Saturday, 15 January 2011

Teach Your Baby to Read

My attempts to teach Iona reading have been derailed somewhat this week, since she learned 5 words. On Thursday I had to travel a considerable distance by bus for my heart check-up, so I was gone from 10 in the morning to 8.15 at night (thankfully the doctors are very happy with my progress). It gave me a chance to do a lot of reading and writing up of notes from a book I'd borrowed from our home educators' group library ("The Little Book of Fun on a Shoestring", but no time at all to do anything with Iona. Yesterday my husband was having minor surgery as a day patient, so I had plenty of time to do things with her, but when I tried to read through the word flash cards with her she decided to be silly and mess around with them. The same had happened on Wednesday, so we ended up doing no real reading for 3 days. The joys of trying to teach 2-year-olds to read, I suppose!

I tried asking her today if she wanted to do some reading. The first time she wouldn't really concentrate on it, again, so I just asked her to recognise, rather than remember, words. In other words, I presented her with the 3 body part words and asked which said "hand", which "foot" and which "knee", followed by doing the same for "Mummy" and "Daddy". This is easier to achieve, so provides less evidence of learning, but it tends to be more successful when she is struggling to concentrate (she was quite tired today having stayed up worrying about bad dreams til 10 last night). Anyway, she correctly identified all 5 words in that way. Then, this afternoon, I tried again to get her to read them. This time she did so, 'though saying silly things like "Mummyknee" for knee and "Mummyfoot" for foot. She's obviously still enjoying it, though, as she wanted me to go through them again with her immediately afterwards.

Bible study has also been a little less successful this week. We have continued to read the Bible with her every day, but on 2 occasions it has been my husband who has done so, making it a little harder for me to work with her from that. We looked at hospitality when we read about the angels visiting Abraham to tell him about Sodom, and I asked her to help me make biscuits as Sarah made dinner for the angels. When we read about Isaac's birth being promised, I emphasised that God told Abraham his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, and that God keeps his promises. As a craft activity I used an idea from Toddler Activities at Home ( and made a star mobile with Iona to hang in her bedroom. I made 10 stars from card and covered them with foil (Iona was supposed to help with this but was more interested in unwrapping them and the glue turned out to be quite hard to use). I then tied string to them and hung them from a strip of corrugated card which I covered with paper on which I wrote "God promised Abraham as many descendants as there are stars" on one side and "God keeps his promises" on the other. Iona was able to learn the latter and repeat it after me, so I know she's taken in at least one thing!


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  2. Thanks. It seems to be working, and she enjoys it too, which I feel is important.