest memorized a few poems during each season starting at age 3. I am not sure how many poems my oldest three kids know now, but it is probably more than me (I can’t remember them all like they can without some prompting). That same 3 year old that is reading CVC words has spent this year memorizing more poetry than her 2 older siblings combined! Her absolute favorite is The Fairies by William Allingham, along with several others from A Child’s Book of Poems.

Learning Letter Sounds

Before I began reading lessons with any of my children, we sing a phonics song throughout our days. From the time they are about 18 months old (?) until … well, my oldest is 7.5 and we still sing it haha, we don’t say our ABCS.
We sing them along with their correlating sound; during our morning time we do the song with a little letter chart like this one: 
The song goes something like this:
A, /a/, apple
B, /buh/ball
C, /ck/, cat
D, /duh/ dog
… you get the picture. When we sing it while swinging on the swing, playing in the floor, or walking down the driveway, we learn to use other words that make those sounds; instead of E, eh, elephant I may say egg or elbow. It is always fun to hear what other words they can come up with (you will be surprised); sometimes we extend that and just start naming words that rhyme with a word, who knows where we may bunny trail to! But it is a fun and easy, loving, and memorable way to connect with and teach my children naturally, without any formal lessons.
This simple song, along with reading aloud to them, truly lays the foundation for learning to read later. Sometimes when I talk I will just say “t, /t/ train!” when we see a train. Obviously my 7 year old gets less out of this than my 3yo and toddler do, but so often we can forget those little ones are still soaking up everything around them, as Little Miss showed me just last week. Having a literature rich family culture helps support children in their love of learning which, when they are ready, will help them learn to read.

If you want to submerge your children in a literature rich environment, reading rhyming books, poetry, and teaching letter sounds through play are the best places to start!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Baby Summary {21 Months Old}- Baby #3

Dress Up Snuggles {Baby Summary 21 months}

Poor #3 … not nearly as many updates as the first two babies.  =)

This month (June 2016) Ila turned 21 months old.  Next month, she will become a big sister!  hard to believe; we have definitely had the “she’s the baby” mentality with her.

Developmentally Ila has grown by leaps and bounds the last few months.  Here is what she is doing/saying this month:

  • says:
    • “Mi Mi” for Mister (the I says i like icky when she says it)
    • “bar” for granola bar
    • “MMMnum MMMnum” for cup (don’t ask, we don’t know why?!)
    • grape
    • apple
    • bucha (she is obssessed with Kombucha right now!)
    • “back” for having her back scratched, & brings the back scratcher to us
    • cough
    • shoes
    • bowl
    • and she just jabbers.  Lexie spoke in complete sentences at like 12 months, Mister did a lot too.  Ila has her favorite words and the rest is just jabbering. haha
  • She’s been more clingy since about 19 months old; it is a phase I am sure because despite being my little sidekick, she’s a very independent toddler that likes her space.
  • Finally enjoys me reading to HER; she has always wanted to be the one reading to ME, so night time books ended in a fit. I finally just stopped trying and though she still reads to herself all day, she will let me read to her now!
  • She loves playing dress up with big sister; she also enjoys hanging out with the older two and playing in their world
  • Plays pretend- My first two did not play a lot of pretend on their own at this age.  Ila DEFINITELY has a big imagination- she makes the knights and horses talk and play, she plays with her baby doll, dressing and undressing her, and plays with the bath toys in their own world.
  • Enjoys doing the Melissa and Doug puzzles we have, and is learning her shapes this way
  • She brings me ABC bean bags (best purchase ever!) and says some letters or letter sounds, they’re not usually right- but hey, she knows they are letters.  😉
  • She can count to 10- these things (counting, letters, etc) she just picks up from us doing homeschool and living around her.
  • Pats everyone on the back when they are coughing or sneezing (it’s allergy season ..) and is very affectionate.  When Mister or Lexie is hurt or crying she gets their lovey and brings it to them, then pats them.  =)
  • Uses her fork and spoon really well!- Mister at 7 months refused to let anyone feed him and O M GEE he was the messiest eater EVER.  Still is!  So I refused to let Ila feed herself with a spoon or fork until about 3-4 weeks ago.  And she does SO well!  She is a really neat eater and if she can’t do in neatly or easily she asks for help.  Mama’s girl 😉
  • Ila is obsessed with sitting on the potty; she doesn’t do anything on it … and she takes her diaper off all the time!  So is she ready to potty train?  Yea … she probably is.  And if I had a few days to just focus on that, she would probably be trained and done. So, I may try here soon.  It is really just a lack of me being motivated and focused than anything.
  • She gives the biggest hugs and kisses!
  • Learned to roll her tongue and does it anytime she sees her daddy (go figure)
  • She is requires a hair bow to leave her bed.  She loves them.
  • Got her first real haircut at the salon recently; I have trimmed her hair several times since she was about 3-4 months old? But decided it was time for a real haircut!
  • Loves bath time; hates having her hair washed or brushed in any way, shape, or form.  UGH it’s a nightmare trying to brush her hair most of the time.
  • Her little bow-legs are straighter.  We were supposed to go in for her well child not too long ago, and we all ended up w the stomach flu.  So we haven’t been, but since then her legs have straightened up significantly!  At her 2 yr well visit I will have the dr make sure they are looking straight/okay.  I don’t want her to have feet that turn in/knees that knock if we can fix it.  She is already destined to have terrible feet thanks to her mama and daddy, both.
  • At this point she knows all of her body parts and can name most of them
  • Still loves the dogs, chickens, calves, and cats; knows most of her animal sounds
  • Asks for me to swing her when outside
  • Dancing is one of her very favorite things- she dances in the car, in her high chair, pretty much anytime there is music on she dances.  We went to OK with J.Tom’s family and spent most of our time at the pool; Ila really enjoyed dancing to the music there.

