4) PHONICS BOOKS
I ended up buying the other 3 volumes of the Phonics book series just a week after I bought the first one. She would eagerly sit on my lap every morning and learn a few pages each day. The words are grouped according to how they sound and because of that, she has also learned rhyming words.
Bat – Cat – Fat – Hat – Mat – Rat
On a different day, we would do:
Hen – Men – Pen – Ten – Then – When
It totally increased her vocabulary. The books also include words that has the “ake” sound, like bake, rake, shake; the “ate” sound like late, gate, mate; the “eet” sound like meet, sheet, street, feet, etc. As you can see below, the pages have very nice illustrations and underneath each picture is a short sentence describing it. Reading those lines helped her make sense of the picture too. Really wonderful series. Couldn’t help but wonder why our books in school weren’t this cool.
Now you might be wondering how many pages you should cover in one sitting. My advice is to let your baby dictate how many. I would immediately know when to stop and switch to another activity when ours had enough. She would either tune out, look in a different direction, or leave my lap to signal this. Ironically, there were also times that she’d be too engaged that she would refuse to switch to another activity even if I suggested so. We did the volumes one at a time and went back to the volumes that she liked once in a while. This lasted for several months. There were weeks when we don’t touch them at all and there were weeks when she would suddenly want to browse through them again.
When she reached 2 and learned how to read 4-letter words from volumes 2, 3, and 4, she all of a sudden revisited the old books she hadn’t touched for quite a time and saw them as brand new. Because this time, she was not merely looking at the pictures, she was actually reading the words, and associating it with the pics. The awe on her face was saying she gained a better understanding of what the books were all about. It was amazing how this felt like a discovery for her and how it opened up a new world to her eyes.