Saturday, August 13, 2016

Subliminal Phonics

Here's another post about helping kids learn to read.

Years ago when I was teaching preschool I only spent a few minutes each day on academic things. We'd have a letter and number of the day, and check the calendar for the date and day of the week. The rest of circle time was spent sharing, and reading stories.

In the afternoon as the children were settling down for their naps I'd play a record or tape (you can tell this was a long time ago) with a story, then I'd play one of several phonics records or tapes that went through the alphabet, pronouncing each letter and the basic sound it makes.

Some of those weren't even accurate. For example, I remember one claiming "M says muh."

After that I'd play some soothing music. Altogether all those records and tapes took about fifteen minutes, and most of the children would fall asleep well before they were finished.

Although I didn't do anything else to try to teach the children academic things, quite a few of the four-year-olds just spontaneously began to read. I think hearing the letter sounds as they fell asleep let them seep into their brains.

I call that method of helping kids learn to read Subliminal Phonics.

And it didn't put any pressure on the kids or push them to try things they weren't ready for.

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