{playing Pandora Radio on the TV}

That’s all the new on my list & that I can think of right now …

At the end of May we moved Ila out of her nursery in our room (which is just a second, biggish-closet), to big sister Lexie’s room.  And it has gone SO well!  Oh my goodness, the Lord knew we needed it to work, and it has perfectly.  Ila is in her crib, Lexie downsized to a twin bed (which she loves), and I shifted some furniture around.  It is still plenty spacious and the girls do great.  They don’t wake each other up, we have staggered bedtimes (see Ila’s schedule below), and Lexie is really good at being quiet when she needs to get up for the bathroom or anything.

Since Ila was about 13-14 months old? this has been her schedule and so far it is still working:

  • 7am wake, eat
  • 9:30-10:30 independent play in crib with KLove on and a few music toys.  She loves it!
  • 11:15 lunch
  • 12:00 down for nap, usually asleep within 20 minutes but most of the time much sooner
  • 3:00 up from nap (wakes between 2:20-3 most days but stays in bed until 3)
  • 3:30ish after snuggles with everyone, snack
  • 5:30 supper, bath, playtime
  • 6:45pm bed

We don’t watch a lot of TV in our home, but when I do turn something on for the kids, it is usually Curious George on Netflix.  Ila *loves* George and says, “ooo ooo aaaah aaaah” for monkeys.  She enjoys our animal book the most and pointing out bugs all over the place.

For naps and night time, Ila insists that she has socks on and her sleep sack (on backwards or else she unzips it). I always turn on the humidifier for white noise and the ceiling fan (she insists on that as well).

Overall, Ila has been just as happy and sweet as she was the first few months of her life. She never cried much and though she has become fussy and clingy during certain phases, in general that is not her disposition.  She is definitely the easiest-going out of all the kids so far.

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Weekly Wrap Up: July 11, 2014

The last week we have finally gotten back into a routine form our travels to AR and TN. We got all the hard stuff (unloading, unpacking, laundry, etc) done the afternoon we got home and madly did it pay off! We had the rest of that week to menu plan, get groceries, pay bills, and just get things back in order. The last thing we want to do is find payday loans in Texas, United States. However, if we have too, we will.

The following week we started back on our learning time routine. We did a quick review and a lot of playing. We have spent all morning, every morning, outside playing in the back yard, playing in the pool, eating apples, and playing with the dog. It has been wonderful!

Here are a few snaps I managed to take during this week:

Lexie found a picture of blocks in the back of her Highlights magazine and she wanted to build what they were building. I helped her with a few pieces- but I was amazed at how well she would perceive what they had done. Some of these were HARD!:

building blocks {Quiet In The Chaos}

We have read more books this summer than I think we did while stuck inside last winter. Mister has really become obsessed with reading books, and of course Bug wants to (read or) be read to all the time.

reading together {Quiet In The Chaos}

 

My children *love* to be outside- we spend most of our time outside when the weather permits. Lexie had a great idea when she wanted to combine their love for books with the great outdoors!

reading in their

 

Our sweet Charlie girl:

Charlie Our Springer Spaniel {Quiet In The Chaos}

Charlie Our Springer Spaniel- 11 months old, July 2014

 

As you know, we *love* the free and fun curriculum from This Reading Mama (we use it with our AAR). Here, Lexie is working on her new sight word, “me.”

Sight Word

The week wouldn’t be complete without baking something yummy. We made (whole wheat, NO refined sugar) chocolate muffins. Lexie just had to lick the spoon. =)chocolate muffins {Quiet In The Chaos}

Last week was a lot of fun- during all this fun, we also started potty training Max. I do have some SUPER cute pictures of that, but they’re probably not appropriate for the blog. haha

Monday the painter comes to paint Lexie’s room; then the kids will start sharing a room! *so scary* Just praying they get used to each other and sleep through the night fine. Lexie wakes up needing to potty and sometimes with night terrors, so that could be a problem. After Mister’s room (aka the nursery) the nursery is painted, I can begin decorating, organizing, and playing in the nursery. YAY! Eight More weeks until baaaby!

 

error: Content is protected !!