Preschoolers and first graders need to learn letter sounds before you try to teach them to read. Whole language techniques have been proven not to work, so merely handing a child a list of words to learn for the week will not teach the child to read. Children must be taught to take words apart letter by letter, sound by sound, and then put those sounds back together to pronounce the word. Once we teach children phonemes or letter sounds, then we can teach children to read.
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Elaine Clanton Harpine, Ph.D.
Elaine is a program designer with many years of experience helping at-risk children learn to read. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Counseling) from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.