Knowing your syllables is a great strategy to develop reading confidence.

In a really wonderful parent/child workshop this weekend we worked out empowering strategies to boost our young reader’s confidence. Confidence is everything to young readers. But you need to have strategies. They give you the confidence you need to keep reading. To enjoy reading.

We read the beautiful Funnybones, but before we read each page we scoured it for words that might be tricky. We looked at them. Talked about them. Then worked out how to chunk them up with our Alphabeast friend the Woodpecker. We learnt that each syllable has a vowel in it. This is, for young readers, seriously powerful know-how. This means they can work out themselves where to chunk the word.

Every syllable has a vowel in it.

We love to stop and create our tricky words into visual and physical forms. This picture shows how we mastered the art of ‘every syllable has a vowel in it.’ Play-doh is great – it feels good but it allows you to slow right down and think carefully about the letters you are making – picking colours to represent the syllables reinforces this strategy.

But what about the Y?

We even noticed and thought about how the naughty ‘y’ makes an ‘e’ sound at the end of this word – and masquerades as a vowel! What an impostor. Or, as the Alphabeasts like to say, ‘what a mimic!’ But, knowing this, and taking it as strategy to the next sentence you read feels good. Strategies make skills. When mum or dad is there to watch and learn how their young reader is picking up these key strategies, they too have more confidence to help with reading at home. Lots of love and happy young readers.

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