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I don't have it in me to teach another child to read


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In my experience it takes 3 years to really teach a child to read. DD 12 and DD 9 are good readers, and we are so close with DS7. I have always used a mix of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, All About Reading, and Bob Books. I think those programs work great and I know how to use them. The problem is that I have a 4 year old and I just don't think I can do it again! My goal was to teach her the letter sounds this year, but the thought of sounding out "I am Sam" for the next year just sends me in to spontaneous ticks. I have been having her watch Letter Factory videos and play reading eggs on the iPad instead hoping that she can just absorb it ;) She is a fast learner and if any of my children can teach themselves it would be her. Do you have any advice or suggestions on teaching reading to a weary momma?

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Take a year off?  Don't start reading lessons at age 5, but wait till age 6?  Or at least give yourself permission to?  I mean, next school year's a long way away - maybe you'll feel up to all the sounding out next year, but there's nothing wrong with planning to wait till the year after, when she's six.

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1 hour ago, OKBud said:

Lol it is by far my least favorite part of homeschooling.

You can do it 😁 It's going to be great.

In glad to hear I'm not the only one. It's just so monotonous.

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Pay the oldest to do it? :biggrin:

I was also going to suggest having the other kids do it. They might be happy to play teacher. At 12-13, I taught a bright 4yo sibling a bunch of stuff--she about knocked the kindergarten teacher's socks off. (The other kids, it turned out, didn't know a rhombus from a trapezoid.)

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I feel your pain, OP. We have a 10 yo, 8 yo, just turned 7 yo, almost 4 yo, and a newborn. The 10 and 8 yos read just fine. The newly 7 yo is *almost* reading independently. (We are halfway-ish through the intermediate level of Progressive Phonics.) Those 3 all started reading lessons not long after turning 4.

Well,  the 3 yo will be 4 soon. And...I am just not feeling it. Why did I start so early with the others? I mean, the 7 yo has now been doing reading lessons for 3 years and is just taking off. Why didn't I just wait until 5 or 6 and I'd bet he'd be in the same place? 

The 3 yo will be 4 soon. And...I think I am just going to wait until 5 to start reading lessons. We will just keep having him watch LeapFrog stuff and practice blending orally for now. 

Here's to hoping I recover my excitement about learning to read by the time the newborn is 5ish!

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5 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Pay the oldest to do it? :biggrin:

Yep this!

I like teaching reading, but this year I'm paying my oldest to teach my youngest violin. I'm happy to avoid the 'sounds like someone hitting a baby with a cat' stage of learning violin 😄

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Just a total shortcut, but maybe work on RAN/RAS and see if the dc doesn't stay out the sound it out stage so long? It's not hard. I've shared pages in the past for it. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4rcl6f0uo70esmv/AAAaGAHw3_YTMEQZSw_WI-t_a?dl=0  There's a link. Try doing the rapid naming work 5 minutes a day and see what happens. My ds is diagnosed dyslexic, but he was pretty fast to build fluency. I put some credit with the RAN/RAS exercises. Well that and we worked on it two hours a day. (for real) There's data correlating strong rapid naming and strong readers and it's super easy to work on. You can print the pages, throw them in a binder, and that sibling can drill them, easy peasy. Kid will think they're fun.

Also you can load the AAS and Bob books words and phrases onto Quizlet (or Anki or whatever) and drill for fluency. Again this is something the sibling can do. The app works fine on an old phone, anything you have lying around.

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I don't do any preschool academic activities with my kids. It is unnecessary  So, absolutely don't feel at all guilty for not doing anything this yr.  FWIW, I used 100 EZ with my oldest and there was absolutely NO WAY I could go through it again.  I taught my next 7 and 1 of my grandkids with Sing, SPell, Read, Write.  I love it.  It is so much fun.  It comes with games, songs, and all of the readers.  (My kids can't keep up with the spelling as fast as the reading, so over time we drop the spelling.)

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6 hours ago, forty-two said:

Take a year off?  Don't start reading lessons at age 5, but wait till age 6?  Or at least give yourself permission to?  I mean, next school year's a long way away - maybe you'll feel up to all the sounding out next year, but there's nothing wrong with planning to wait till the year after, when she's six.

I would do this.

A kid who takes three years to learn starting at age four may take only only one year at age six or seven.

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1 hour ago, maize said:

I would do this.

A kid who takes three years to learn starting at age four may take only only one year at age six or seven.

