What do I do AFTER ABC See, Hear, Do?

I’ve had a few people ask me what they should do once they’ve finished all the ABC See, Hear, Do books. What comes next? While you wait for our next book to come out—wink wink—(because there’s always another one coming!), go ahead and try some of these activities to continue your child’s reading progress.

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1.     Read! Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s obvious. But the best thing you can do is read, read, read. Read to your child every day.

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2.     Spot Read – When you read with your child and come across a word you know they can read, pause and encourage them to read the word.

3.     Take Turns – Another fun thing to do is take turns reading. You can take turns reading pages, sentences, or even words.

4.     Encourage your child to Sound Things Out. When you’re driving or grocery shopping or waiting at a doctor’s appointment, encourage them to find a word and sound it out. Then let them find a word for you to read.

5.     Encourage them to Read On Their Own. Check out our lists of good beginning readers here and here.

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6.     Keep Reading Time Stress-free and as simple as possible. If they are fighting you and refusing to do a reading activity, don’t push them. Reading will come with time, but if you force it, your child might end up correlating reading with something they hate doing.

7.     Go to the library often and Let Them Choose which books they want to read. Research shows that it doesn’t matter what kids read as long as they are reading. Even if you think a book is stupid, it’s okay. However, if you insist that your children read better literature, these are great books to read to them.

8.     Listen To Audio Books. Audio books are a great way to help children develop their listening and comprehension skills.

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9.     Go to your local bookstore and Buy Books! Research shows that homes with more books tend to house children that perform better in all areas of school. That and I’m always one for supporting independent bookstores!

10. Keep Practicing the words in the ABC See, Hear, Do books or try using the ABC See, Hear, Do flashcards! We have lots of ideas for flashcards here, here, and here.

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Good luck! We’d love to hear what other activities you do to help your children on their personal learn-to-read journey!

ABC See, Hear, Do 5: Sight Words

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The 5th book in the ABC See, Hear, Do series teaches sight words. “Sight words” is a term often used in preschools or kindergarten classes, yet it can be defined in two different ways: as words that appear frequently enough in the English language that children need to memorize them to improve reading fluency (Examples include I, in, a, and be); or as words that need to be memorized because they don’t follow traditional spelling/pronunciation rules (Examples include could, has, and was).

Because sight words need to be memorized, classrooms most often resort to pure memorization methods. They send home lists of words and ask parents to go over them with their children until they memorize each one. Some kids learn these words quickly and easily. For other kids, staring at flashcards with plain ol’ black words scrawled on them is laborious and painful.

To address the latter crowd, I continued with the ABC See, Hear, Do proven method by assigning an action for each of these words. I used the actual American Sign Language signs for as many words as possible, though I did have to modify some of them. Many English sight words aren’t used in ASL at all, so in those cases, of course, I created the actions myself.

Because the nature of reading whole words is slightly different than learning sounds, I decided to deviate a touch from the ABC See, Hear, Do animal theme, and used monsters instead to help children remember each sight word. I combed through lists and lists of the most common sight words, only choosing those words that 1) haven’t appeared in the first four ABC books and 2) can’t be easily sounded out. At the back of the book, I also included bonus pages with high frequency words that children can sound out.

Now, instead of staring at word lists, children can actually have fun as they learn their sight words. The colorful monsters and actions make learning sight words easier and definitely more memorable. 

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What Makes ABC See, Hear, Do Different?

There are a number of excellent reading programs out there. Why try ABC See, Hear, Do when there are already plenty of effective methods?

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Here’s the thing. All children learn differently. So what works for one child might not work for another. Because of this, we believe that the more resources available, the better! Thanks to so many choices, you can find what works best for your unique child. And the ABC See, Hear, Do method is a new and exciting resource that has proven effective for many children.

What sets us apart?

First of all, the ABC See, Hear, Do method starts at the very beginning of the learn-to-read process. While many other learn-to-read programs assume your child already knows his letter sounds, ABC See, Hear, Do includes letter sounds as part of the process and builds from that point. In this way, it fills the gap between alphabet books and most learn-to-read programs

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Next, the ABC See, Hear, Do method is simple. Your child can learn 4 letter sounds and read 2 words right from the get-go. This makes learning to read less intimidating and provides immediate gratification. What kid doesn’t like that? This immediate reward keeps children excited and inspires them to continue reading, because their confidence grows as they realize they can do it.

