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How to Make your Children Early Readers of English

The following steps are a sure way to make your children early readers of English:
1. If you want your children to start reading English quickly, then start teaching them phonics at a young age (3-4 yrs). Some parents start earlier than 3 years but this is most probably because the children have an early focus from the beginning and have an easier temperament for learning. So, don’t worry if your 2.5 yrs old is not grasping the phonics concept 😊; this just means that he/she is not ready yet. I recommend the Jolly Phonics order as this order has been scientifically proven to be easier for younger children. This is the order πŸ‘‡

When my son was 3+ yrs and started doing phonics for the first time, I had difficulty in teaching him the different sounds. I made my first mobile app just to make the learning process easier for him and more colorful ☺️. So, you can use this 100% FREE app available on Google Play Store. You will need an android device to download it from Google Play Store and use it.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amna.phonicsfun

If you follow the no-screen approach or you have an iOS device, follow this πŸ‘‡chart for correct sounds.

You can download this chart here to print and glue on a wall 😊. Each letter/digraph has the correct word associated with it in this chart to teach the sound correctly. Why is this important? When you start teaching phonics to your children, it is very important to teach the correct sound for each letter/digraph (digraph are basically two letters such as sh, ch, etc). This chart accurately depicts the correct word for each phonics sound. For example, a picture of an "ant" is used with the sound "a" and not a picture of an "arm". The phonics rule "ar" for reading words like "arm" comes at a later stage.


2. Teach one letter sound or digraph sound for 3-4 days until the children recognize the letter and the sound associated with it. If you are still confused about the actual sounds and the chart is not helping you, then my app also has the sounds in it which you can hear. Once the children have learned the first group of sounds (s, a, t, i, p, n), you can start testing their learning using matching activities. Again, you can use my app for doing matching activities on an android device or you can download free worksheets from here:
https://www.jollylearning.co.uk/resource-bank/cartoonito-activity-sheets/


3. The next step is blending. You can start blending once the children know at least the first group of sounds (s, a, t, i, p, n). There are two approaches to blending: Some people first blend VC words like at, in, it first and then move onto CVC words like sat, pin, sit while others directly move onto CVC words. All children are different so you will have to discover what works for your children.

First of all, let me tell you what VC and CVC mean 😊
VC = Vowel Consonant
CVC = Consonant Vowel Consonant
where vowels mean the letters a, e, i, o, u and consonants mean all non-vowel letters such as s, t, p, n, etc.
I will cover the VC word approach here. I will tell you here how to teach your children to read a word like "sat".
First, ask the children to say the sounds of a and t quickly. They have to say both sounds in rapid succession. They will soon start saying at. Now, make them add the sound of letters like "s" and "p" at the beginning of the word at and the children will soon start reading words like "sat" or "pat". Follow the same approach for all VC words like it, in, ap, an, etc. and progress to 3 lettered (CVC) words such as pin, sit, nap, pan, etc. You must be noticing that I am only giving you examples from the first group of letters in Jolly Phonics order: s, a, t, i, p, n. This means that your children can start reading words after just learning the sounds of these 6 letters. Hurray!!!
While doing blending exercises, don't forget to teach the sounds of other letters, digraphs such as sh, ch, ie, ar, etc. Soon, the children will know all their phonics rules and will be reading all 3-4 lettered words. Some words such as who, where, etc. are called tricky words and children have to actually learn how to read them because they don’t follow the phonics rules. These tricky words (given below) should also be taught to the children while they are learning to read words that do follow the phonics rules.


4. Read with them every night. You will soon see that when the children have an adequate grasp of phonics and have understood how to do blending, they will automatically start reading the book with you. You can also use my Phonics Fun app to see how well they are blending.
While reading books with them, challenge them that you will read one page of the book and the children will read the second page. Soon the children will find it interesting to read independently. I recommend Oxford Reading Tree books for this. You can get free e-books according to the age of your children from the official site.

https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/books/free-ebooks/

Another great collection of books for young readers is the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. It is an amazing transition from Oxford Reading Tree books to chapter books.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/41463-magic-tree-house. Some children are not interested in Magic Tree House books. You can try giving them Roald Dahl books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, etc. Other great classic chapter books for early readers are Secret Seven series, the Faraway Tree series and the Wishing Chair series by Enid Blyton.


I used all of the above steps on my second child and he is an early reader and is reading chapter books.


The following infographic sums up everything that I have written above:

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For links to free educational apps, have a look at the educational apps page

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