Dd is 3, and we've been "doing school" for about a year now. She knows all the basic preschool things and seems bored by them now. I want to move onto phonics and reading, because I think she ready...but how to start?
i wouldn't push phonics stuff at this age unless your dd really seems interested in it. if she really does, i'd start with the sounds of the letters of the alphabet (assuming she already knows the letters). i would find a fun way to do it though and try to make it a game, so she doesn't get burnt out by the time she really hits school age. even just talking about it or making up a song would work- of course there are also tons of alphabet books available as well. there are also lots of fun art, science, and fine/ large motor activities out there - preschool doesn't have to be all about reading readiness :). hopefully someone here will have better ideas for you. my brain is mush tonight after a crazy day.
All of my kids have learned their sounds and letters from the LeapFrog "Letter Factory" DVDs. They've all known them at around 2-3 years of age... but we've always kept off of doing anything further until 4 or 5. I guess, we're not in a big hurry to have them read--but want to make sure that they're doing stuff that is just as important for those ages... so arts and crafts, imaginative play, listening to stories, baking, painting, etc. Being read to, is one of the best things, IMHO.
DS1 learned to read in about a month using Click-n-Read Phonics.
DS2 doesn't like online games, but likes to just learn through Phonics readers. Currently, we're using Clifford ones.
DD seems to be in love with the Hooked on Phonics videos on YouTube, especially "The Big Pig" song. So, maybe next year or later this year, we'll look into the Kindy Hooked on Phonics. She's 3 now and will be 4 in July. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOu-QkmInKc
I have a 3yo, and this fall she'll be that kid that just squeaks in on the cutoff date (9/3 birthday with a 9/30 cutoff) so this upcoming school year is supposed to be her pre-k year by society's standards of following cutoffs to get them in school ASAP. We're planning to do Horizons Preschool with her at this point I think, although I am also playing with Math-U-See primer and doing some informal reading lessons instead (she knows all her letter names by sight and some of their sounds, so we are working now on the sounds and then will go into trying to blend into reading cvc words if she's ready for it). I don't know exactly, she's accelerated like 2 of her big sisters so I don't want to hold her back if she's ready for more but at the same time I don't want to push her to do too much because she IS only 3yo and would be the youngest in her class every year and we may end up retaining her for a second year of pre-k or for a 2 year K like her 4yo sister is doing. Its hard to strike the right balance with her where I'm not holding her back but also not pushing her to do more than she's capable of maturity-wise.
Yeah, I totally wasn't any help at all there........... sorry if I totally confused you there (my meds didn't kick in for some reason today so I'm a bit flakey).
Good question...I've been wondering this too. Right now we are learning phonics, but in a fun way. We also do a few workbook pages when she asks and reinforce what we've already learned. I plan on focusing on expanding on concepts we learned last year-- safety unit, colors beyond the primaries, rhyming, etc.
I've done the Sonlight preschool levels, they are AWESOME. But remember, as a *general* rule the cores run about 1 year advanced, so I wouldn't go any higher with a 3yo than core P3/4. In fact, my 4yo (will be 5 in a couple weeks) is doing P3/4 with her little sister and I'm really struggling with the idea of moving them up to P4/5 now or waiting longer because I know what's in it and what's involved as far as maturity from when my two oldest did that level at 3yo and 4yo (before P3/4 came out).
If you have money to spend on curriculum, here are some great Pre-K options that could offer her more of a challenge:
Sonlight http://www.sonlight.com/curriculum.html?B (pricey, but good books)
My girls enjoyed P 3/4... we already read through it once. I actually sold the schedule and just read the books during our "snack/story time". I think if your kiddo has a relatively good attention span for read alouds, you'll be fine with P 3/4.
Kittie313 mentioned Horizons PreK - I also bought that when my big girl was 3 but never used it. It's a very full program and I also recommend it (from what I saw). I thought it seemed very fun and you could pick and choose what you wanted to do.