My husband has done something wonderful this summer – he has taught our 5-year-old, soon-to-be kindergartener, to read. It’s quite an accomplishment for both of them. By the end of the school year last May, our son already knew all the letters and sounds, so that’s where the jumping off point was. We started out with some of the Hot Dots products, as he loves anything that makes noise and that he can manipulate, like the pen. He went through the consonants, vowels, and blends and digraphs cards before they tackled the actual books.

The next step was to get some of the early reader books from our local Barnes and Noble. They started at Level 0, and it was slow going. I enjoyed watching them, but sometimes it was painstaking too. But they both stuck with it, and three months later he’s up to the Level 2 books.

Motivation? First, we picked out books that he was really interested in…Toy Story, dinosaurs, Star Wars, etc. Next came the rewards: Our son loves playing golf. So he gets a trip to the driving range each time he completes a book, and if he completes all the books we purchased, he gets to go actually play his first round. Finally, the persistance approach – we work with him on reading words on everything around us, including street signs, billboards, menus at restaurants, or anything else that’s around when he’s in the mood to read.

I’m hoping he’ll feel very comfortable when kindergarten starts later this month!