By Kay Ness & Cyndi Ringoen
Find a book that your child really likes. Get at least 2 copies if you can. The book should meet the following criteria: 1. few words 2. large print 3. pictures separated from the words as much as possible 4. not too visually busy 5. of extremely high interest to your child.
Choose 5 high interest words from the book. Make flashcards of these words. For the first week, flash those 5 words for the child in 1/2 minute sessions for at least 4 sessions a day. Make it quick, short sessions.
Highlight those 5 words every place that word appears in the book. Read the book to the child once a day. For the first couple of days, you read the highlighted words. The third day, the child is to read the highlighted words. If the child still doesn’t know them, simply say them yourself and move on. Keep flashing those words.
The second week, pick 5 more words to highlight and make flashcards for them. Flash all 10 cards for the child at least 3 times each in 4 sessions a day. Proceed as before except now the child is responsible for reading 10 words.
The next week, add 5 more words and do as above. Continue to add 5 words/week until the whole book is highlighted (all in the same color) and the child can read the book. If the child misses a word, simply say the word and move forward. If the child becomes bored before you’ve added all the words, move to another book.
Read the unhighlighted book with the child and have him read as many words as he can. Once you’ve gone through the whole book, select another book and do the same. Soon the child will be reading two books!
NOTE: If the child is learning the words very quickly, you can do more than 5 words a week. If he is not learning them that quickly, then drop back to 3 words a week or fewer if you sense this is necessary.
As the auditory processing approaches 6, let us know and we will add in the phonics rules and the reading will really take off.
Read to your child from another book at least 30 minutes a day. This could be done in 2 fifteen minute sessions or 3 ten minute sessions if he won’t sit still for 30 minutes. But do be consistent and expose the child to much written and oral language.
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