Tips To Help Your Kids With Spelling And Reading
My Nan reads to Zacharie and his cousin Ruby, 2009

I attended a presentation from speech pathologists at my son’s school to help parents have some tools with spelling and reading. On this Family Literacy Day, here are some things to think about as your kids start to get into books.

RHYMING
The earliest developing skill for kids is rhyming. When you’re driving around play rhyming games with your kids, “what rhymes with stop? go? light?” etc

Rhyming helps kids to recognize patterns in unfamiliar words and then they start to understand word families.

Of course Dr Seuss is spectacular for rhyme awareness.

SYLLABLE AWARENESS
When you’re reading with your kids, clap along with words to try and find smaller patterns in words. Syllables are great to help isolate vowels and learn how they are the superstars of words and need to be used each time.

When Zacharie reads tough words, he “karate chops” them up into chunks and letter combinations to better sound things out instead of letter by letter.

SOUND LETTER CONNECTIONS
If your kids flip B and D when reading or pronounced TH as F, don’t worry. These kinds of reversals are common through Grade 3.

Many kids will often just recognize the first letter of a word and guess at the rest. You can get them to focus on word structure and how letters matter by asking them to change one letter in a word to make something new. Use Scrabble tiles and spell STOP, then change it to STEP and get them to read and recognize the difference.

SIGHT WORDS
There are some words kids just have to memorize. These are words that are used a lot and don’t follow rules. Things like every, laugh, there, etc. You can use flashcards, memory games, or even play Go Fish with flash cards. Instead of “do you have any 2’s” you ask “do you have any every’s”.

While I prefer sitting down with a paper book, some kids might be more into reading if they can use the technology they’re already comfortable and familiar with. Here are some great kids books from the iBooks store.

Frozen Enhanced Read-Along Storybook (based on the popular Disney movie, Frozen).
Based on the Disney film, Frozen, this enhanced storybook features thrilling sound effects, word-for-word narration, and original movie voices!

Read Along Dr. Seuss classics including The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who and more.

Sesame Street Books help teach concepts like potty training, getting ready to start school, ABCs and much more. Spend some time with the residents of Sesame Street in this delightful picture-book collection. As educational as they are fun, these books help kids learn the alphabet, colours and plenty more. Plus, Read Along audio narration helps support and encourage beginner readers, highlighting words on the page as they’re read aloud.

Read Along, Sing Along collection of gorgeously illustrated books, many available in both English and French. Featuring original songs by Canadian musicians Gilles Vigneault, Martha Wainwright and more.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman Junior Novelization for kids around ages 7-10. Read the book before you see the movie in theatres March 7. DreamWorks Animation brings Jay Ward’s classic cartoon Mr. Peabody & Sherman to the big screen in an all-new comedy adventure for the whole family. Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest person who happens to be a dog. When his “pet” boy, Sherman, uses their time-traveling WABAC machine without permission, the events in history spiral out of control to disastrous and comical results! It’s up to this most unexpected of father-son teams to put things back on track. 

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