Learning to Read with Letter Cards
Some of my biggest challenges as a homeschooling mom have involved reading. My youngest child has had an especially difficult time learning to read, so much so that I had to find someone else who could help. That’s when I learned about “letter cards”.
I must admit, I don’t know much about teaching reading. My oldest child just seemed to take off with it when he was four years old after just a couple of months working on it; I really have no idea how he did that. My next two children were a little older, and the process took a little longer, but somehow they got there. So when my youngest son showed signs that he was struggling, I wasn’t feeling very confident. I tried one curriculum after the next to see if any would click with him; while he seemed to get it at first, he would soon forget what he had learned.
After seeking advice and attending reading workshops, we finally asked a friend to help teach him. Trained in teaching reading, she comes by once a week, and he’s made incredible progress over the past year. One of the things she uses is letter cards. It’s such a simple thing, but such a great idea.
Each card is about 2” by 2” square, and each one has a printed lower-case letter. The “q” card is printed as “qu” since it’s almost always followed by a “u”. Consonants are one color (ours are yellow); vowels are another (ours are blue). My friends cards were laminated, but they don’t have to be.
How to Use Letter Cards
There are a lot of different ways to use the cards. For example:
- Your child can arrange the cards in alphabetical order.
- Once arranged, your child can practice saying the letter names and sounds.
- Your child can learn the difference between consonants and vowels.
- You can spell words with the cards and have your child sound them out.
- You can dictate words and have your child spell them by placing the correct cards in order.
- You and your child can create short sentences together with words made from the cards
(Each time, after the words are spelled out and read, the cards should be returned to their original spots in the alphabet.)
The letter cards are a great hands-on tool for any child learning to read. Once your child has mastered letter sounds and simple words, you can add another set of cards to create more complex sentences.
Have you found a way to help your kinesthetic learner with reading?