If you own a School Start Buddy, simply follow these steps to teach your child how to read and write.
The videos will guide you through each step.
Best of all - everything you need is inside your School Start Buddy!

Teach your child to write their name

It is great if children can start school knowing how to write their name. Here is a really short activity that will have your child writing their name in no time!

Teach your child to say letter sounds and blend 3 letter words

This simple 10 minute activity can be done daily so that your child is able to recognise all the letters of the alphabet and read three letter words. These skills should be the focus during a child's first term of school because they are the foundation for learning to read. In fact, many schools are now giving the School Start Buddy to their students on their first day of school because these skills are so important. 

Teach your child how to hear sounds and write short words

These videos explains how to explicitly teach a child to hear sounds so that they can write words. The first step is to be able to write 3 letter words (CVC words), and the next step is to hear the sounds in words with consonant blends and digraphs (outlined in step 4). You can find all the words you will need by clicking on the links provided. 

Teach your child letter patterns / digraphs

This video explains how to use your School Start Buddy to encourage your child to make connections between words according to a particular digraph or letter pattern. This is the perfect activity to learn a list of spelling words.

Teach your child to write sentences independently. 

The following video explains the process of teaching a child to write using the School Start Buddy. Children very quickly develop the confidence to write independently once they know how to hear sounds in words (step 3 above), they can write a letter/digraph for each sound they hear (step 2 & 4 above) and they learn some basic strategies to write a sentence (this step). It really is exciting when they have that 'light bulb moment' - they realise that they CAN write all by themselves!

I have attached a PDF of the dictation sentences from the SPELD SA website because these sentences contain the digraphs from step 4 and the tricky words (or high frequency words) from step 7.  I highly recommend working through these sentences with your child. 

Teach your child essential reading strategies when they start bringing home school readers

These two videos explain how to use the sentence blocks from your School Start Buddy, along with their school reader, to teach essential reading strategies. The first video demonstrates the activity with a decodable reader (these have lots of blend words and encourage your child to focus on the letters in the words), and the second video demonstrates the activity with a more meaning based reader (these have lots of high frequency words and encourage you to use the picture a bit more).

Teach your child to quickly read high frequency words

This video demonstrates a 10-minute activity that you can do with your child each day until they are able to recognise around 50 high frequency words (also known as sight words or tricky words). The best thing about this activity is that your child will also learn essential reading and writing strategies.

I would begin by using commonly used words from your child's readers/books because these are the most meaningful and effective for your child. However, if you don't feel confident identifying which words to use, I have attached 2 links that you can use. The first is the tricky words from the Jolly Phonics Program and the second is a list I have created. Feel free to use either. 

Teach your child letter names, the alphabet and Upper-case letters

Once your child is confidently blending sounds to read words, it is a good time to make sure they can recognise and say the letter names. This activity explains how to use the School Start Buddy and the School Start Capital Letter Case to teach the alphabet, letter names and to match upper and lower-case letters. 

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