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Our brains may be wired for speaking, but they are actually not wired for reading and writing. Learn more about how literacy skills evolve throughout a child’s development.



Building a solid foundation in literacy begins at birth.  You may be asking yourself how exactly does one read to an infant?  Is my little one absorbing this story? These are all great questions with a not so complicated answer.  During the Prealphabetic phase, it’s actually less about books and more about language - the language that your child hears.  The more spoken language whether through song, nursery rhymes, story-telling, audiobooks, or children’s books that your child hears, the more ready she will be to learn to read.



When it comes to books, it’s important to allow you and your child to enjoy books in the way that makes sense for you and her - on your lap, in the car, in bed, during feeding time, etc...  And- there really is no right or wrong book.  Chunky board books, soft fabric books and vinyl books are all great and serve multiple purposes that not only assist in later reading development but also build strong thinking and social emotional skills. 

Birth - Age 3


Full Alphabetic Phase

Kinder - 1st Grade

Welcome to a truly exciting and BUSY time because your Full Alphabetic Reader is able to spell words phonetically and is starting to "chunk" common word families.  Get ready to look out for the many light bulbs illuminating left and right during this phase!


Without getting too scientific, at this stage learning to read involves many different skills that must be systematically and explicitly taught to your child.  Whether in a traditional school-house model, remote learning, or elective home education (home-school), instruction in the 5 critical areas of reading (phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension) is essential to the growth and development of your Full Alphabetic Reader. 



Additionally, in order to develop more advanced language patterns, vocabulary and comprehension, it is important to continue reading to your child on a level above where they can read on their own. Explicit, systematic and sequential Code-Emphasis (Phonics) instruction is essential so that your child can move from the Full to Consolidated phase.  We also want to continue phonemic awareness work as that is what enables that alphabetic code to really stick!


Observe in amazement as your Full Alphabetic Reader begins to read decodable text with learned patters and sight words, and notice how they use their skills and insights to sound out new words and increase their fluency.


Partial Alphabetic Phase

Around the time your child has turned 4 their brains have already magically begun laying the foundation for Literacy.  This is an exciting time for your Partial Alphabetic Reader - a time to have more fun with literacy activities such as blending learned consonant and vowel sounds into words for reading & spelling. 

Teach your child to recognize and manipulate the sounds of speech by saying a simple word with three to four sounds and asking your child to segment each individual sound.  Or do the opposite - you say individual sounds in a word and ask your child to blend those sounds together orally to produce the word.  



As your Partial Alphabetic Reader grows, try labeling simple objects in your home (bed, clock, bath, etc...).  Creating this type of print-rich environment will not only give your child a head start with reading, but also shows the importance of language, and the connection between spoken and written language. 


Allow your child to ask wondering questions (who, what, when, where, why, how) about the books that you read together.  This will help your child build their background knowledge on various topics.   Most importantly, be sure your child is choosing stories that interest him.  This is such a sacred time - a time of connection, learning, and fun!


Anchor Birth-Age3
Anchor PreK
Anchor Kinder

Consolidated Alphabetic Phase

2nd Grade & Beyond

During this miraculous phase, your reader is ready to launch into fluent reading and really experience the true essence of reading -- understanding.  The most noticeable difference between a Full Alphabetic and a Consolidated Alphabetic Reader is that “sounded-out,” or careful reading shifts to smoother, fluent reading. Also developing during this stage is knowing when to reread a sentence or text in order to improve your overall understanding.  

The Consolidated Alphabetic Reader still requires direct instruction in the 5 critical areas of reading including advanced decoding skills, but should also engage in plenty of reading. This cannot be stressed enough.


The more a Consolidated Alphabetic Reader reads, the more he/she will learn about what’s inside of words.  More specifically the roots, prefixes, and suffixes that make up the morphemes of the English Language. Knowing this information will support spelling, vocabulary knowledge and ultimately comprehension.


Let’s not forget that during this time, still critical is the notion of reading aloud to a Consolidated Alphabetic Reader at a level above his/her own independent reading. This is for continued growth and development of more complex language skills, vocabulary and comprehension concepts.

Anchor 2ndGrade
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