Reading, Writing, When? How?
following is intended as a guide. Children are unique individuals but the
following general principles hold true.
When is a child ready to read?
between three and seven a child is ready to read. I am convinced that it is
already programmed into the child when it is born. While three and seven are
both extremes they are still normal. When a child is ready to begin learning
they have an eighteen-month learning spurt, similar to a growth spurt but related
to learning, when they will gobble up material. They will never again learn as
much as at this period of their life or be as receptive. This does not of
course mean that all children will learn exactly the same amount during this
period as all children are different and their ability to absorb material will
vary. It is vital to catch a child during this time. If you do not they will
loose interest and it will be hard to recapture this interest.
able to learn throughout our lives but it is easier for a child to learn than
an adult. Those children who begin learning early usually reach an adult stage
of learning earlier. Puberty for them may mark this peak. They continue to
learn, but learning is not quite as effortless as previously. Those children,
who start later, peak later. For slow learners, puberty may actually help the
not all, boys will be slower to develop the skills necessary to begin reading.
This is not because they are not as clever as girls but rather because they are
more physical beings and they simply have "better things to do." They
often develop in other directions earlier. However in families where there are
several children a boy may develop faster.
children generally watch an older child and relate to them. Often in their own
mind they either perceive themselves as being that age or realize that this is
what they will learn when they grow a little older. This can be a great aid to
the mother as they are disposed to learn and are partly trained when she comes
to teach them to read.
may be ready to read before they are ready to write. If this is the case teach
through the single sounds using the Phonics
1 and 2 and Activity & Craft Sheets 1 & 2 without teaching writing.
This can take up to six months and by this time the child is generally ready to
write. You can then repeat the Phonics 1
and 2 quickly teaching the child to write.
various theories about the size of writing the child should begin with. The
truth is that some children write larger than others. Children who have smaller
writing find it very hard to write an "a", for example, that takes up
a page, but may write a beautiful "a" on
24mm lines. Other three-year-olds find it easier to stand in front of a
blackboard and write large. Ignore theories and allow your child to be your
guide. You either work with your child or fight his nature all the way and that
is very hard.
What skills are necessary before learning to read and write?
many of these skills are oral.
and counting from at least one to ten.
i.e. up, down, in, out, through,
behind, besides, over, under, left, right
and pasting (writing)
Modelling play dough (writing)
Colouring between lines (writing)
Recognising basic patterns
Start with shapes, later recognising
two letters are the same without knowing the
being read to, recognising that there are words on a
page that tell mother what to say, desire to read for himself.
If you want your
child to read, read to him and read yourself.
out simple jobs.
skills, e.g. run, hop, skip, climb etc
to write. This may only initially be small circles (writing) and asking Mum
what it says.
child has not fully mastered these skills of if you are not confident of their
abilities begin with Pre-Reading
Activities 1, Pre-Reading Activities 2 and for some children, Beginning Maths.
Choosing a Phonics Programme
extremely simply, phonics is learning the single and double sounds rather than
learning words by sight. If you learn words by sight you are limited by the
number of words you know and by your memory. Those with a good memory will
learn more words. But if you learn phonics, whether you know the word or not,
you will be able to sound out the word. Further, if you learn the rules that go
with the sound, you will know how to spell a range of words as well as read
should you look for in phonics?
Language Foundation of Australia in their newsletter in March 1999, suggest the
Is it linguistically and factually sound?� Has it stood the test of time?
Do pictures take precedence over words, or better
enhance the meaning of the text?
Is it fully structured?� Does it follow a logical progression, i.e.
introduce firstly single letter phonograms before proceeding to double ones
such as oa, ie, etc?� Is it easy to follow?
Does it teach short and long vowels before introducing
such phonograms as ck or the doubling rule � both of which depend on
Does it offer full-structured reading matter that
introduces phonograms and rules in the same order as they are taught in
Does the programme lend
itself to being reinforced by other material already in use?
Does the programme progress
to offering more than just the recognition of sounds, by generating an interest
in words by reflecting their cultural connections?
Is the programme limited to
use with specific target groups or individuals or is it widely applicable?
Is it gimmicky and bright coloured
but lacks substance?
Does a range of suitable resources support it?
Is it economically viable in light of all the above
criteria?� Is it really value for money?
Phonics Books 1-5 with step by step directions
sounds: a, b, c etc.
single sounds so that within thirteen� sounds the child can read a simple
paragraph and at the end of� twenty six
single sounds the child can read a whole page.
sounds: many sounds like a, e or ou have more than
one sound. These are introduced in a logical sequence.
sounds: ee, ea, th, ow, etc
rules: e.g. f, l, s, z is doubled after a short vowel.
instructions on what to say and what to use.
Reading is including in book.
Writing Exercises for Phonics 1-5
writing exercises that mirror those in the Phonics book
both capital and lower case letters.
that mirror extra work in the Phonics 1-5.
Activity & Craft Sheets
one hundred activities for each Phonic Workbook.
����� These provide
craft and extra extension sheets. Activity & Craft Sheets include:
with sound and picture to associate with the sound. Small children are very
visual. They find it easier to remember the sounds if there are pictures.
associated with the sound. In the first two packs there are more craft sheets
than in later packs.
extra practise is given in using the sounds. These
also include word searches and crossword puzzles in kits 4 and 5.
sheets in addition to the work in the book.
revision test at the end of each pack to ensure all sounds have been mastered.
In set 5 a revision test is included for all sounds previously used.
Optional Art Packs
����� Two art packs contain all the art and craft material
needed for Activity & Craft Sheets 1-5.
Optional Extra Readers
����� Five packs of
readers are available for those children who require extra reading. These
readers are keyed to the sounds already learnt. There are ten readers in each
pack. There are simple illustrations that do not assist children in guessing
details of all these books may be found in our catalogue. All items may be
bought individually, or in kits. The complete programme
takes twelve to fifteen months to complete.
& Craft Sheets 1
Art Pack 1
Signpost 1 maths book (national edition)
Sheets for Phonics 1
& Craft Sheets 2
& Craft Sheets 3
Art Pack 2
Sheets for Phonics 3
Activity Sheets 4
Activity Sheets 5