A few months ago we were up at my daughter's elementary school waiting for her when my 3-year-old looked at the gym doors and said, "Does it say 'out'?" Yup, it did. I had never noticed. I asked him what the other door said and he told me it was 'in'. Yup. He was really proud of himself and quickly learned "no" and "yes" and "on" (a backwards 'no'). Now at night when we sit down and read together he can pick out a bunch of prepositions.
When my daughter was 3, she went to a Montessori preschool and quickly mastered the phonics-based curriculum, which was excellent support for reading. But DS goes to a daycare center with some learning attached (we tried Montessori--he hated it) and their big thing is mastering the letter sounds and he has totally already BTDT.
I am not a full-time working single mom and I don't have time to engage in much homeschooling. Typically we do not have time to use the computer much, and I'm not really keen on just throwing him at starfall.com. But I'd like to get some simple, non-writing-based phonics teaching program that will cover phonics from basic letter sounds to letter combinations and compound words. In small lessons, non-intensive, that we can do at home a few minutes at a time.
Any suggestions? How did you help your very young reader?