My six year old is a reading machine and disappears for hours on end into his room with his books, but my youngest son has trouble catching on with reading. It’s not that he doesn’t have the raw ability to put the sounds together. It’s that he doesn’t seem to have the confidence to try. Asking him to read a small word he’s done many times before sometimes degrades into frustration or giggles to avoid taking that risk and trying it.
So to help him be comfortable and build confidence, I’ve been latching on to sounds that he’s mastered and building on them. “At” was the first word that he gets every time with no anxiety so it was naturally the first one to try.
They’re color coded to give him another way to recognize the similarities between the words. At is the core sound, and it becomes easier to change out just one word at a time. Then I’ll start taking plain paper and covering the rest up after we’ve practiced for a while to see if he can do the word without the others surrounding it.
After a couple of weeks of using these, he’s starting to recognize them and saying them a lot more clearly, showing me that he’s becoming more comfortable with the idea of them. It’s not going to teach him to read as well as the books we’ve been working on, but it’s giving him the confidence to try.