Our Road to Reading

Reading is winning

In the ‘Activities of Everyday Living’ learning area, there is a ‘Sequence Threading’ activity, where children thread beads following a sequence on a card.  Once a child is progressing well with this activity, we invite the child to come and play the ‘I Spy’ game – there are always children playing ‘I Spy’!

As soon as the child can play, ‘I Spy’ well, we start presenting the Sandpaper Letters and Phonograms to the children.  They learn 3 sounds at each presentation (one known and two unknown).  The children practice their known sounds, by tracing them, saying the sound and then writing it in Mielie Meal.  This process takes anything from 3 weeks to 6 months.

Once the child has learnt all the phonic sounds, the child is invited to work with the Large Movable Alphabet where he will create words of pictures with 3 – 6 letter phonic sounds.  The guide sounds out the word, putting emphasis on the sound that is next needed to complete the word.  The children soon start sounding out the letters and completing the words themselves.

“Teach me to do it myself”– Maria Montessori

They start their reading with pictures of objects that are 3 – 6 letter phonic words and the labels are in isiXhosa/English.  The child sounds out each letter and blends them to form the word – which they match to the corresponding picture.

Their next activity is reading lists of 3 – 6 letter phonic words in isiXhosa/English, with no pictures to prompt. As they progress with this activity, they start working with the Large Movable Alphabet again creating isiXhosa/English words that are more difficult and include phonograms. The guide will sound out the letters initially, but again the children soon start doing it themselves.

Reading of more difficult labels and matching to pictures is the next reading activity, followed by reading lists of words, with no pictures for prompting. Everyday words are presented to the child, followed by the child reading phrases and then sentences.

To support our road to reading, we were very blessed to receive 235 lovely children’s books this month and each child got 5 books to take home. Kamvalethu also donated a book to each child. 99% of the children said these were their only books!

Keep up to date

To stay updated on how you are changing lives, or to learn more about how you can get involved, subscribe to our newsletter.