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the big one: learning to read


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my daughter is four and is showing signs of wanting to read, i was planning on waiting but she is asking me contstantly "What's this say" and now sounds out words on her own like this: "cee ay tee" instead of c-ah-tuh for cat. i think its time for some mommy training.


i have heard good things about Abeka's handbook for reading, even for 4 year olds. any other great reading ideas, or feeback on TOPGTR, abeka, etc.

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I have used Hooked On Phonics with all my boys. My youngest started at 4 and finished in 6 months. He was ready and it clicked. My other two finish by the time they were about 5. I found it really nice because there were lots of little stories and little books they could read quickly. I also loved that writing was not part of learning to read.


My advice for you is find a program that doesn't require your child to write and then take ques from her for how fast to go. She will let you know when you need to back off and when you need to go faster or if you are going at the right speed.

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HOoked on Phonics is good for that age because:


1. Colorful

2. Cute

3. Short lessons

4. Most importantly- it does not require writing.


I used it with my son before starting AIP and we loved it.


You can find it used a lot too, which helps for the budget.


(my son and dd both hated 100EZ. It totally stressed them out.)

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Does she know the letter sound yet?

If not, I will start with starfall.com. She can go with her own speed. It teaches letter sound to basic phonics to simple reading. It is free and fun.


Once she know letter sound and can blend simple 3 letter words. I will then use formal reading program.

I am a curriculum nuts. I have HOP, ETC (explode the code), OPGTR, EZ100.



EZ100 is boring, I don't even want to use it to teach.

OPGTR is a solid foundation for phonic. I like it, not so much my DD.

HOP, DD first refuse it but once we had sight words cover, she seem like it more and more.

ETC is the winner in my house. DD loves to write and color it after she is done. and you can adjust the speed easily.


But the biggest winner is just simple fun book. Once she learn letter sound and blend and have some sight words, I simply start point to the words when we read. then progress to ask for her read one sentence, then I read one sentence, then one paragraph,...then 1 page. We are doing great with this and along with some formal lesson,

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I do the following:


1) Leapfrog Talking Letter Factory and Talking Word Factory

2) Starfall.com

3) Webster's Speller at the white board

4) I See Sam readers (after doing Webster's for a while)


My oldest taught himself to read with just Starfall.com. My middle son (who has speech/language issues) is doing well after doing all 4 of the above. My youngest knows letter sounds just from the frog and a bit of Starfall. I won't start him on Webster's until probably age 4ish (if he hasn't taught himself to read by then :tongue_smilie:).

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A good alternative to 100EZ lessons is The Reading Lesson. Both of these take you to about 2nd grade reading level. TRL is very similar to 100EZ,but the pages are a lot less cluttered and the orthography made a lot more sense.(to me, anyways) There is also not writing required. I would then follow this with OPGTR or phonics pathways as stated by pp.:)



I also would not hesitate to use those Leap frog videos. They are genius!



IMOP- Abeka has too much writing any busy work. Also, too many pieces. I does not need to be that complicated.

Edited by MyLittleBears
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Depending on how she learns and you teach, I could recommend several things.

Do you want more guidance?

Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading

Phonics Pathways (my favorite)

Do you know the letter sounds yourself, you just need words to practice on and some order to teach them in?

Classical Phonics (Memoria Press)

Bob Books


It depends on you and your child but my personal preference (assuming you aren't wanting to do a lot of writing) is Phonics Pathways and Bob books combined.

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