Around the House and Food-Themed Picture and Sight Word Cards

Here are more FREE picture and sight word cards for those of you teaching your kids to read words by sight. This is a set of thirty-eight pictures of items around the house, some clothing, and favorite foods. Use them to build vocabulary, teach sight words, talk about word function, and for sorting.

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Teaching Children with Down Syndrome to Read: Our Top Ten Resources for Beginning Phonics

Last fall, I began teaching Junior how to decode words. Having taught my five other children to read, I knew that I would have to make each step along the way very incremental and use materials that were hands-on and visual. I was ready for the process to be slow and bumpy, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly Junior learned to decode CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.

So today I’m sharing with you some videos of Junior at work and the resources and methods we used that worked best.

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Autumn-Themed Sight Words and Pictures, See and Learn Style

Can you believe it’s autumn already?

Here are eighteen autumn-themed sight word pictures and word cards. They’re great for building vocabulary, too. Use them just the way you use the See and Learn kits. And since books are always so motivating, here are two books that go with the words:

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Our Homeschool Room no. 2

Last fall we moved into a new house… actually a very old one, but new for us. So that meant I got to arrange a new homeschool room!

With our oldest daughter in the convent and the three teenage boys in school, we no longer need a large school room like the one we had in our previous home. But we still have a room dedicated to homeschooling our two youngest children. It’s actually the dining room converted into a school room….

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Short Vowel Stories Adapted for Children with Down Syndrome

As promised in my last post about our top ten resources for teaching beginning phonics, here is a collection of Short Vowel Stories adapted for children with T21. I wrote these for my oldest child when she was learning to read. Since I’m all about adapting materials for children with T21, of course I had to adapt these stories for Junior. I spent a fair amount of time adapting the stories for him, increasing the font size, putting double spaces between each word, and adding a lot more visuals to help with reading comprehension. So, when he buzzed through these stories, I have to admit I was pleased, but I also had that unsettling feeling you get when you spend two hours cooking up a wonderful meal and then your teenage sons devour it in five minutes.

Anyways, I think this collection of very short stories will help your children (with or without Down Syndrome) enjoy success as they first read phonetically. And yes, for you they’re free.

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Three-Syllable Word Cards for Articulation… and Teaching Ornery Kids

Does your child need practice articulating three-syllable words? For many children with T21, difficulty with phonemic and short term memory is one of the causes of language delay. This really becomes evident when they try to remember how to say multi-syllabic words or construct sentences.

As a former piano teacher, I am noticing the similarity between teaching the language of music to typically developing children and teaching language to a child with Down Syndrome. For typically developing children (and adults!) learning to improvise on the piano can only occur after *a lot* of practice with scales and chord progressions. Similarly, it seems that for Junior, learning to “improvise” in speech only occurs after lots of practice with carrier phrases and repetition with words that are hard to articulate. Frankly, I’m hoping that at some point something will just “click” and he’ll start talking in complete sentences. But I’m still waiting for that to happen.

In the meanwhile, we’re working on articulating difficult sounds such as /h/ and /y/, and we’re working on three syllable words. We practice these at the word level and at the sentence level. And we practice them in scripted conversations. Moreover, because the written word has become a very powerful visual prompt, Junior is also learning to read these words by sight and partly by sounding out.

Of course we want to practice words that he will actually use in daily life. So, for this summer I made this set of flashcards for articulation practice and sight reading.

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Let’s Learn Letters 2! – More Handwriting Worksheets for Preschoolers with (or without) Down Syndrome

As I mentioned in my last post on Handwriting Skills for Preschoolers, here is another set of handwriting sheets. These are meant to be used once your child is proficient with the first set of Let’s Learn Letters and is ready for narrower (but not too narrow!) lines to trace.

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Handwriting Skills for Preschoolers with (or without) Down Syndrome

This past fall, Junior and I really began working on early handwriting skills in a consistent and systematic manner. It’s been fun to watch his progress. Not only are his hands getting stronger, he is also developing better dexterity. Little by little. So today I’m sharing with you some of our favorite resources and methods for building handwriting skills.

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Building Phonemic Awareness: Three Free Books about Rhyming

Teaching children about rhyming is one of the first steps in building phonemic awareness and preparing them to read phonetically. It’s one of the reasons why so many books for preschoolers use rhymes.

To help Junior learn about rhyming, I made three silly books about rhyming. They’re silly because Junior gets a kick out of anything silly. When I read the first book to him, he giggled so much I just had to make more.

Of course, I thought your preschoolers might enjoy them, too. So here they are:

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Teaching Children with Down Syndrome to Read with See and Learn: Ten More Free Books!

For those of you using DSE’s See and Learn Reading Program, here are ten more free books. These books are meant to go with See and Learn Sentences 1. Each book reinforces new words and reviews old ones. New books keep my little guy highly motivated, which I why I keep making them 🙂

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