Agree with this. It’s like swimming lessons to me. You can start swim lessons at 2, and they’ll probably start actually swimming at 4.5. Or you can start them at 4 and then will probably start swimming at 4.5. That’s our experience, anyway. My only kids that were reading at 4 were the ones who did that with barely more than a casual lesson here and there on how to “say it fast”. Ive never used a reading curriculum with a four year old. Formal reading lessons for those that didn’t already know how started in kindergarten. All my kids were strong readers by 7.. And I could never stomach 100ez lessons, either. I’m sure I could have done it once, but not repeatedly. I actually love teaching kids to read. One of my very favorite homeschooling things ❤️  

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10 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I taught my next 7 and 1 of my grandkids with Sing, SPell, Read, Write.  I love it.  It is so much fun.  It comes with games, songs, and all of the readers.  (My kids can't keep up with the spelling as fast as the reading, so over time we drop the spelling.)

This.  I used this with dc#3 and wished we'd had it for the older ones. 

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Talking Letter factory and Read, Write, Type.

https://www.talkingfingers.com/read-write-type/

After a month of letter factory and Read, Write, Type, you can then play my nonsense word game with her for 5 to 10 minutes a day, or play it with her and the 7 year old, or have your older 2 play it with her. http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Phonics/concentrationgam.html

After a few months of this, pay one or both of the older children to work through phonics lessons and readers with her.  

I love teaching phonics overall but the first stages of phonics is a slog.

Continue Letter Factory and Read Write Type as needed.

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My older daughter taught her little sister to read. I didn't have to pay her either, she did it of her own volition lol. She was 6yo and liked playing school with her little sister. Little sister just happened to be very bright and caught on quick. She was reading on a first grade level at age 3. So it is possible to a have a sibling do it but I always kept an ear on things to make sure no misinformation or bad habits were being taught. Overall, older dd did a great job though.

Older dd loved making lessons to teach her young siblings. I had her use FIAR for a while to plan her own lessons to use with them. She was middle school age at the time.

She's a preschool teacher now that she is an adult.

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On 9/18/2020 at 7:18 PM, forty-two said:

Take a year off?  Don't start reading lessons at age 5, but wait till age 6?  Or at least give yourself permission to?  I mean, next school year's a long way away - maybe you'll feel up to all the sounding out next year, but there's nothing wrong with planning to wait till the year after, when she's six.

This is basically what I did with my youngest.  I just couldn't bear it last year.  I was dealing with my third, who was really struggling to take off academically across the board.  So I just... ignored the youngest.  😂  Somehow during that year, he taught himself the letter sounds and CVC words.  Now he is 6 and flying through reading lessons.  In fact, we don't really do reading lessons per se, we're just going through the McGuffey readers for reading and Phonics Pathways for dictation.  In the mean time, my third blossomed from the needed attention and is now (8 years old) a strong independent reader, able to read middle school novels.  

 

My other suggestion is to change reading programs.  Switch over to Phonics Pathways.  It's a cheap investment and works great, and it'll be new to you.  

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10 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

 

 

My other suggestion is to change reading programs.  Switch over to Phonics Pathways.  It's a cheap investment and works great, and it'll be new to you.  

That is half of the reason I own 20+ reading programs, so I can pretend I'm doing something different with my students who need a lot of review.

You could also use the old Open Court, it starts with long vowels so it is truly a different sequence, it works well.

Sounds, then blue book, then orange book, you can make much better stories with long vowels.

http://wigowsky.com/school/opencourt/opencourt.htm

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On 9/19/2020 at 6:22 PM, ElizabethB said:

Talking Letter factory and Read, Write, Type.

https://www.talkingfingers.com/read-write-type/

 

Do you know how this compares to Touch, Type, Read and Spell? We are using that, but I hadn't heard of this one. 

17 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

This is basically what I did with my youngest.  I just couldn't bear it last year.  I was dealing with my third, who was really struggling to take off academically across the board.  So I just... ignored the youngest.  😂  Somehow during that year, he taught himself the letter sounds and CVC words.  Now he is 6 and flying through reading lessons.  In fact, we don't really do reading lessons per se, we're just going through the McGuffey readers for reading and Phonics Pathways for dictation.  In the mean time, my third blossomed from the needed attention and is now (8 years old) a strong independent reader, able to read middle school novels.  

 

My other suggestion is to change reading programs.  Switch over to Phonics Pathways.  It's a cheap investment and works great, and it'll be new to you.  

Yup. I was working so hard with my dyslexic I ignored the little brother. And then he was reading. no muss, no fuss. I actually think he must have picked up a ton just listening to me work with his big sister?

