Learning to read begins with the ears. 👂🏼👂🏼
When our little ones start Junior Infants, we become aware that they first start to say letter sounds such as ‘muh’ for M or ‘eh’ for E and so on. This seems to be the very beginning of reading as this is what we see.
However learning to read starts a long time before that – there are deeper foundations.
Teachers will spend time ensuring that an awareness of sound is embedded before starting to teaching letter sounds. A lot of this prep has been done in preschool and at home. If a pupil does not have this awareness, learning to read will be trickier and take longer.
Parents can support children at home by:
👂🏼Bringing attention to words that have the same starting sounds (alliteration) “Betty bought a bit of butter…” “Peppa Pig, Danny Dog…”.
👂🏼Reading poems/nursery rhymes (Rhyming) Lots of repetition!
👂🏼Bringing attention to the beats in words (syllables): clap hands or stamp feet to the syllables ‘Ma-mmy’ (two claps) ‘sun’ (one clap).
👂🏼Bringing attention to the fact that words make up a sentence: Activity – take a step/jump forward for every word you hear “I like eating jelly.”