A child can read and spell simple words with magnetic letters . I gave my own children access to magnetic letters before they could write letters. We had so much fun, and they felt so smart.
Start slow with fun words. We were able to connect sounds to letters. It is important for children to hear and make sounds for letters and groups of letters. It felt more like play than teaching and learning. We didn't have to use terms like short vowel and long vowel. My children started to see patterns of the English language in a natural way.
me, he, she
Play with these words. Model making the sounds for the letters as you make words. Have the child make the sounds for letters as he/she makes words.
After a child knows these words well. Try mixing up the letters for two or three words and have only those letters available on a table, floor, or magnetic surface. Example: n, g, o, o, e, m Ask the child to make the words: no, go, and me. Another example: n, g, d, o, o, o, g Ask the child to make the words: no, go, and dog.
When working with a very young child explain rules only if the child asks. This allows children to discover patterns for themselves. If the child starts to ask he/she is ready for the information you will give.
Here are some of the rules and patterns a child may learn from these words:
A vowel at the end of a word will make a long sound or say its own name.
A vowel trapped between two consonants will make a special short sound.
Sometimes two letters work together to make a new sound. (sh and oo)
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