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When to begin reading instruction


ChristineW
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When did your child begin reading instruction? What did you use to teach it?

 

DD is 3.5 and begging me to teach her how to read. She pulls out her brother's magnetic letters and asks me to spell familiar names and favorite words. This afternoon she asked me to spell cousin and knew before I picked up the magnet that I needed a "u" after "o"--I'd never spelled that word for her. I was startled and confused but then remembered that I read her Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin at bedtime last night. I have the A Beka phonics primer and she loves looking at it.

 

I'm a bit freaked out. My mom says I learned to read when I was 4 so this isn't a huge surprise especially since DD knew letter sounds, numbers, shapes and colors before she was 2 1/2. But I am at a loss on what to do now. She seems so small to be reading; I also worry about her brother who is almost 5 and who shows very little interest in reading--he can read a few BOB books and McRuffy Early Readers.

 

Thanks,

 

Christine W

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I started teaching my oldest 2 a little after they turned 2. 5 min of OPGTR. Now my almost 3yo does 15 min of OPG and reads a bob book daily. 5 min/day as a 2yo and 15-25 min as a 3yo is not going to ruin their day or make them grow up too fast or mean they can't play anymore, imo. When they're ready, they're ready - no sense in holding them back, imo (I know, not a popular one but...)

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I started teaching my younger son at age 2. I just taught the letter sounds and later, after he could sound out CVC words, taught the various digraphs (or whatever they're called). He was reading simple text a few months before he turned 3 and was reading well at 4.

 

To teach the letter sounds, I made a Power Point slide show with really big letters on each slide. My son would sit in my lap and he would say the sounds. Eventually I made slide shows with animation causing the letters to appear and he would say them as they appeared to sound out words. Finally, I had words appear one after the other to have him read sentences. He thought it was great and loved the time he spent on my lap "doing the letters."

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I began teaching my oldest to read at 3.5yo, when he asked, using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 EZ Lessons and by his 4th birthday he was reading fluently.

 

My dd learned to read almost on her own by learning letter sounds from Leap Frog Letter Factory before 18 months, playing with bathtub letters with me spelling simple words while in the tub, and listening to me read to her and memorizing the books. She didn't let me know she could read until 3.5yo when she asked to read the 1st page of Little House in the Big Woods I was reading to her and read it fluently. I was shocked.

 

I say, if she's ready and asking, go for it.

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I started older DD just before she turned 3 with 100EZ. She already knew her letter names and sounds. I started DS, again with 100EZ at 4, he wasn't as competent with names and sounds. Little DD is almost 3 and has just started asking to learn to read. I have begun teaching her using a combination of AAS and 100EZ.

 

I think all kids are ready at different times and you need to go with where they are at :)

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Both of mine began very simple reading on their own before they turned 2. We quickly went through the Explode the Code series (no writing) when they were 3, and then we never did phonics again. I love Explode the Code, and I'd definitely use it for any child (especially older ones) to work on handwriting and spelling at the same time.

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When did your child begin reading instruction? What did you use to teach it?

 

DD is 3.5 and begging me to teach her how to read. She pulls out her brother's magnetic letters and asks me to spell familiar names and favorite words. This afternoon she asked me to spell cousin and knew before I picked up the magnet that I needed a "u" after "o"--I'd never spelled that word for her. I was startled and confused but then remembered that I read her Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin at bedtime last night. I have the A Beka phonics primer and she loves looking at it.

 

I'm a bit freaked out. My mom says I learned to read when I was 4 so this isn't a huge surprise especially since DD knew letter sounds, numbers, shapes and colors before she was 2 1/2. But I am at a loss on what to do now. She seems so small to be reading; I also worry about her brother who is almost 5 and who shows very little interest in reading--he can read a few BOB books and McRuffy Early Readers.

 

Thanks,

 

Christine W

 

I think the key is this... she is begging you to teach her how to read. I would not be concerned about your son. When he is ready, he will let you know.

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Teach them when they're ready. My ds wasn't ready to learn to read when he turned 5 and wasn't interested yet, either. I made sure he had no signs of dyslexia & then waited until he was ready.

 

fwiw, not all gifted dc read early; every birth dc in my family growing up is at least in the top 2 percentile but none of us read before we went to school. Other than one of my dd's, none of my dc or neices & nephews learned before school, either. Dd was ready at 4 & did some, but dh was still opposed to homeschooling, so I didn't teach her thinking it would make school more fun. She still read a bit before K, though, but in hindsight I wish I'd just taught her; she caught on so quickly that it didn't make any difference to her boredom level once the fun of playing at school wore off.

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My oldest demanded that I teach her to read one week before her 3rd birthday. In two weeks she could read any cvc word. A few weeks later she was dissatisfied that she couldn't just pick up a book and read it, so I worked with her on consonant blends and digraphs for two weeks and then she could read pretty much any short vowel word that was phonetically regular. That held her off for a while.

 

She came back to me again that I hadn't really taught her how to read because there were still things she couldn't read. The words that were causing her the most problems were actually the common sight words, so I made a game (from Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye) using words from Fry's 100 most common words list. That kept her happy for a little while.

 

Then I had to teach her the magic-e rule and vowel digraphs.

 

None of my others learned to read so early. My oldest was able to read anything she wanted to by 4.5yo. My middle was able to read anything she wanted to by 6.5yo. My youngest is dyslexic, so she wasn't able to read at that level until 8.5-9yo and even then wasn't able to do it as fluently as her sisters could have years younger. She is reading at grade level now.

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We're using Hooked on Phonics. We started with the PreK level when my son was just over three, although we did a lot of work/play with the letters and sounds for a year or so prior. As quickly as he's moved through the Kinder level HOP I think we could have safely started it sooner. We're about to start the 1st grade level today so we'll see if this pace continues or if he starts to slow down. Regardless, he LOVES to read and that has only grown since working through HOP!

 

FWIW I plan to use All About Spelling when he's older, to make sure he gets "the rules" down pat. HOP is fun and catchy and definitely gets them reading, but it doesn't really teach rules.

Edited by give_me_a_latte
spelling
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Yes. If she is asking to read, you should teach her.

 

FWIW, my dd would not tolerate phonics instruction. (I did not choose to destroy her love for reading by requiring it.) We used Bob books and moved from that to readers from the library. We've never done formal phonics instruction, although I would point rules out informally as we were reading together. She reads at a college level now, so I think it worked okay for us. :D

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I agree with previous posters - teach her. BUT - keep it fun. Never ever force it. Lots of games, manipulatives, activities. Smiles, cuddles, books, silliness. Slow down or even stop if it's not feeling right for both of you. You have all the time in the world - no hurry. One of mine read at 2, one not until 5 or so. They are all different.

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