Little one read her very first sentence totally on her own today! She is 4 years old and I haven't really worried much about teaching her anything yet. I take advantage of opportunities that come up in the day but I have not been following any kind of structured plan. She has always loved books and being read to and pretending to read herself but today she actually read a sentence all by herself.
A while back a friend introduced me to the Learn to Read with phonics Starfall.com site and little one has been having fun with it for quite some time now. She's spent hours on the ABC alphabet Phonemic Awareness page. She often asked me to let her play on it and I'd set her up to play on my laptop at the kitchen table while I was busy doing kitchen chores. When I'd finish my chores I'd have to drive her away from the site because she wanted to stay on it. She really loved it, and I knew she was learning so I loved it too.
Today I decided to give the next level a try and introduced her to the Learn to Read section of the site. Instead of setting her up to go to it on her own I stayed by her to guide her a bit. She played the "an" and "at" parts in section 1. She loved it and did really well! I got her to read the words herself after she had completed it and she printed of the sheets that went with it and did those too. Then we decided to give the Zac the Rat book a try. I love how it is set up! Each page has a short sentence and you can click on each word to have it sounded out and then read. I guided her to ensure that she did them in the right order and after hearing each word read I got her to read it herself. After doing this for the first few pages she was noticing that some of the words were the same and she was starting to just read the words instead of clicking on them to hear them sounded out and read first! First it was just with a word or two but then she finally came to a page where she didn't bother to click on any of the words at all but just simply read the whole sentence! Of course we had to have a little high five celebration at that. I was so proud of her, and she was pretty proud of herself. She wanted to keep going on the site and try out some more but I didn't want to overload her so I just let her play on it on her own for a bit before finally talking her into leaving it for the day. We did print the Zac the Rat book and she wanted to read it tonight before bed. She couldn't remember a lot of it but that's okay. We'll probably play on the site again this week to refresh her memory. I will be following her lead and using this site as she shows an interest in it. I am certain it won't be long before she'll be zipping right along in her reading.