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Teaching your baby to read without spending a fortune

4 Oct


Our Progress so far:

After 2 weeks of working on these sites, my son can tell you A-‘”a”, apple, B-Ball, and sing the first few letters of the alphabet song.  BUT when we do puzzles or read books, he can’t recall the letters.  So that’s what I will focus on with him this week. 


My Plan

In addition to the sites I posted about here, this week I’m going to focus on getting him to recognize A and B in different places and at different times. 

  1. Play time: Puzzles. Books, Fridge Phonics (magnets), – I am pulling out anything that has letters on it that he likes to play with and will make time to play with him each day. As we play, I am going to repeatedly ask “Where’s the A?” and “Where’s the B?” I will start out with just 2 letters to choose from and gradually add more letters as he catches on.
  2. Food Phonics:  I am going to try and fix one food that either starts with the letters A or B or that is in the shape of an A or B and talk about them at each meal.
  3. Bath Time:  I am going to gather bath appropriate toys that either starts with the letters A or B or that is in the shape of an A or B and talk about them at bath time. 
  4. Lesson Time:  After our computer time, we are going to play with our A and B flash cards (below) and color A and B coloring sheets each day.



MES (still working on animals)



I am printing only the A’s and B’s from these free sites below and will review the flashcards with him as long as he will let me.


Coloring Sheets


How I am trying to teach:  Multi-Sensory Learning. 

My husband and I are complete opposites in how we process.  We cannot, I repeat, CANNOT give each other driving directions to save our lives!  We both end up mad and frustrated and one of us – still lost!  Knowing that, we can do something about it and prevent a fight.  I am likely to call someone not my husband that can get me from a to b.  He is likely to look at a map.  But since the wonderful invention of the GPS systems, we both can agree it is the best way to get directions.  WHY??? Because it uses multiple senses:  You can read the words, see the map, and hear the directions all at once!  I guarantee that if I couldn’t read the words, I would still end up lost, because that’s how I process.


What’s my point???


Every child learns differently.  And know matter how your child learns, the more senses you can engage while teaching him,  the more he will remember (and the more fun he will have, too!)  I’m talking seeing it, hearing it, touching it, and even smelling and tasting it!!!!  So when I am teaching my child the letters and whole words alike, I am going to try to make him see it, say it, and touch it in as many ways as I can and make it as fun as I can.

Teaching your Baby to read without spending a fortune!

21 Sep


Now that we’ve hit the terrific two’s and my son has really started talking, I have really started working with him on his letters and numbers. Believe it or not, that is teaching him to read!  Sound crazy to be teaching a 2 year old to read??? Not today in the “Your Baby Can Read” generation!  Being a teacher on a “Mommy Sabbatical” whose favorite thing to teach is a struggling child to read, I was definitely interested when I saw the commercials, but it really isn’t necessary to spend hundreds on materials when there is AMPLE amounts of information online and around your home!


So, if you want to teach your child to read for free, where do you begin???  First, let me briefly explain the 2 ways that children learn to read: 

1) Phonics. Simply earning the letters, the sounds they make, and how to blend them together. Sounding out the words. (i.e. Hooked on Phonics)

2) Whole reading.  This is memorizing the entire words rather than sounding them out.  (i.e. flashcards, Your Baby Can Read)

Once you know that, you know what to look for and how to teach your child.  Here’s where I have started:


1,  www,  This is typically a favorite with most kids.  It’s fun, but educational.  I started with the letter A and just play that video for him over and over again. REPETITION IS THE KEY!  I also play the abc video for him a few times every day.

2.  This is a sight for learning English as a second language, but they have nice PowerPoint slideshows that I use as flashcards. We started with the animals. He is just looking at the picture for now and naming the animal and telling me what sound they make, but he is also memorizing the word on each flashcard without even knowing it!  Eventually, we will take away the picture.

I use these 2 sites as a basis for what we work on, and then incorporate it into our every day play.  Simply pointing out “Look, there’s an A” while putting puzzles together or reminding him that “Apple starts with an A”, is all it takes!


A few tips for teaching your child to read:

  • Make it fun!  The best thing you can do for your child’s reading is to teach them to love it.  Make it special mommy/baby time and if either of you start to get frustrated, STOP!  You don’t want them to associate negative feelings with education at this early of an age.  DO NOT PRESSURE THEM!
  • Make it quick. The older the child, the longer their attention span.  Pay attention to your child.  When he gets bored, move on to a different activity.  When they’re done for the day, stop!  Or you will just be wasting your time!
  • Repetition is the Key!  As with anything, you will get bored with it LONG before they do!!!


This post is directed towards toddlers, but know that the basics of teaching children to read are the same for students of all ages.


Questions? I’ll be happy to help with individual scenarios as much as I can!  Email me!

Check back for more!  I plan to start posting weekly lessons.