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Stibalfamily

3.5 year old wanting to read?

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My three year old has been picking up books and starting to sound out easy cvc words. He knows his letters and short vowel sounds. DS1 wasn't able to blend until 5 so this is a very different experience for us. He can read quite a few words like map, Sam, cat....easily decodable words. I am not sure if I should begin teaching him AAR yet. When we pick up a book with pictures and multiple words per page he is still very distractible and its harder for him than if there is just one or two words per page. He will skip words and pages. However he asks to read and gets down his books and brings them to me. So right now I have been going between trying to put him off and tell him we will do it later (because I think he is too young and maybe not entirely ready) and thinking maybe I should start AAR1 with him because he can already read the first 40 or so AAR flashcards. What should I do, not encourage him but not discourage him, shelve the books and wait or start AAR1? 

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Try it out, but stop the second he gets upset and frustrated.  The second.  If he ever gets to anger or tears, you've gone way to far and next time stop well before that point.

 

It's ok to start and then realize he's not ready and put it off for another 4 months, 6 months, or a year.

Edited by Garga
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Some children do read at this age, or even a bit earlier. (I myself know two people who were reading at two, and I was reading at three.)

 

You have two options. The first is to start formal instruction with the curriculum you're familiar with. If you do that, keep lessons VERY short, and stop the second he gets bored, distracted, or frustrated. Don't try to push him. If he says he doesn't want to do a lesson, say okay and shelve it.

 

The second - which you should do in addition to the first if you go that route - is to continue with informal instruction. A lot of playing games that involve rhyming words or words that all start with the same sound - "I'm thinking of an animal that starts with b" or "I'm going on a trip and bringing things that start with s". A lot of casually pointing out letters and words as you encounter them in daily life, on billboards and whatever. (I like to show the ASL sign for those letters at the same time, because kids seem to get a kick out if it. I don't know why.) A lot of talking on a variety of subjects, using a carefully broad vocabulary. A lot of reading books together, and singing songs, and doing nursery rhymes!

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I have a child like that. She wanted badly to read, but didn't have any of the precursor skills. We started on AAR pre, but it flopped. She didn't want a letter of the week type program, she wanted to READ! So I found some super repetitive books (like Brown Bear and Usbourne's That's Not My series) that she could memorize and "read" to me.

 

We're still working through our letters and sounds, but she doesn't consider that reading.

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My oldest was like that and whipped through the entire WRTR book in about 6 months. The only downside was that by the time she was old enough for K, I HAD to homeschool because she was already reading Harry Potter (only the first 3 due to content) and the only school that might have been able to handle her cost $27k/year. 

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We did Starfall (free) until he was ready for something more serious. He loved it and it got him reading quickly.

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My daughter was the same at that age.

 

I tried Phonics Pathways first but she didn't like the 2 letter blends. To her it wasn't reading and she would get so discouraged.

 

I found Blend Phonic PrePrimer (242 cvc words) and she liked it. She could just read them and she was happy. I used Alphabet Fluency and phonovisual chart.

 

I also started her on Bob Books.

 

I tried to go back to Phonics Pathways but she resisted.

 

I went back to Don Potters website and got "Reading Made Easy with Blend Phonics". We are using the white board and are going really slow. Sometime she wants to read and sometimes we take time away from it.

 

She is currently 4.5 and she is content where she is at.

 

She also liked the Leap Frog videos plus she is a big YouTube kids fan and watches "Alphablocks" a phonics show. We also have other phonics videos from the library.

Edited by Mommyof1
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I agree with the others.  I would start AAR1 or whatever program you want.  The nice thing about AAR is that it's fun.  It doesn't feel like learning.  At this point, it sounds like you would be on lesson 20 in AAR1. 

 

I would have short lessons.  Feel your child out.  I wouldn't force an activity either.  AAR seems to be repetitive so far.  (I'm doing AAR1 with my youngest). 

 

On the flip side (because i've encounter this), there may be a chance where your 3.5 year old may surpass the older child in reading.  Just something to consider. 

 

But like I said, I would start and always encourage learning to read.  I have to teach my older two separately because of their differences in abilities. 

 

Hope this helps. 

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I thought teaching reading too early can lead to reading problems? Like dyslexia? Is this not the case then?

I'm pretty sure that has not been proven. Dyslexia is genetic. There might be other things that contribute, but that is contriversial. There are all sorts of claims out there - some by reading programs that say if you use their program the student will not get dyslexia.....
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I agree, go ahead and start him and just keep lessons short and fun. If he's tired or doesn't want to for awhile, just put it up--let his interest lead the way. If nothing else, just keep playing with letter tiles and letting him learn more words. It sounds like he's already starting to learn to read anyway, so I'm not sure you really can put him off! I've not ever heard that teaching reading too early could lead to dyslexia (teaching a sight-word based method could lead to lots of guessing issues that can mimic dyslexia--perhaps you read something along those lines?) At any rate, AAR is a good program for students with dyslexia.

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I thought teaching reading too early can lead to reading problems? Like dyslexia? Is this not the case then?

 

You can't "give" a kid dyslexia.  The biggest problem you might run into is a kid who is eager to read but not really developmentally ready, so is easily frustrated and upset.  My oldest was dying to read at 3.5, but he really wasn't ready.  We played around with apps, did AAR pre at triple speed, and read aloud a lot.  Six months later, we started with WRTR phonograms and I See Sam readers, which he loved.  He's 4.5 now and reading Frog and Toad type readers; his fluency is strong, but his stamina is not quite there.  We read as often as he requests and stop whenever he's ready, no pressure.

 

By contrast, I was reading Little House on the Prairie by 4, and my 2.5 yo daughter can't sit through a picture book yet.  So I imagine I'll see a pretty broad spectrum across my own kids.

