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What to do with my 4 year old? Blending but not ready to read.


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I need some ideas here! My 4 year old knows her letter sounds and is even blending really well, however she is not ready for OPGTR. I have tried several lessons and she just does not have the attention span or stamina yet. Plus I'm worried because the lessons will move pretty fast for a 4 year old. I can't just let her play like I did with the boys, she will drive me bonkers begging for more school! I also like having a little time dedicated just to her. I do not want to do LOTW with her again because I know she will mutiny! Is there anything that focuses mainly on CVC words and literature activities that I wouldn't have to make up myself? Also that won't be very expensive. Thanks for any ideas!

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Guest LovelySummer

I know most people love OPGTR, but it did not work for us (my son is also 4, will be 5 in November). I tried and tried and tried, but he just did not get it!

 

Someone here recommended "The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons". I got it a week ago (Amazon Prime) and my son is now reading, after only 3 lessons! I am SO impressed! I am planning on getting The Reading Lesson CD ROM as well.

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What about having her schooltime concentrate on other preschool/kindergarten activites likes cutting & pasting, patterns, painting, etc? Kumon has a lot of fun maze and activity books, and the higher level Rod&Staff preschool workbooks have a lot of tracing, cutting, and sequencing activities. You could still work informally on her reading, but if she wants to have her own individual time, these activities might work until she's ready for more formal school work.

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I second The Reading Lesson book. I'm using it with dd4, and she's on lesson 6 (each lesson is 20 pages long tho, so plenty of practice) it's cute, the type is big, the pages are clutter free (OPGTTR was WAY too busy for both of my kids) and its helping her really read! We really like it. :D

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Can you look up some Montessori language activities?

 

DD liked using a yardsale-find Boggle Jr set. It has nice cards (3 and 4 letter words) with a simple picture. She copied what was on the card using letter dice, alphabet magnets, or scrabble tiles.

 

She also liked matching little pieces of playmobil (or whatever small toys you have) with a card that had the same initial sound. For example, a rake with the letter R.

 

We moved from that to matching the item up to a card with the name of the object. In the beginning I made sure all of the objects had a different initial starting sound. Eventually I included some cards that had the same sound (a rake and a rabbit, so she had to figure out which card went with which object).

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With my 4yo, we work with the phonogram flashcards from SWR and also work on writing the letters and sounds in the salt box. I have also played a lot of phonemic awareness games that help him learn how to divide words into their sounds and put them back together. My dd did not need this, but it has been very helpful for ds.

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That's about where my DD is. We're playing a lot of phonemic awareness games. She's very good at them and probably doesn't really need them, but it keeps her from losing that until she's ready to move forward. I also have a bunch of CVC words written on index cards from OPGTTR (which did NOT go over well here, at all) that I stick out on the table for her sometimes. Or put them on the floor and say a word and she has to jump on the word. Or put them on top of a picture and she gets to pick up each card as she says the word until it reveals the picture. Those are all just review type things. We're in a holding pattern at this point, because she's learned what there is to learn at this level, but is just not ready for the next one. That said, she LOVES being right all the time, lol.

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I had a 3.5 year old who was begging for me to teach her to read. She knew only the letters and the sounds at that point. I didn't think she could do it, but I started Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons because she kept bothering me to teach her. We spent only 10-15 minutes per day working on it, and we didn't do any of the writing exercises. She ended up finishing that book faster than my other kids even though she was significantly younger. She is now 5.5 (just entering kindergarten), and she loves reading chapter books. I highly recommend 100EZ!

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Mine both stalled out at CVC words for about a year (they started at 3). It takes a while for the rest of it to click and to build up reading stamina. I'd mostly read a ton together and maybe play a lot of phonics games. We like Happy Phonics and Starfall here.

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I had a 3.5 year old who was begging for me to teach her to read. She knew only the letters and the sounds at that point. I didn't think she could do it, but I started Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons because she kept bothering me to teach her. We spent only 10-15 minutes per day working on it, and we didn't do any of the writing exercises. She ended up finishing that book faster than my other kids even though she was significantly younger. She is now 5.5 (just entering kindergarten), and she loves reading chapter books. I highly recommend 100EZ!

