When I began to teach my son to read, we read all kinds of words. I made him picture books and taught him to read the words and know what they were by seeing the pictures of the items. He loved to read his books and I loved to make them for him. It was so exciting to teach him what everything was. When he got to be around 2 years old, there weren’t too many new items that I could teach him. We began a new phase of our program.
I would sit and think of as many big words as I could. I chose words that he had heard before, not words that were completely foreign. I taught him to read words like excellent, fantastic, microscopic, and so forth. Of course, I had no pictures for these cards. He didn’t mind at all. What was amazing to me was that after seeing the word two times, he knew them. It was not only a lesson in learning to read, it was also a lesson in vocabulary.
Don’t limit yourself to small, easy words. Expose your child to all kinds of words. There are patterns to learn from our language and the more words you expose your child to, the faster they will figure out the rules. This will give them the ability to learn to read new words on their own, using the rules of phonics.