Reading at home is important for every child
Journey to Independence: Reading at home is important for EVERY CHILD. Let me say it again “EVERY CHILD”.
When Savannah was about primary school age, her school had a program to teach sight words. Savannah knew all the words when she saw it in a flashcard format. But as soon as it was used in a sentence, she could no longer identify the word. I was very heartbroken when I realised that it was likely that she would never read or share my passion for words. Being a first time mom, I bought many books for Savannah, all inscribed to her with love from me. As the reality of her literacy capabilities dawned on me, I painfully changed the inscription on the books to my other children, who by that time, already had their own collections from me.
But learning never stops for any of us, and as Savannah’s siblings are avid readers, she has developed a somewhat casual interest in books. During the time of Savannah’s illness in June, we had plenty of time to extend her reading interest. The book we’ve been reading for about six months now is Anne of Green Gables, which fits into her recent curriculum topic “America”.
Here is my version of a book mark for Savannah:
My intention for Savannah was to build up her listening skills, memory and comprehension. I did not specifically target literacy or language development with this. Her book mark serves to help her memory by providing suggestions, so she doesn’t feel pressurised and can speak more easily.
I believe reading should always be a relaxed and an indulgent affair. Not hard for many of us, but I learned over the years that these are skills that Savannah had to be taught, especially as she associates books and stationery to school work.
Initially, Savannah could only concentrate for about a minute but now she listens to an entire chapter (and it is pretty long). She has memorised Anne, Dianna and Mrs Lynde’s names and is still working on Matthew and Marilla. She learned that Avonlea is a place in America and we used her communication program to practice google searches for images of Avonlea.
Outside of this, Savannah is also working on learning her symbol set in The Grid 2. She uses the grid bundle “Beeline”, and is learning to put together simple sentences. Savannah struggles to use prepositions and sentence starters when she speaks. She speaks in terms of the object or subject and therefore also constructs her written sentences the same way. An example would be “my dolls clothes where”. What she is trying to say is “Where are my dolls clothes?”. Examples of sentences that she practices to write (symbol with text format) are:“I want my doll please, Talisa.” or “Can I tell dad what I did?” or “My brother, Eli is handsome”.
To my wonderful surprise, and I think due to the combination of these activities in her life right now, she is trying to read simple sentences with me in Anne of Green Gables. There is still too much text on the page for her to concentrate and read more than a short sentence. But she takes great pride in identify and saying “Anne, the, Diana, is, at, home, where, how”. So not only is her concentration, memory and comprehension improving, but so is her literacy and even spoken language.
You know it’s true…Reading at home should be part of EVERY CHILD’S life.