 

:iagree:

 

In my personal experience, this book is perfect for a younger child. The lessons are short and sweet. No worries about stamina. We started after my oldest's 3rd birthday. At 4 she is now reading on a 2nd grade level. Every day I couldn't get over how short the lessons were and how much she was absorbing!

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With my 4yo, we work with the phonogram flashcards from SWR and also work on writing the letters and sounds in the salt box. I have also played a lot of phonemic awareness games that help him learn how to divide words into their sounds and put them back together. My dd did not need this, but it has been very helpful for ds.

 

:iagree: My oldest was like that for about a year to a year and a half. Once he turned 5, he took off. We use SWR and it was just the thing for him. My nearly 4yo is the same way, but I've learned not to push it. He joins us voluntarily for phonogram drills and is doing well. I had one that taught himself super early (ds6 @ 2yo), but that hasn't been the norm. The salt box has been my best friend in the preschool years.

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I have the same issue. I was hoping to not have to buy something else. She started at lesson 27 and we did a modified version of abeka's ba be bi bo bu. Blends. Then we are going at half speed using more magnetic letters on chalk board, than her reading directly from the book. But reviewing really slow. She still gets short I and short e mixed up.

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1) Play games. There are a lot of phonics oriented games to shore up this step of knowing sounds before your child learns to read.

 

Try:

Teacher Created Resources

Scholastic (if you have book orders coming from the school system)

Lakeshore

Learning Resources

 

Usborne books, Discovery Toys, and Simply Fun have a few educational games, too, but will probably be more expensive and less selection.

 

You can also make your own educational games.

 

2) Do you have letter magnets on your refrigerator? Put one or two flashcards on the refrigerator at a time for your child to read/spell. You can purchase flashcards or make your own CVC ones with clipart.

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My DD4 is like this too. We have hovered at the beginning of OPGTR for months with me trying to make it new and interesting. Her twin brother can go through 2-3 lessons at a time, and DD4 wants to do school and specifically the Big Blue Book. We haven't made the leap from sounding out blends to reading the words, but one thing that has been helping meet her interest and build stamina is that they play Scrabble. Using AAS tiles or Bananagrams would work too. DD4 does better constructing her own CVC words and some blends than reading.

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I checked out OPGTR for my 4 yr old from the library and wasn't terribly impressed. We had bought the Bob Books and just started going through those slowly, since she already knew all the letter sounds. And I recently started her on the first Explode the Code workbook. I was surprised that, even without any prior formal phonics lessons, she can work fairly independently in the workbook. Not sure if any of this is doable for your little one, but it is working for us for now.

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Try Tanglewoodeducation.com's Really Reading Program. It's free. You have nothing to lose. My older was taught how to read using only this method (short lessons a la CM) and reads well above grade level. My youngest is like yours, actually just turned five but still not quite there. I haven't really started teaching her yet, but I will starting this fall.

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The 2 letter syllables in Webster's Speller are a nice easy start for that age. Here is a thread about how I used it in K with my son:

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?t=208407

 

Also, the book "Teach your child to read in 10 minutes a day" by Sidney Ledson has good ideas for easy fun things to do with children as young as 2. There are a lot of fun games and ideas.

 

You could also try working on spelling, oral or "written" with magnetic letters if writing is difficult. If writing is not too difficult, writing in a favorite color on a white board is fun at that age, it is shocking how motivational getting to pick your marker color is. Even my 10 year old still likes to pick her marker color!

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DS will be turning 4 very soon and I just got him AAR. We just finished lesson 5 this morning and he's loving it! As soon as he wakes up he asks to do it which is fabulous:D:lol: IMO the lessons are really short and although we've only been using it for a week, I already see progress (he knew his letter sounds and some cvc's before starting the program). He went from 'I can't read books you read to me' to eagerly reading 2 stories today! I hope it continues this way. I recommend the program!:)

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Thank you so much everyone for the replies! I haven't had a chance to get back on here since I first posted. I think we have found the solution for now! She saw me doing AAR with her brother and wanted to join in, so we went ahead and started the lessons since I already had another activity book. Only two lessons done and so far so good. I am going to make a list of the ideas you all posted so that if she gets stuck we can do something else for awhile. Thanks again! :001_smile:

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