3 year old requesting "reading lessons" - Mothering Forums
Unschooling > 3 year old requesting "reading lessons"
LaurenS's Avatar LaurenS 10:00 AM 08-17-2011

My 8 year old just went through the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. He suddenly wanted to read and has been going strong ever since. My 3 year old asked if he could have "reading lessons" as he calls them. We did the first few from that book, but he isn't really able to learn from this book. It just isn't working. We told him that we should take a break and return in another month or so. He seemed okay with that response. But again, he is asking for reading lessons. I'm at a point in my life where my creativity is low and the stress in my life is very high. So I was wondering if anyone can suggest some kind of book or program for reading that might work for a 3 year old. I just find most of the stuff out there patronizing. We read all the time, and I point out the words as I am reading them. But he sees what his brother is doing and wants to go that route. Any suggestions?



moominmamma's Avatar moominmamma 10:31 AM 08-17-2011

I am guessing that while he may very well want to be able to read, what he's really craving is the kind of special one-on-one focused time with you that he saw his older sibling getting. I would find some more developmentally appropriate pre-reading activities that you can do with him every day. Things that are at his level, that he can experience success with. Those might be fridge magnets or scrabble letters to build word families (had, bad, dad, mad, eg.), simple worksheets with "circle all the things that start with B" or "color all the things that rhyme with CAT", using a hi-liter to do a treasure-hunt for all the iterations of the word "the" in a poem you've printed out in a large font, some printing-your-name exercises, whatever you feel is appropriate at his stage of literacy development. I understand that you are not feeling up to creating your own curriculum, but it is very difficult to meet a particular child right where he is at with a canned program -- unless you know the child in question. Peggy Kaye's "Games for Reading" book might give you some inspiration in creating activities that are right for your little guy. Then again, I don't know where he's at. If he's still learning to associate letters with their sounds, even the more basic games might be too advanced for him. 



minuway's Avatar minuway 10:45 PM 08-23-2011

My 3 year old is doing the same - he's been watching his two older sister have lessons (one is 4.5 and doing 100 Easy Lessons too). I think its the cuddle time, like Miranda says. So I just go through it very casually, pointing out the sounds and letting him say them back to me. I just show him a few sounds, then offer to read a book. If he really wants to *do* something, maybe try the Kumon lowercase letter book and try introducing letters with their sounds that way.

LaurenS's Avatar LaurenS 11:13 AM 08-24-2011

Thank you both so much for your replies. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond. After moominmamma's response, I did start just calling it reading lessons and just reading to him. I point to the words, but he doesn't want me to do that. So we just have a time where I am reading and calling it reading lessons. And he seems pleased. We also read at other times in the day, but it is not called reading lessons. I did find this book that I had thought I had gotten rid of called Montessori Read and Write which is geared toward 3 year olds. I am going to start implementing some of the games in that book. He has also asked me to buy him a workbook like his older brother has. It's a math workbook because DS1 doesn't like workbooks, but asked me to buy him the math one. So perhaps I should look into a reading one for DS2 in addition to a math one like he is asking for.

foreverinbluejeans's Avatar foreverinbluejeans 06:21 PM 09-06-2011

I would have said 3 year olds aren't allowed to read. It's better if kids figure out how to read on their own. If you make it a special thing that others get to do then kids that don't have the stress of school are free to learn to read when they are ready. Some kids might read when they are 3 and some might not read until they are 12. If kids don't read when they are 12 that is the time to start being concerned.



moominmamma's Avatar moominmamma 01:57 AM 09-07-2011

Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

I would have said 3 year olds aren't allowed to read. 

How is that consistent with the child-led nature of unschooling? I think it's just as antithetical to unschooling to not allow a child learn something they want to as it is to insist a child learn something they don't want to.