We covered blending a consonant sound with a vowel sound in last week’s Teaching Tuesday. As I mentioned then, the process of mastering those blends may take some time. You don’t want to move on to the next step until your child is very comfortable with smoothly reading many of the blends.
When you feel they are ready, it’s a pretty simple thing to add a final consonant to the blend and create a word that they can read. In the beginning, this is something I like to do visually with manipulatives or flashcards rather than reading them out of a book. For example, if you begin with the blend “ta,” have a flashcard on the table with that blend and have your child say the blend. Then place a “p” flashcard at the end of the blend. Help them say the blend and add the extra consonant sound at the end. There is truly nothing like the feeling you have when your child’s face lights up as they realize they have read a word. The light bulb may not click on with the first or even fifth try, but when it does, it’s a truly great moment.
I would begin with a blend that has several possibilities for creating different words. By using a blend like “ta,” you can add several different consonants on the end of that one blend to make words – b, g, n, p, and x. I would spend a number of days working on creating various one vowel words in this way. Once the idea has been grasped and the reading of the words has become a little smoother, I would then start finding very short books with easy one vowel words that the child can read. I think that a part of learning to read is the child being confident in their knowledge of what has already been taught before going on to the next step.
Right now, it’s only one vowel words that we’re working on, but what a world of opportunity we open up to our children when we start them down the path to being a reader! Please share with us in the comments section any suggestions or successes you’ve had in the journey of teaching your child to read.