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Learning how to read is a tricky task. The English language is rife with words that don’t make sense in how they are spelled. Helping our kids decipher our written language can be challenging work for parents and teachers.
Smiley (7) and his eager sidekick, Bear (4), are in the process of learning how to fluently read and spell in our homeschool. We use a variety of resources to accomplish these tasks, some of which I have shared here. Life of Fred Early Readers have given their reading time that special spark that brings them back for more. We have used activities to extend the learning fun with Life of Fred Early Readers.
I also created Lego Sight Words Game to give the boys a fun way to learn and practice sight words. The boys love to build and play with Legos and enjoy using their favorite building blocks to learn.
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As the boys make progress with their reading, I noticed that certain words continued to be difficult for the boys to remember. I think that this is normal given their ages. I do not want to push them to read or spell. Smiley, however, was getting frustrated and asked for help in this area.
I remembered a fun book that covers silent letters in spelling that I had used with Captain and Professor. I found the book and knew that I had hit the jackpot-and wanted to share it here.
Silent Letters Loud and Clear is another book by Robin Pulver that has blessed our family. I shared Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day and Punctuation Takes A Vacation. These books are fantastic ways to introduce and review grammar and spelling with your kids.
I love how this book presents words with silent letters. It highlights the importance of properly spelling words in order to completely understand a sentence. It also shows how not every word is spelled the way that it sounds.
Learning Silent Letters Loud and Clear Activity
To extend the learning fun with this book (the way you know I love to do!), the boys got out these materials:
- white paper
- crayons-one must be white and then color of choice
- watercolor paints
Captain (13) and I wrote words from the book with silent letters. We used a white crayon for silent letters in spelling. Other colors were used for letters that are heard.
Before Smiley used his paints, I had him read aloud the color letters. I repeated the words after he said them for reinforcement of the sound of each word.
Smiley took his watercolor paints set and dipped his brush into the water. After selecting his paint color, he swiped his brush across the paper and his eyes lit up. He shouted, “Oh! Now I know these words!”
That moment of discovery was such fun to witness. Smiley went on to explain to me that he now understood why it was important to include those extra letters in his writing. He asked to look at the book again and we snuggled up to reread.
Smiley now likes to go around pointing out words with silent letters. He has revisited his Life of Fred Early Reader #8 Night, as well as other books, to discover more words with silent letters.
Have you used a technique like this while teaching your kids? If so, I would love to hear more about it. Discovering new ways to approach how we teach our children is exciting to learn and thrilling to apply!