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Another difference is that the ABC See, Hear, Do method is super easy for parents! Its bright illustrations, motivating structure, and fun actions sweep away much of the frustration that comes with teaching a child to read, replacing it instead with silliness. Performing actions while saying sounds not only activates multiple learning styles, but it also lightens the mood and relieves some of the pressure both parents and kids feel about learning to read. With ABC See, Hear, Do, reading practice is actually fun!

ABC See, Hear, Do 2: Blended Beginning Sounds builds off the first book and introduces letter blends and four letter words. It also allows your child to read another 51 words with prompts. This slow-but-steady introduction to reading makes the learn-to-read process simple, effective, and fun.

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We hope you’ll give ABC See, Hear, Do a try with your child! If you do, we’d love to hear about it!

For more information, be sure to check out our reading tips, such as 9 Tips for Using ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words, Learning to Read Readiness, or our free ABC Letter Assessment!

ABC Letter Assessment

If there’s one thing preschool and kindergarten teachers are expected to do well, it’s assess what their students know. Why? Because parents want to know how their children are progressing.

Drum roll, please…we’ve got a new, FREE printable that makes knowledge assessment a cinch for both teachers and parents!

                                                              (Click image to download ABC See, Hear, Do Letter Assessment for free!)

                                                              (Click image to download ABC See, Hear, Do Letter Assessment for free!)

Here’s how it works. Point to each letter and ask your child to name the letter and the sounds that letter makes. If he can, check off the corresponding box. If he can’t, leave the box blank. Voila! Now you know which letters to focus on.

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When your child knows all the letter names and sounds, she will be well-prepared to start reading (and start kindergarten!)

This is also a fabulous and effective teacher tool for measuring benchmarks. Check what each child knows at the start of school, half-way through the year and by spring. By so doing, you can track and show student growth throughout the year.

You can also tape this in the inside cover of ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words and check off the letters as your child learns them. My kids love basking in how much they know and marking their progress.

And did we mention it’s FREE?

To download your free ABC Letter Assessment, click here! Enjoy!

 

9 Tips For Using ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words

ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words can be used in many different ways. Try these ideas to see what works best for your child!

Work on one letter sound per day/week:

Use the book to review each letter sound and then supplement learning of the highlighted letter sound with crafts, activities, and games.

Work on a cluster of 4 letters at a time:

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The book is divided into sections of 4 letters. Work on each group of 4 letters until your child remembers those sounds. Go at her pace– this may take minutes or multiple days, depending on the child. Once she’s mastered the small group of letter sounds, help her read the words that correspond with those letters. After she has mastered each section, move on to the next.

Focus only on the letter sounds, not the words:

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Go through the book with your child until he has learned all the letter sounds, skipping all the pages with practice words. After your child has mastered the sounds, go back to the word pages and practice blending sounds together.

Read the entire book:

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Sometimes kids are ready to read through the entire book, right off the bat. Help her learn each letter sound and let her try to sound out all the words.

Use flashcards:

There are multiple variations of flashcards available to supplement this book. You can buy them here. As your child reads the book, encourage him to match the flashcards to words as a spelling practice.

Writing:

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For children interested in learning to write, encourage them to copy words from the book onto a piece of paper. Then ask them to read the words on the paper.

Siblings:

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If your child has older siblings, involve them! Older siblings can read the book with their younger sibling and help her practice letter sounds. If your child has younger siblings, she can teach them the letter sounds as she learns them. This is a great way to both reinforce sounds and encourage family bonding.

The child as the teacher:

Encourage your child to play school and teach his stuffed animals the letter sounds. Or, for the more tech-savvy child, help him create a YouTube video in which he teaches the audience how to read.

Follow your child’s lead:

Above all, the best thing to do is follow your child’s lead. On one day, she might read the whole book. But the next day, she might want to practice only a few letter sounds. That’s okay. The point is to keep the process fun and engaging, so she will continue to enjoy practicing her reading skills.

Are there other ways you use ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words? We’d love to hear about them!

For more great tips, check out these posts:

Are You Frustrated Trying to Teach Your Child to Read?

Learning to Read Readiness

Learning Styles

Are You Frustrated Trying to Teach Your Child to Read?

