Teaching 4 year old to read - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is the best way to teach my son how to read? I would like him reading before kindergarden which is still another year away.
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#2 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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We're in the same boat. I'm getting this book "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading" since I've heard great things about the method.

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#3 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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My dd uses starfall.com and is really doing well with it. She even skipped to the harder word building lessons and was able to sound out the words (with some help) and put in the correct letters.
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#4 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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DD is four and teaching heself to read. She uses Starfall.com and PBS's Super Why mostly but we also read aloud a lot and sit down with easy reader (like Hop on Pop) books and practice when she wants to.

BUT I wouldn't push too hard. Four is young for reading and a lot of kids aren't ready. It will just be a huge headache for you both and possibly discourage him to the point of harm if he isn't ready and can't meet your expectations.

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#5 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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Is your son asking to learn to read, or otherwise showing interest? Or is there another reason why you want to start now?

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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#6 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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Are you sending him to school for kindergarten?

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#7 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He loves to have me read to him and wants to know what every word in the book is. He will lay in bed at night trying to read. He doesn't go to kindergarden till Sept of 2010 because his bday didn't meet the cut off date for this year.
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#8 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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I'm just thinking that a kid who already knows how to read is going to be bored in a school kindergarten environment. (I was, and always got into trouble). Have you considered continuing to homeschool him past this year?

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#9 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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4 sounds like an awful early age to teach reading, without child actually asking for it. Maybe waiting until kindy is not a bad idea?

I think it comes more natural to child and the parent when the child actually asks to learn to read, until then, reading books together is just one of the steps towards reading, yk?

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#10 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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What do his drawings look like? That's a major clue as to whether or not he's ready to learn how to read. Esp in reference to drawing "people".

Teach Your Child To Read works for many families. At 4 I would not worry about the writing parts. Maybe, if your child is interested in playing with writing - but not to focus on it.

It's an easy book to work through. It's scripted for the parent/teacher to know just what to say. I recommend skipping the introduction, too. It makes it seem more confusing that it really is.

If your child seems to have problems focusing on what is on the page to read it, copy the 'words' onto paper, index card, chalkboard and let them read it off the page.

If he seems too frustrated or distracted, don't push it.

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#11 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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My daughter is 3.5, she's been playing at starfall.com since she was 18 months, she's known her sounds and letters for 2 years now. She's been asking me to do "school" with her so she can read so I ordered "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons."

I figured we could try one or two lessons and see how she liked. I had no intention of pushing her on it. If she didn't get it, or didn't like it we'd stop.

We started on June 1st and have completed 41 lessons. I find them really boring and I don't follow the script but she loves doing them and is always asking to do more.

It's really working well for her but I'm sure it's because she was ready.
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#12 of 18 Old 06-12-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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My daughters LOVE the Leapfrog videos. The first one (Letter Factory) is great for teaching letter sounds.
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#13 of 18 Old 06-13-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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My daughter is really enjoying readingeggs.com, but it's only been recently that she's really been ready. She wanted me to help her learn to read last summer, but it became clear she really wasn't ready yet, but this summer, it very suddenly seems to be clicking and all the ideas are really coming together.
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#14 of 18 Old 06-13-2009, 01:08 AM
 
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We love readingeggs.com.
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#15 of 18 Old 06-13-2009, 01:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristi96 View Post
He loves to have me read to him and wants to know what every word in the book is. He will lay in bed at night trying to read.
Psst . . .you are already teaching him how to read!

Since he is so interested, I think doing what you are doing (reading, answering his questions) is perfect. I would make sure to have fun books that are easy to memorize (like the Sandra Boynton books). My 4 yo is into writing more than sitting and trying to read books, so we write letters back and forth to each other. I know which words she has a better chance at reading, so I use those in my writing, with maybe one or two harder ones thrown in. We do this just for fun (she starts the game) so it's something you could try, just to see if he likes it. If he doesn't like the actual writing aspect (DD1 does not, but DD2 does) you could offer the computer w/large font to use. DD2 has loved that.

