Is your child learning to read?  Do you find yourself saying, "sound out the word?"  The child starts the word and by the time he/she gets to the end, he/she can't remember what the beginning "sounded" like!  In my experience, kids have had an easier time "sounding out the word" if they read it backwards.  Now I know what you're thinking - "this lady has really flipped her lid" - but hear me out, try it out, and then judge for yourself.

You can use regular paper or your can get paint strips with multiple colors.  You can write each letter on one of the blocks.  This will make it more colorful, fun, and helps the kids to distinguish the letters from one another.
Once you have your words written, then get a slip of paper that you can use to cover up the letters so you can reveal them one at a time.  Now you are ready to start.  Begin by revealing the LAST letter in the word.  We will use the word "fun" for our first example.  I will be put the letters in quotation marks when I'm talking about the letter name and I'll put the letter in slashes when I would want the child to say the letter sound.  You would reveal the "n" and allow the child to tell you the sound she hears.  She would sound out /n/.  You would then reveal the middle letter "u" and have the child build the two sounds together to sound out /un/.  You can stop and ask the child if /un/ is a word.  When the child answers no, then you can say, "oh then there must be more letters to reveal."  Pull the slip of paper and reveal the "f".  Have the child then add the /f/ to /un/ and build /fun/.  Ask the child again if /fun/ is a word.  The child should say yes!!!  He/she sounded out the word!!

Now, let's use the example of "read".  If you were to reveal the "d" and have the child read /d/ and then you revealed the "a" and had the child read /ad/ and then the "e", all of a sudden /ad/ changed to /ead/.  Therefore, as you are revealing letters, I want you to think of it more as revealing one sound at a time.  You would reveal the "d", then the "ea" at the same time, and then the "r".  You can explain that "ea" together make one sound; the long e.  You may even consider writing the "ea" on one block to explain that each color block is a different sound unit - not just letters.
If you do try it out, then let me know how it works for your child!!  Send me a message or leave a comment!

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