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Yes? Let me tell you, I HEAR YOU. Teaching a child to read can sometimes be an extremely frustrating process! We all want our children to be good readers. Of course we do. We want them to be ready for kindergarten. We want them to succeed. So when the going gets tough, our worry-meters go berserk. Will my child fall behind? Will he ever get it? Is he down for the count before the bout has even begun? Before you start weeping on the floor, remember: These are all normal desires and normal fears. You’re not crazy or paranoid or overprotective for having them. That being said, we do need to keep them in check when teaching our children in order to respect their developmental process.

When my oldest child was four, I decided to teach her to read. I used a common book that has worked well for millions of children. However, I made one huge mistake: I turned learning to read into a battle of wills. I made a chart (I’m a chart girl), and I vowed that every day we would practice reading for ten to twenty minutes. I was all in. She wasn’t interested. I bought prizes, bribed her, tried every trick in the book. Didn’t matter. She still didn’t want to do it, no matter how much I forced her, pleaded with her, cajoled her each day.

Did I teach her to read? Yes. But guess what? She hated it.

My oldest child hated to read. This was not the outcome I wanted. I wrongly assumed that as soon as she could read, she would love to read. And who knows? Maybe she still wouldn’t like reading, regardless of what I said or did. However, I still think the frustration we both felt while she was learning to read turned her off at the get-go.

Thankfully, I learned from my mistake. With my next child, I used the same learn-to-read book I had with my daughter, but instead of going at my pace, I followed his lead. We moved much more slowly, skipped things he wasn’t interested in, and in the end, we both had a much better experience. I treasured our shared love of reading.

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By the time my daughter entered second grade, I decided I needed to remedy her hatred of reading as well as I could. So we spent the year reading books together and listening to audio books. Don’t be fooled. The change didn’t come instantly, and I can’t say that she ultimately became a bookworm. But...sharing my love of reading with her rather than forcing her to read made a big difference. By the end of second grade, she actually liked reading.

 

By the time I had my fifth child, I knew the book I had used to teach my other children to read would turn into the same frustrating battle of wills I’d experienced with my daughter. This son couldn’t sit still, didn’t like being told what to do, and  showed no interest in reading. I was still determined to teach him, but I needed something new. This is the primary reason I developed the ABC See, Hear, Do. I wanted something that would inspire him to want to learn, that would spark a love of reading. The ABC See, Hear, Do method did the trick.

Long story short? Since children learn so differently, it’s good to have multiple methods of teaching reading. What might be super frustrating for one child might click for another child. Every child is different, which means that there’s no right or wrong pace. So learn from my experience – if you or your child are frustrated with the process, stop what you’re currently doing and try something else. Smother those fears, do your best, and you’ll both be closer (and happier) in the end. 

 

 

 

Learning to Read Readiness

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Many parents wonder how to know when their child is ready to start reading. Because all children are different, there is no good answer to this question. Each child develops at her own pace. Some children will know all their letters and sounds by 18 months old, while other children aren’t ready or interested until age three or four. That’s okay.

Remember, learning to read is a very complex process. ABC See, Hear Do: Learn to Read 55 Words starts at the very beginning of this process. Your child won’t be able to read a picture book after mastering this book. But she will gain very important pre-reading skills that build the foundation for reading.

Is your child ready to begin the process? Here are some signs to look for that indicate your child may be ready for pre-reading skills:

*Symbol recognition: Your child starts to recognize that symbols stand for something else. For example, when he sees the big yellow arches, he knows it means McDonalds. This skill carries over to recognizing that letters are symbols that mean something when they are put together.

*Letter recognition: Your child starts to notice letters in the world around her. She may notice the first letter of her name. Or she may notice that there are letters on the side of a building.

*Can sing the ABC song: This is probably the most common song sung with American preschool children. If your child can remember the letters in the song, he is probably ready to remember letter sounds as well.

*Can mimic: If your child is able to copy sounds you make and actions you do with your hands, then she is ready to use ABC See, Hear, Do! She might not be ready to blend sounds together, but she can start learning the sounds letters make at a very young age.

*Interest: This is the key– the most important sign of all. If your child is interested and engaged in learning letter sounds, then go for it! If not, you can still surround him with books and letters and games. Just be sure not to pressure him or push the idea until he is interested.

Still not sure whether your child is ready for pre-reading skills? Why not give it a try? You’ll know pretty quickly if she is interested or not. And if she just isn’t ready yet, try again every couple weeks. Children grow and change quickly, and disinterest today doesn’t mean they won’t be engaged next month.