Milestones for kids: Learning how to read

Malina reading

Over the last two years I have been the witness to a most amazing thing. I have watched my daughter Malina learn how to read. I have been reading for so long now that I don’t remember how it all started. In kindergarten they start with “sight words” which are simple words like and, the, or but.

Sight words

At her school while learning “sight words” each child received laminated index cards with stacks of 10 words at a time attached to a card ring. Weekly she would have tests on the new words and additional words would be added. It was wonderful seeing her learn all the words and I enjoyed going over them with her.

By the beginning of first grade she was reading short stories. Currently we are given homework assignments of reading at least 15 minutes each evening and are to mark off each day of successful reading on a calendar. After handing in the calendar the kids are given a certificate and a small prize. Hats off to all the teachers out there, you have done a wonderful thing of teaching our children.

Her school also has an “early literacy program” that runs for a year starting in kindergarten and continues on to first grade. Each student sits at a computer, learns phonics, writes stories, and is tested weekly on vocabulary sounds eventually writing sentences and stories. Her school has created a great learning environment.

Dr. Maggie's phonics books

Malina reads every day. We bought her some phonics instruction books by Maggie Allen, Ph.D. that she loves. There are 24 books total in the series and we have 8 of them now. I learned about Dr. Maggie at her daycare center. They were given a box of the books for free and shared them with students’ families in the lobby area. Seeing how much she enjoyed her first 2 books I eventually bought more from

When Max and I spell words to each other in front of the kids I have to be careful now, she knows what I’m saying!! The “ZOO” trip was not a surprise and when we are going to the “PARK” I no longer spell it out. We have books scattered throughout the house in three areas. The books keep on coming and we keep on reading. I look forward to my little man, Matteo, following in his sister footsteps and being the next reader in our family.

Matteo pretending to read

(day 80)


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