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57 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Do you know how this compares to Touch, Type, Read and Spell? We are using that, but I hadn't heard of this one. 

Yup. I was working so hard with my dyslexic I ignored the little brother. And then he was reading. no muss, no fuss. I actually think he must have picked up a ton just listening to me work with his big sister?

I don't know Touch, type, read and spell.

Read, Write, Type is good for learning phonics and spelling basics and learning a bit of typing at the same time.  It just goes over the basics of phonics, but the child can do it on their own. The good thing is it doesn't encourage guessing at all, most online things do to some extent, and the child can do it on their own once you help them through a few times. You can try the first few lessons free.

https://www.talkingfingers.com/read-write-type/

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On 9/18/2020 at 6:35 PM, kand said:

Agree with this. It’s like swimming lessons to me. You can start swim lessons at 2, and they’ll probably start actually swimming at 4.5. Or you can start them at 4 and then will probably start swimming at 4.5. That’s our experience, anyway. My only kids that were reading at 4 were the ones who did that with barely more than a casual lesson here and there on how to “say it fast”. Ive never used a reading curriculum with a four year old. Formal reading lessons for those that didn’t already know how started in kindergarten. All my kids were strong readers by 7.. And I could never stomach 100ez lessons, either. I’m sure I could have done it once, but not repeatedly. I actually love teaching kids to read. One of my very favorite homeschooling things ❤️  

I agree. I loved teaching reading, too. But I certainly wasn’t starting at four and doing it for three years with each child. I can certainly understand dreading that for the fourth time. I waited until six and within a very short time my son was reading and comprehending at a very advanced level. Waiting a year or two and a language rich environment filled with lots of talking, reading aloud, and listening to audio books will make things progress much more quickly later and increase reading comprehension and vocabulary.

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After teaching my 4th child to read, I just waited until they were seven to begin teaching them to read. Then it only took two years. With my youngest, I  should have just waited until he was nine.

Susan in TX

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2 minutes ago, square_25 said:

I feel like all the age cut offs are pretty arbitrary 😉 . I’ve always been kind of surprised people on this board are on average against teaching early, but if I heard a lot of stories about it taking 3 years at a young age, I can imagine feeling exactly the same.

A kid should be taught to read when they are ready 🤷‍♀️. If you don’t feel your kid will have a relatively easy time of it at 4 and it’ll be a hideous slog, do it later. If you have a kid you’re pretty sure will take to it at 3, you should do it then. Both are absolutely plausible scenarios.

What I would never do is making learning to read a protracted and painful process. Wait until they are ready. If they are ready, they’ll take off within a year... and yes, for some kids, that means they’ll take off at age 4, and for some, it means they’ll take off at age 8. Teach the child in front of you. 

The reason people with experience are on average against teaching early is that children are on average not ready early.

Most three year olds are not ready.

Most four year olds are not ready.

I think average for readiness is six or seven so that is the most efficient time to start for most kids.

There are outliers on the early and late side.

It can be hard to tell before you start teaching if a child is ready or not, some extremely verbal children take years to be ready for reading as the ability to process written words is quite separate from the ability to use words orally. I would only recommend a parent go ahead with teaching early if that parent also understands that if the child isn't picking things up it is probably better to set reading instruction aside and wait for more maturity than to keep trying to slog through.

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I like teaching my kids to read! It’s like the one area where progress is consistently measurable over time.

But I feel this exact dread over potty training. I would pay someone to potty train my 2 year old right now, please!

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2 hours ago, GracieJane said:

I like teaching my kids to read! It’s like the one area where progress is consistently measurable over time.

But I feel this exact dread over potty training. I would pay someone to potty train my 2 year old right now, please!

I feel you on this! My almost 2 year old is interested, but not really ready yet. I've done this 3 times, generally while my husband was gone on military stuff, just the way it has fallen. I keep telling him I'm going to leave town and expect a potty trained toddler upon my return. Mostly I'm joking...

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FWIW, both my girls taught themselves to read through a mixture of Letter Factory, Starfall, and PBS Kids shows.  Actually, I take that back.  We did work through the first set of Bob books with my older DD sometime after Letter Factory, but it was super casual and only when she felt like it.  That was it for formal reading lessons.  Now, despite her significant LDs, her ability to decode grade level words still progresses about a grade level every year due to things she reads for fun (mainly online articles, texting friends, etc.).  Maybe the unschoolers are on to something 🙂

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On 9/20/2020 at 1:17 PM, ElizabethB said:

That is half of the reason I own 20+ reading programs, so I can pretend I'm doing something different with my students who need a lot of review.

