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Help with teaching ds 4.5 yo to read, please:)


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Hi there,


I've started teaching ds 4.9 yo to read (5 end of July) with 100 EZ lessons, something that I did with my older ds who picked up phonics very quickly. I dropped 100 EZ lessons after 20 lessons or so with my older ds and taught him phonograms and he quickly got it and now reads very well. I started teaching my middle ds to read later than my first because a few months ago he really wasn't ready. He looked at me with a blank stare when I invited him to blend the sounds with me, although he has known his letter sounds for quite a bit now.


My question is should I just start him with single sounds and not worry about teaching him phonograms now at this age? If I should wait, how long should I wait? I just think teaching him all of the phonograms now would be overwhelming. If I should go ahead, do you recommend a program like AAS where the teaching is short and interactive? At 4.9 yo, my middle ds still likes things short and fun.


I'm also looking to find a replacement for 100 EZ lesson...something less dry without all of the funny looking symbols. So, if you've got a recommendation for that, I'd love it too.


Thanks so much.

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Some children just start later. My second ds was the same he seems slower to start just about anything, but once he is ready he zips through it. He started reading at 6, was able to catch up completely without having to push him. he is 8 now and read SOTW on his own all year, no problem. Read aloud a lot and make reading a fun thing, not a chore. Also, I did SSRW with my oldest OPGTR and ETC with ds4.5 and he loves it. It can be slowed down or sped up and he doesn't even rea;ixe it's "school", which is great because he is strongly against it.:D



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Have you tried the second video of the Leapfrog series? I believe it's called The Talking Word Factory. It teaches simple blending. It starts with VC and ends with CVC. My ds taught himself to read with that video. Once he started understanding that, we used the Leapfrog Word Whammer to make our own words. Ds and I would sit on the floor in front of the fridge for an hour at a time happily making words in the Word Whammer. Boy, I sound like an advertisement for Leap Frog. But it's worked for all my kids so far!

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Start with talking letter factory for letters and sounds.


Then, I would do short lessons on a white board whatever method you choose.


I think Webster's Speller is best--2 letter syllables are easier and quicker to learn to blend than 3 letter CVC words. It's free, how to use it below in my signature. I used it with my daughter in K, 5 to 10 minutes a day, by the end of K she was reading out of the KJV Bible. Short, interactive, powerful!


You could also try Blend Phonics (free, easy, uncluttered, but will need to be followed by a program that teaches all the sounds.) It's free from Don Potter: http://www.donpotter.net/education_pages/blend_phonics.html


Or, PP and OPG are complete and fairly easy to follow (again, I would teach from a white board at first at that age, especially with a boy.)


I also have a free fun game to supplement whatever phonics method you decide on, he can play with his older brother:



The easiest letters to blend are m, n, l, and r, and long vowels are easier to blend than short vowels. They also have the advantage of being both the name and sound of the letter. In the syllabary (the start of 2 letter syllables for Webster's Speller), the syllables ending in a vowel are pronounced long, so ma and ba are pronounced long as in ma-ker and ba-ker.


So, here are the easiest syllables to begin with to teach blending:


1. ma me mi mo mu my; na ne ni no nu ny; la le li lo lu ly; ra re ri ro ru ry

(remember, the a in a syllable is long as in ma-ker, na-ture, la-kers, ra-di-ant)


then short vowels

2. am em im om um; an en in on un

Edited by ElizabethB
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I vote for taking a step back and waiting, reading, reading, reading to him from wonderful, living books and gently easing into phonics when he shows readiness (picking up books constantly and trying to read them aloud, making sounds).


What I did with ds, who started reading right after he turned five, was to take a break at 4 and just upped the ante on reading aloud to him from irresistible picture books. Soon enough he started to sound out words without me pushing him and was looking at books for him, saying he was reading (he wasn't -- yet). He's known his letters sounds since was about 2 and a half.


When he turned five, we started Tanglewood's Really Reading program, which teaches phonics in a very gentle way (free at Tanglewood's website). I also had him read very simple books when we first started -- prereaders in the Nora Gaydos series. Then The Big Egg by Step Into Reading. And so forth. He thoroughly enjoys reading now, and is reading at least at a Level 3 Step Into Reading level, if that makes sense to anyone :) He also started reading longer picture books like A Pig in the Pond and Are You My Mother?, Go, Dog Go! and others.

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Children will 'usually' learn/start to read between the ages of 3 and 10. That is a a HUGE age gap! I've known a few exceptions too--younger than 3 and older (like 12+).


The age that a child starts to read has ZERO to do with how intelligent they are. By 6th grade early readers and late readers are 'usually' on the SAME reading level.

My older dds were both 'late' readers. Oldest was at the end of 1st grade (second time through) and middle dd was in 3rd grade.


Middle dd attended PS for a short time in 4th grade. She went from the LOWEST reading level to the HIGHEST reading level in 3 months. (NOT due to her teacher!). She is now a high-honors student in high school.


Older dd was reading a few years before her sister--she is currently a SPECIAL ED student in high school (homeschool)... she has been slow to progress...


Younger dd was reading by age 5... her teachers want to place her in a 'gifted' program--- We will wait and see... I'm not labeling her yet!


I've taught special ed before. I had 4th and 5th graders who could barely read---my Dad taught them in high school--and they were in the top/middle of their class... I've also seen students read well above grade level in 1st grade--and by Jr High they were 'average' level students...


Having a child read before 1st grade just makes life easier for the TEACHER...

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It is fine to put it away for 6 months and then start over.


If you want to work on the first 26 phonograms I do so through handwriting. Either having them write in sand while saying the letter sounds or using sand cards to trace while saying the letters sounds. My 6yo still prefers I say the sounds first and he repeats them, so I do. No need to make it a test to see if they know it, KWIM?


I personally am using the Get Ready, Set, Go for the Code books (Pre-ETC) and now I am moving him into AAS (All About Spelling). He adores the tiles and making words out of them.




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