Building a Reader

Some think of the phase when their child learns to read as drudgery. 

It can be so hard for a mom to sit and hear their child painstakingly
   /s/ /ou/ /nd/        /ou/ /t/          /ea/ /ch/            /w/ /or/ /d/.

And, I know, it can be.

Our youngest son LOVES to build things…
building building2
and, currently, has little interest in becoming a reader.  

The different things that our son constructs can be quite tall and detailed as well as functional to play with.  In the process of assembling structures, he has learned some crucial guidelines– like the value of constructing on a solid surface, the importance of adding supports in order to stack the blocks higher, and the necessity of following instructions.

This makes me think how learning to read is somewhat like stacking those blocks
that he spends so much time engaged with…

a strong foundation of being read to, followed by step by step building
   letter by letter, 
      sound by sound, 
         chunk by chunk,
             word by word, 
                 sentence upon sentence, 
                     paragraph upon paragraph
… carefully building until it reaches the peak – an entire book!

early reading early reading 2 reading 3
reading reading 4 reading2 

I have been privileged to see the sheer joy in four of our five children’s faces as they progressed in their reading skills!  If we focus on just the individual building blocks, it can feel monotonous, repetitive, and overwhelmingly slow, but if we step back and look at the bigger picture … we will recognize it for what it truly is … a beautiful creation!  Learning to read opens up a new world of learning and exploration to our children.    There are so many ideas, discoveries, and concepts that I do not know or am unable to teach my children thoroughly.  However, when children can finally read, THEY become able to obtain knowledge so much more easily!  Reading is the foundation for a life time of learning.readingBible1

And, I can think of no greater aspiration or motivation for learning to read than God’s Holy Word.  Sure, our children memorize Scripture verses and listen to Bible stories before learning to read, but once they can read on their own, it opens them up to the whole knowledge of God – who He is, what He has done for us, and how we can live to bring Him glory.  And that is what we try to stress to our children and focus on throughout their journey of building those early literacy skills.
readingbiblejpg
My sweet little builder is progressively making connections between letters and sounds, enjoys listening to picture books and to his audio story Bible, and likes to sing Scripture verses and other songs.  These encouraging signs cause me to feel confident that he is steadily developing into a reader, one building block at a time, following in the steps of his four older siblings.  =) 

Building a reader takes a patient, loving, and encouraging hand.

Mamas, keep stacking and supporting those blocks with your little ones!

 

More on early literacy and learning to read…
A Love For Reading!
Spelling – When to Start
Hubbard’s Cupboard 
(free printable booklets, story lessons, hands on ideas for manipulating letters and sounds, etc.!)

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