I wasn't sure where to post this but I couldn't find the other homeschooling section so here it goes
My 3yr old(will be 4yrs on Feb. 14) tries to read while I'm reading to her so I asked her if she wants to learn to read and she said yes. I had to explain she can't repeat me while I'm reading since she can't really hear what I'm saying while she is trying to read since a lot of what she would say would be mumbling or not the right words. So now she tries to repeat the sentences after I've read them, she is very proud of herself when she gets it right.
She knows her ABC's really well and knows a few of the sounds letters make. I haven't been pushing for her to learn to read. I don't want to discourage her from learning to read since shes trying but I'm also wondering if shes to young. Anyone have suggestions for what I should do? Or try?
She's not necessarily too young. It depends on the child; two of mine were early readers at 3, and fully fluent by 4 or 5. The trick is to let her push things forward with her interest, her questions and her observations, and to not hold any expectations about her rate of progress or the route she'll take to get there. So I don't think you want to jump in and administer some sort of systematic learn-to-read program. It's possible she won't be ready to read for another three or four years, or that the best route to reading for her brain just now will turn out to be a route you hadn't imagined. (My own eldest dd learned to read by poring over mail-order catalogs and National Geographics silently for hours and weeks on end, while I had assumed she'd by nature be a systematic code-breaker wanting more of a phonics approach.)
It sounds like right now your dd is using her aural memory to full advantage, repeating things she hears you read. It's hard to know from your description whether she's connecting those words meaningfully with their printed representation on paper. But she may be, or she may begin to. A lot of children learn to read by memorizing simple (often repetitive) books and then running through the text repeatedly by memory while gradually noticing what the associated printed words look like.
At any rate if she's enjoying what you're doing now there's nothing wrong with it and it may very well help her pick up the building blocks of reading. You might try using some simple repetitive books to limit vocabulary and allow her to begin to see patterns in the text she's gradually memorizing. Stuff like Dr. Seuss was enjoyed by my kids. She might also enjoy playing 'word hunt' after you've read a short section of text. See if she can find the word "fish" (or whatever) where it's written on the page. Give her clues if she needs them.
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
A few good resources that we have used recently are:
Miss Rhonda's Readers (Montessori based)
Preschool Prep: Meet the Phonics - Letter Sounds (also the Blends, and Digraphs)
Preschool Prep: Meet the Sight Words dvd
There's also Preschool Prep early readers, but I haven't used those so I can't attest to their helpfulness. My son is 3 and, like you daughter, he loves letters, letter sounds, etc. and wants to learn to read but says he is "too little". Have fun!
Just go with the flow of things, my babe will be 3 in February and she has really started reading words and trying to sound them out, it's really cute. My hubby was an early reader also, so it's not something i'm going to restrict.