You could also use the old Open Court, it starts with long vowels so it is truly a different sequence, it works well.

Sounds, then blue book, then orange book, you can make much better stories with long vowels.

http://wigowsky.com/school/opencourt/opencourt.htm

I was in middle and high school when my mom taught Kindergarten with this program and she LOVED the open court program. 

She liked that the letter cards were action based rather than relying on the child's ability to pick out a sound from a pronounced word. 

I remember the rhymes "Bubbling pot bubbling pot Q Q Q." "Cracking nut cracking nut K K K"

Thank you for sharing. This brought back very happy memories of my mom and her role in teaching little kids to read.

(incidentally, she was not happy when my Christian school swapped to ABeka over Open Court.)

 

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This has all been encouraging. I always feel guilt about the youngest, that I was already working with the oldest when she was that age. So I feel like I have to stay on the same track so as not to short change her simply because she is #4. But I really don't want to get started now, I just need to accept that this is ok 🙂

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1 hour ago, Calizzy said:

This has all been encouraging. I always feel guilt about the youngest, that I was already working with the oldest when she was that age. So I feel like I have to stay on the same track so as not to short change her simply because she is #4. But I really don't want to get started now, I just need to accept that this is ok 🙂

Not only is this "ok to wait", but it's a fantastic idea to wait. You'll *both* be more refreshed for when it is finally the *right* time later on, and your child's brain will have developed more -- with a high likelihood of the process only taking 1 year rather than 3 years!

The process might even go faster if for this year, you let your child just have fun watching the Letter Factory videos and doing Reading Eggs on your i-pad; playing around with the Star Fall and Teach Your Monster to Read websites; and doing the Reader Rabbit Preschool computer game. 

Enjoy relaxing rather than pushing this year! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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On 9/21/2020 at 1:49 PM, GracieJane said:

I like teaching my kids to read! It’s like the one area where progress is consistently measurable over time.

But I feel this exact dread over potty training. I would pay someone to potty train my 2 year old right now, please!

Well, for us potty training is like reading - goes much more quickly and easily if you wait until they are ready. If they are having constant accidents they aren't ready and we stop trying for a while. 

On of my four was ready at 2, but he had sensory issues that made him more aware of being wet. None of the rest were ready until close to or right after their 3rd birthday. And then they just ...were ready. Maybe a handful of accidents in the first week...maybe even less than that. 

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17 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Well, for us potty training is like reading - goes much more quickly and easily if you wait until they are ready. If they are having constant accidents they aren't ready and we stop trying for a while. 

On of my four was ready at 2, but he had sensory issues that made him more aware of being wet. None of the rest were ready until close to or right after their 3rd birthday. And then they just ...were ready. Maybe a handful of accidents in the first week...maybe even less than that. 

I take the same approach with potty training, and most of mine have also been ready around age three--with some, it was as simple as saying: you don't have to wear diapers anymore, you are big enough to go potty in the toilet. And that was that.

Others...well, just as some weren't ready to read at 6 or 7 some weren't ready for potty training at 3.

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24 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Well, for us potty training is like reading - goes much more quickly and easily if you wait until they are ready. If they are having constant accidents they aren't ready and we stop trying for a while. 

On of my four was ready at 2, but he had sensory issues that made him more aware of being wet. None of the rest were ready until close to or right after their 3rd birthday. And then they just ...were ready. Maybe a handful of accidents in the first week...maybe even less than that. 

Such a good analogy!

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My older son has dyslexia, and teaching him to read well was one of my proudest accomplishments in my life up until that point.  I had this idea that it would be great to be able to do that for other kids as well.  I could be a reading tutor!

Then I taught the younger one to read, and even though he was a precocious reader and learned easily, the seemingly endless listening to phonetically controlled text just about did me in, and my aspirations to be a reading tutor went out the window.

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On 9/23/2020 at 8:38 AM, maize said:

I take the same approach with potty training, and most of mine have also been ready around age three--with some, it was as simple as saying: you don't have to wear diapers anymore, you are big enough to go potty in the toilet. And that was that.

Others...well, just as some weren't ready to read at 6 or 7 some weren't ready for potty training at 3.

I do infant potty training, lol. Anyone surprised?

They were both fully potty trained by age 2. DD8 only has a few accidents and was done. DD4 was difficult for a month or two. 

