An Eight-Year-Old's Advice About Reading

My eight-year-old daughter Hannah wrote the following essay for a contest. The contest asked students to provide advice to homeschool moms based upon what their moms did well. I thought educators would find her thoughts on reading and spelling education interesting. It certainly encouraged me!

I like home schooling because there are a lot of opportunities and sports. I think you should let your kids be in sports. Being in gymnastics helps me so that I don't have as much energy and I can focus and get my school done faster. When I come home I practice more gymnastics, handstands, and other skills. 

I like home schooling also because I can be by my family and we can play games together a lot more. Also there are no other people around me when I do school. This helps me because then I cannot be distracted by other people. I also like home schooling because I can ask questions whenever I want.

I think my mom teaches spelling the best because she teaches me rules. An example of a rule that helps me is, "English words do not end in I, U, V, or, J" to spell words like cry, blue, have, and edge. I think you should teach rules too.

My mom helps me spell faster by teaching me phonograms. This helps me because each word is made out of many phonograms. My mom taught me well when I was young by teaching me one phonogram a day. Once I learned a couple phonograms we played phonogram games that helped me to memorize them. When I am older it makes it easier for me.

I think my mom teaches reading the second best by teaching me the rules. But not all rules help. An example of one that helps is, "When a one-syllable word ends in a Y, it says /i/." This helps me read words like why, my, and try. Also it helps when my mom makes me sound out each word. If I get it wrong, then she tells me to try again. Then if I get it wrong again, she tells me why it is wrong and then she tells me the rule that it follows. You should know the rules so you can read better. If you know the rules it will be a lot easier learning how to read.

My mom taught me how to write the letters in cursive. I like cursive better because you don't have to lift up your pencil and you can write faster. She taught me to write in cursive first. I would suggest to teach cursive first. But after you teach cursive you should teach printing.

I recommend that you play spelling games and reading games with your child. I think you should because it helped me to be more interested in phonograms. I think you should play matching games with cursive and print letters and phonogram bingo. I think you should let your student do something that they really like when they say a phonogram right. For example, if they are really energetic, they should be able to run up and down the stairs one time, or do jumping jacks, or handstands because then they want to practice their phonograms more. When you are learning the phonograms you should let your students write them in salt and then they will be more interested and it will be something new for them.

Written by, Hannah Grace Eide
Age 8