A Simple Gift That Lasts for a Lifetime: Teach Your Kids to Read

At this time of gift-giving, when money is tight, why not give your child a gift that won’t cost you anything but time and love, and will last a lifetime.  Here is a recipe for getting started:

There are 18 FREE decodable booklets in pdf form on our website.

Print out the first booklet “IS IT A CAT?”  Look at the first book together, and read it to your child.  But don’t try to have your child memorize the appearance of words or “read” the book until you have played together making words.

The secret of learning to read is understanding how to make words first! If your child can arrange letter tiles to create the words in the first booklet, he or she is well on the way to understanding how letters are used to represent the sounds in words—and that is the key to reading!

The main words in this booklet  (bat, rat, mat, hat, cat) use seven letters:

a       t        c        h        b        r        m

1. Create a page in your word processor with lots of these letters in large lower case letters, spaced so they can be cut out as letter tiles.  (72 pt Helvetica font is good),

2. Arrange three letters c, a, t on the table in front of your child

3. Look at the cat picture on the last page.

Ask: “Would you like to learn how to write the word cat?”

4. Have your child look in a mirror while saying the word cat.

CassObserve: “See how your mouth makes different sounds when you say cat?  You have to move your mouth and your tongue to make the different sounds.  These letters stand for the sounds you are making with your mouth.”

Take some time to repeat the separate sounds together:  “c”, “a”, “t”

5, Then arrange the letters c, a, t in sequence to spell out cat as you say the sounds.

“This letter says “c”, this letter says “a”, and this letter says “t”.

6. Mix up the letters and have your child arrange them to spell cat.



7.  When your child is successful at arranging cat, try the word “at” or “tac”, again pronouncing each sound together and paying attention to what the mouth is doing.

8.  On another day, try cat, at, tac again. Repeat until this is successful.

9.  When you feel your child is ready for another sound and letter, add b to the three cat letters on the table.  Look at the picture of the bat on the first page of the book and talk about bats.  Find the “b” letter on the table.

Repeat the mirror game, while pronouncing the word “bat” and segment it into its separate sounds, “b”, “a”, “t”.

“To make the “b” sound, you press your lips together and pop the air out.”

Point out that “bat” sounds like “cat”, except for the first sound.  Arrange the word bat on the table and sound it out.  Then mix up the 4 letters and play with bat and cat and tab.

10.  Repeat with the other letters one at a time: h    r   m for hat, rat, and mat. You can read the booklet together—wait when you come to one of the words you have worked on to see if you child will read it.

Eventually you will add s   f and i (one at a time) for writing and reading the words in the second book “SASS HAS A FIT!” for Sass, has, fit, sit, etc.

EdThen with these nine letters you can write more words like sat, fat, bit, etc.  Always practice with the previous words before you proceed to new sounds and letters.  Make the sessions short and fun!

Our software, Read, Write & Type can add to the fun.

Try it for only $35 at www.talkingfingers.com. Check out our special holiday discounts as well, when you sign up for our email newsletter.


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