My son has had Souns since he was an infant. At 3 he became interested in reading the canvas cards as he had found a few words in the environment that he had sounded out on his own and he had been constructing words with his souns for several months. Within 2 sittings he was hooked on the canvas cards, devouring them and demanding we go through as many as we have (which I think is close to 100!). There were some sound combinations he had not been introduced to yet, such as “sh” and “ch” but he kept on asking for more information. If I had brought the cards to him he would never have shown the same interest, this was all his initiative. So the other day at 3 ½ I brought a book to him from the library that was an early reader, focusing on three and four letter short vowel words and asked him to read to me. His exact words were, “I can’t read”. I told him that he DOES read all the time when he reads the canvas cards. His response, “Well, I can’t read books!”. He decoded the first word and didn’t blend it, then went to the second word and realized it was exactly like his canvas cards and, voila, he began to read the entire book to me. At first he would decode each word, then go back and read each fluently, but by the third page he began sounding it out in his head and truly reading. When he finished the 10 pages, the look on his face was priceless. If I had it on video, it would look like a cheesy commercial. He yelled, “I did it!!!” and gave me a big hug. I never even knew he actually cared! He was so proud. And so am I. The Souns program has created 2 readers in my house! Both without a single tear, and without anyone (including me), feeling like they had to “work” on it.
As a children’s librarian for one of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, I have incorporated the Souns program into my story time for toddlers. It is amazing how quickly the children are able to identify those souns that have been introduced to them! I have also noticed that they get attached to one particular sound and don’t want to let it go.