But seven of us started second grade reading at fifth grade level.
Of course we all had parents who read to us at home, but so did most kids. And all parents "knew" it was harmful to try to teach kids to read themselves, so none of ours had tried. So what was the secret?
The public schools in California at that time were using sight reading (See, Hear, Say) curriculum but, because so many of the first graders weren't learning by that method, the teacher had tried using phonics and required them to chant the letter sounds every day while the rest of us worked at other things.
Remembering that experience, I played a phonics record or tape (you can tell that was a long time ago) every day as the children in my home preschool settled in for their naps. The familiarity would help them doze off.
I think doing that was one of the main reasons so many of the children began reading
on their own.
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm firmly opposed to trying to push
reading skills on kids who aren't ready for them, but this is an entirely
pressure-free way to prepare them to learn.
And it might also be a help to older kids who have learning disabilities
to play phonics CDs as they fall asleep at night.