(I’ll note that infant potty training was how it was done in the former USSR when I was little. So I wasn’t just doing an “alternative” thing.)

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

I do infant potty training, lol. Anyone surprised?

They were both fully potty trained by age 2. DD8 only has a few accidents and was done. DD4 was difficult for a month or two. 

(I’ll note that infant potty training was how it was done in the former USSR when I was little. So I wasn’t just doing an “alternative” thing.)

I actually did this for awhile with my third child. It's how entire societies have functioned probably for millennia.

I found diapers easier though.

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12 minutes ago, maize said:

I actually did this for awhile with my third child. It's how entire societies have functioned probably for millennia.

I found diapers easier though.

I did diaper back up!! I’m actually very lazy. I just did disposables and put them on the potty at intervals to get them used to it.

I actually enjoyed it — we’d read books on the potty :-). Honestly, it gave us something to do with the baby... there isn’t so much when they are little!! 

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On 9/18/2020 at 8:35 PM, kand said:

Agree with this. It’s like swimming lessons to me. You can start swim lessons at 2, and they’ll probably start actually swimming at 4.5. Or you can start them at 4 and then will probably start swimming at 4.5. That’s our experience, anyway. My only kids that were reading at 4 were the ones who did that with barely more than a casual lesson here and there on how to “say it fast”. Ive never used a reading curriculum with a four year old. Formal reading lessons for those that didn’t already know how started in kindergarten. All my kids were strong readers by 7.. And I could never stomach 100ez lessons, either. I’m sure I could have done it once, but not repeatedly. I actually love teaching kids to read. One of my very favorite homeschooling things ❤️  

All of this exactly. 

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On 9/18/2020 at 12:13 PM, Calizzy said:

In my experience it takes 3 years to really teach a child to read. DD 12 and DD 9 are good readers, and we are so close with DS7. I have always used a mix of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, All About Reading, and Bob Books. I think those programs work great and I know how to use them. The problem is that I have a 4 year old and I just don't think I can do it again! My goal was to teach her the letter sounds this year, but the thought of sounding out "I am Sam" for the next year just sends me in to spontaneous ticks. I have been having her watch Letter Factory videos and play reading eggs on the iPad instead hoping that she can just absorb it 😉 She is a fast learner and if any of my children can teach themselves it would be her. Do you have any advice or suggestions on teaching reading to a weary momma?

I have four doing Barton right now. I have zero help but a TON of sympathy. Hugs....

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On 9/24/2020 at 9:42 AM, Not_a_number said:

I did diaper back up!! I’m actually very lazy. I just did disposables and put them on the potty at intervals to get them used to it.

I actually enjoyed it — we’d read books on the potty :-). Honestly, it gave us something to do with the baby... there isn’t so much when they are little!! 

I'm by nature very drawn to intensive and attachment style parenting.

There are serious time constraints though with a large family 🙂

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4 minutes ago, maize said:

I'm by nature very drawn to intensive and attachment style parenting.

There are serious time constraints though with a large family 🙂

Yeah, the fact that I only have 2 might have something to do with the fact that I can do this 😉 

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You can just cheaply outsource most of reading instruction. Definitely overteach letter sounds. My leapfrog letter factory dvd has an intro when it is waiting for you to push play, which is the very condensed letter sounds part without the story. I think the story is useful, but once a child has seen it they get a lot out if that short intro. I just played that short piece over and over at different times. Maybe it is one minute.

I also loved preschool prep letter sounds. You can watch them on YouTube. They are very engaging for a young child or baby, so a four year old might not be too interested. Just depends on the kid. Anything that didn’t hold my kids interest, I played at the kitchen table while they were eating. They were a captive audience then.

I also love phonics farm, which is another leapfrog letter sounds show.  I do have the dvd, because my van has a DVD player, but I’m sure it is available in other formats. 

Then there are great youtube letter sounds videos. Rock-n-learn phonics is great too but it could be a little loud and obnoxious for some people. It helps to hit it from a lot of angles with different input.

Once she had extremely varied letter sounds input, and knew them cold,  I was able to set one child up with readingbear.org to do herself. She loved it. It is also free.  It teaches them to sound out things.

I would wait till after letter sounds are solid, but all the other leapfrog, rock-n-learn, preschool prep, Heidi-songs reading shows are very good and after all that input, there won’t be that much work for you to do. Maybe none.

By the time my kids were over twoish, I allowed them to watch 1/2 an hour education show two times per day. That is a lot of time over a year to get a lot of “learning how to read” input in.

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