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#16 of 18 Old 06-14-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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My daughter is four and is interested in reading. We tried phonics, but she's just not developmentally ready for that yet. So she knows a lot of sight words, so we do those from time to time. A lot of "how do you spell this" or "what does that word say?"

Don't worry if your child can't read by Kinder. In Finland, they don't begin formal instruction until SEVEN and their schools rank constantly as the best in the world.

Some people try "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" and enjoy it.

Just remember....KEEP IT FUN.

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#17 of 18 Old 06-14-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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Sweden too.

Honestly, there's no advantage in being able to read before kindergarten unless you have a "my kid has to be the smartest one there" complex or have been misled by the "early early early everything early to give them the best advantage in today's competitive world" nonsense. 90% or more of the kids in a kindergarten class will not be reading yet. There is research that shows that the average age for a child's brain to be READY to learn to read ranges from something like age 5 to 9. There are "outliers" of kids who are ready earlier, and others not until even later, but the vast majority of kids are just not ready. It's like trying to teach a 6mo to walk.

If he is indeed asking to learn to read, that's fine. I'd do things like, slow down and trace my finger along words as I'm reading to him. Tell him letter sounds (don't worry about the names of letters). You can do online games and stuff too. But really, until they GET IT there's not too much more you can do. Kids can know that letters stand for sounds, and which letters make which sounds -- DD is only 2.5 and knows half of her letter sounds already. That doesn't mean she can read. The step of blending those sounds into representational words will happen when it happens.

You might do things like, if he knows the sounds, have him name the sound of each letter in a word, then YOU demonstrate how to blend them together. Don't expect him to imitate or respond or 'get it', just demonstrate and show appreciation for his part in figuring out the word. Like, 'frog', he might say "fff.... then rrr... and aww... and GUH!" And you say "Yes, that's right, fff, rrr, aww, guh. ff-rr-aw-g... That says frog!" Then go on to the next. From there, he'll pick it up when he's ready, whether that's next week or not for 4 more years.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#18 of 18 Old 06-14-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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Why on earth do you WANT your 4yo to read? I mean, it's one thing if you have a 4yo who figure out reading on his or her own and/or asks to be taught. But so many other kids just arent ready to read at such a young age.

I learned how to read in 1st grade, at age 6. I've always loved reading and still do. DD1 learned to read in kindergarten, but she was one of the oldest in the class and was 6 already. Most of her kindergarten class was NOT reading yet- the only two were her and another girl who was also 6. Dd2 learned to read at age 6 in first grade.

So the three of us girls who learned to read at age 6 all thoroughly enjoy reading. I've read in many places that boys are a little slower/later than girls when it comes to academic skills such as reading (while boys tend to be ahead in gross motor skills.) Of course there are many individual variations.

DS was taught to read in kindergarten, when he wasn't quite 5 yet. He was not ready!! and it damaged his joy of learning. It damaged his love of books- the girls used to look at pictures and play with books before they could read, but DS had learned that "reading is hard work" and didn't find books fun for about 2 or 2.5 years. I was careful not to rush him, I read out loud to him when he was supposed to read something for a homework assignment, etc.

Finally, shortly after his 7th birthday, something "clicked" for him and reading became fun and easy for him. Part of it may have been discovering books he enjoyed reading (thank you Dav Pilkey for creating Captain Underpants!!!!) but IMO a huge factor was simply that he'd matured and was finally ready to read. If I'd been HSing him this whole time, I suspect he would have "played" with books through K and 1st grade ages, and learned to read around his 7th birthday. Instead, he had 2 years where he had the technical skills for reading, but didn't enjoy books at all.

If your child isn't ready to read, don't push him. You can damage him that way.

Just read to him a lot and encourage him to "play" with books. If he's ready, he'll pick up on some of the mechanics of reading just by being read to a lot. If he's not ready, then he'll learn that books are fun, and hopefully nothing else will squash that love of books before he's ready to really read.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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