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I thought teaching reading too early can lead to reading problems? Like dyslexia? Is this not the case then?

 

No, there is absolutely NO truth to this. Many (but not all) gifted children read before K and most dyslexics are late readers.

 

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I highly recommend ProgressivePhonics.com

I'm currently at the same stage with my three year old, having previously done this with my now give year old. They are free, so no risk trying, and they are fun, which I think is mandatory when teaching little ones.

They are a series of readers. Words for the child to read are written in red, words for the adult in black. This allows kids to participate in reading real stories from the very beginning, and it makes it perfect for a cuddly learning time. We read straight off the screen because my kids don't need enough repetition to make printing worth it.

There are correlated worksheets available to print. I did some with my daughter when she wanted, but my son has no desire, so we don't.

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My daughter was begging to learn to read at 3 and was starting to blend cvc words. We had used AAR Pre Reading at 3 and then switched to Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. We did lessons for 18 months. She’s now in Kindergarten and reading chapter books on about a 3rd grade level. You couldn’t slow her down if you had wanted.

 

If a kid is asking to learn to read and showing developmental readiness then I would start lessons. I’d stop whenever they showed frustration or where stuck on a concept.

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You said he can decode simple cvc words on his own without having been formally instructed how to do so. He is already reading.

 

Why stifle his obvious enthusiasm for learning? There is a huge difference between trying to force a child who isn't developmentally ready and enabling a child who is bright and precocious by nature. Developmental readiness doesn't come with age, it is different for every child. While most children are ready at 5, some are ready as early as 2 or 3 years old and some aren't ready until closer to 8 years old or older. Two of my six children (#2 & #4) were reading fluently and well above grade level before kindergarten, two were textbook ready at five and fluent by 8 years old (#3 & #5), one was not ready until he was nine years old (no LDs just very late bloomer) but was above grade level in reading with in a year or two (#1) and my current four year old looks like he is going to be another textbook, neither early nor late (#6).

 

My early precocious readers learned mostly informally by listening in on lessons that their siblings were receiving and just asking questions. If they couldn't figure out a word they wanted to read and asked me to help, I helped them and showed them how that word is decoded by introducing any needed phonograms or rules for that word. Since he is already reading, it really doesn't make sense nor is it even really possible to stop him. Any lessons you do with him should seriously be 5 minutes or less IMHO. If he wants to keep going, do so but the second he loses interest, stop. Always leave him wanting more, do not burn him out before he is even school age.

 

If your older child is doing AAR or AAS or something similar and wouldn't feel upstaged by his little brother joining in on his lessons, I would just let the 3yo tag along and catch what he can from the lessons. He should have no obligation to participate but always be free to join in so long as he isn't being a disruption to the lesson. Then when he is old enough for formal lessons of his own, just meet him where ever he is at, at that time. He may need to start from the beginning or he may be ready to start out ahead. Either way, he's still getting the opportunity to learn at his own pace and still having the opportunity to be a 3 year old for now. 

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When my third child was 3, he was able to decode CVC words. At that same time, his older brother was doing Phonics Pathways. Boy did blending kick in for BOTH of them with that! I only did a lesson when he asked to do one. If he didn't ask for 2 weeks, that was fine. No big deal. If he asked to do it every day (which he often did), that was fine too. Eventually he lost interest in PP, and we set it aside. He didn't take off in reading until 4.5 (which happened to be the same age my oldest started reading one day - picking up a Dr. Seuss book he'd never seen and reading half of it as I sat there with my jaw dropped open, because a few days earlier he couldn't even blend CVC words). Both of those two are avid readers still. Zero problems from learning to read early! I honestly can't see how a child learning to read early could cause dyslexia? That doesn't even make sense to me. Dyslexia is a reading disability. They tend to read LATE, despite attempts to teach earlier.

 

I know there is the Better Late Than Early crowd that goes against teaching kids early, BUT if a kid is asking to learn and is truly ready, I see no harm. Just keep it age appropriate. Pushing reading on a young child that is nowhere near ready... THAT will backfire. :) My early readers have been my easiest kids to teach longer term (one is 8th grade, the other is 3rd). I don't require school until age 5 and keep it simple at that point, but if they want to learn earlier, I don't have a problem with that either. Makes life easier for me!

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My middle DD is 3.5, can read the first few blue Bob books, and I've started on AAR 1 with her this month. I'm just going very, very slowly with it, one activity from one lesson at a time. 

 

However, I don't expect her to pick up books from our shelves and read from cover to cover easily for a while. She just spends lots of time looking through them for fun. 

 

I'm also planning to start phonological awareness activities (basically verbal word games) I picked up on Teachers Pay Teachers, because she's not super auditory and I want to give her a lot more practice with that. 

Edited by embalee

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I See Sam books. Www.3rsplus.com has ebook versions for free, but I would get the real books if you can. Use the teaching instruction methods from this site though, as one of the developers of the books run the site. There are other sites that don't use the recommended methods.

 

They start off simple and use phonics, but the child gets the pleasure of reading a book. The first book is the hardest as the child learns 5 sounds and the basics of blending. Books after that teach 0-3 new sounds. There is a lot more info available about the design of the series...

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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Have you looked at things like the Montessori moveable alphabet and object boxes? I would probably try something like that before doing AAR (although I'm not highly familiar with that). 

Keep it light and fun. 

I do think formal reading instruction should be every day, and I don't think 3s are really ready for that structure. You don't want to burn him out, but you don't want him to lose interest, either! 

Good luck, whatever you choose. How lucky he is, to want to read!

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Teach him. I made the mistake of not doing it when ds was 3 and he taught himself. I would not recommend that. I love The Reading Lesson, and it’s not too much commitment work wise or $ wise.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by SamanthaCarter

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