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How to Teach Your Child to Read With Cue Cards

by Kathryn Hatter

When it’s time to begin teaching a child to read, a variety of strategies exist for helping youngsters understand phonics and recognize letter blends. Cue cards or flashcards provide your child with a focused activity that demands concentration and attention, according to the Salem State University website. Cue cards with letter sounds and words are a valuable tool for teaching your child to read.

Make cue cards or flashcards for letter recognition and letter sounds by using index cards. Place the capital and lowercase letter on one side of the card. On the other side, either draw a picture of an object that begins with the letter or cut out a picture from magazine to glue it to the card.

Practice the letter cards with your child daily to build your child’s knowledge about letter sounds. Shuffle the cards each time your child finishes the entire stack to ensure you present the cards in random order. Strive to practice with the cue cards for 10 to 15 minutes each day – or as long as the activity remains positive with your child.

Make new cue cards after your child masters letter recognition and letter sounds. On the new cards, place common words that a beginning reader can successfully learn. Visit the Baltimore Count Public Schools website for a downloadable list of common words and for printable cards containing common words. Alternatively, visit the Learning Books website for a comprehensive list of sight words, or Dolch words, arranged by reader age.

Present three to five words per week to a beginning reader, advises the University of Central Florida and State College of Florida. Show your child the word and help the child decode it, if necessary. After your child says the word, ask her to repeat it two or three times. Go through the cards daily, having your child read each card several times to drill the sight words.

Write the names of items in your home on cards and affix the cards onto the items with tape, suggests the School Family website. Encourage your child to notice and read the labeled items. You might label a desk, bed, chair, table, rug, wall, cage, floor, lamp, book, fireplace and door.

Continue working with your child, adding new words each week. As you add new cards, continue reviewing the finished cards as well to build your child’s word list.

Items you will need
  • Index cards
  • Black felt-tip pen

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

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