A proven way to early reading

As a mother, naturally, I was looking for a programme to help my children to read. With more emphasis being put to teach children to read early nowadays, childrens' education has become a good business to many. So many programmes are being introduced with promises to children being able to read early in life.

As an anxious parent trying to teach my child to read, I was easily tempted by such promises. Some programmes I surveyed even cost as much as RM2000. I bought a few programmes to aid my child to read. One of it being a famous approach that requires parents to show words as a early as the child is a very small baby in hope that the child will figure out the sound of the letters all by his or herself (in fact, I've read good reviews on this approach and even watch a video of a 9 month old baby being able to read words that are shown on few flkashcards. Of course, the 9 month old infant could not say out the word but she can actually point to the things or even acted out the words shown to hear. Impressive, isn't it?)

Unfortunately, the method just didn't work for my daughter. Frankly, I do not know whether it does not suit my daughter or I did not show enough words to her (despite I thought I've tried my best). Honestly, at a point, I was a bit upset and frustrated with myself for not being successful at teaching my daughter to read.

But then, my elder sister who used to live in Miri, Sarawak came back. I was frankly surprised to see her 3 year old daughter, who is only 5 days older than my daughter, is already reading books. Wow! That's amazing. Of course, she did not read as we adults read books. She had to spell out the words first before she could read it. But that's ok for a start. True enough, after sometimes, my niece starting to read without having to spell the words first.

So, I began to look into the books and methods used by my sister. My sister told me earlier that the beginner's level of the set consists of 8 books, flashcards and a teaching guide VCD. A friend of hers back in Miri was recommending the book to her. Well, the first thing came to mind was the set must be expensive, but nevermind, I'm still buying it anyway.

However, a good buy does not necessarily be expensive. To add to my amusement, the whole set of the beginners level only cost RM39.90.

The book, Read Easy Phonics is written by a couple, Nik Eliani Nik Nawi and Othman Ahamad who had been introducing the system of phonetics approach to teach children to read for about 10 years. I would say they make a great couple. In fact, I had the chance to meet them and talk to them in a course held by them on teaching children to read. They started out with Bacalah Anakku, a Malay early reading series and now is expanding and sharing their knowledge in English version. These two writers really know what they are doing.

Now, after 3 months starting my daughter on the programme, I could see improvement in her ability to read. Starting out with short 2 to 3 times reading sessions per day, now, she is already reading simple words. I even supplement this programme with another phonics based storybook, just to keep things interesting for my daughter. Whatever it is, the initial part of the process was the most difficult. However, once your child is able to understand the concept that each letter has certain sound and the sounds can be blended to form words, then, things get easier for both of you.

If you are serious about looking an early reading programme, I would highly recommend you to have a look at Read Easy Phonics and Bacalah Anakku early reading series. These books can be found at your local bookstore in Malaysia, or, if you prefer to buy it through the internet, you can simply click on the title of the book highlighted in red. 


Phil said...

Thank you Feeza for the nice article on teaching our children how to read. I enjoy reading too!

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