Learning to Read recommendations - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 11-07-2010, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I was wondering if I could get some recommendations for my DD. I am homeschooling her and she is 5.5. She has no interest in learning to read but does know her letters and letter sounds. She does love books and I read to her alot. She just wants to play all day and doesn't really care much for structured activity. So I was wondering if anybody has any recommendations for any material for teaching her how to read that goes with her learning style. Thank you!!
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#2 of 12 Old 11-07-2010, 11:52 AM
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Would she be interested in playing on the computer? My DD loved headsprout and reading eggs. That REALLY catapulted her forward. Also, when she found out her friend was reading a set of books (A to Z Mysteries), she wanted to read them too, and next thing you know, she did it. Motivation is an amazing thing.
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#3 of 12 Old 11-07-2010, 11:56 AM
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I wouldn't focus on learning to read. I would continue to read to her--LOTS. I would also work on all the phonemic awareness skills (the biggest barrier for learning to read). You can get "Reading Reflex" from the library. Read it--it has lots of ways/games/etc to work on these skills. Also, if your dd suddenly starts wanting to learn--this book will take you through that process too.

Phonemic awareness skills include:
blending -- you say /p/ /i/ /g/ (each sound separate) and your dd will squish them together to get the right word.
segmenting -- this is the opposite. You give dd a word like pig and she would separate out each sound. This is tricky actually. Lots of people want frog to go /fr/ /o/ /g/ but /fr/ is actually two sounds. So, it needs to be /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/

Also, you can play games that change sounds. Like if I took the /a/ out of cat (say the sound not the letter name) and changed it to an /o/ what word would I have? She should reply "cot". Do this with first sound, middle sound, and ending sound on simple words. Also, find other words that have the same beginning sound as dog. Or the same ending sounds as rat. Or the same middle sound as mit. Work with rhyming too.

None of this requires a book, pen, pencil or even to sit down. They can be games while in the car. If she does start to want to sit and learn, get some letter tiles and blank ones too. At first, you can use the blank tiles (or coins, or legos, etc) for each sound of a word. Cat has three sounds so you would pull three tiles down and tap on each one as you said /c/ /a/ /t/.

Don't forget poetry and nursery rhymes during your read alouds. Or do them as the hand games that children play.


Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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#4 of 12 Old 11-07-2010, 12:24 PM
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I suggest looking into Happy Phonics. It's a games-based phonics program (regular games, not computer). My kids are really enjoying it.
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#5 of 12 Old 11-07-2010, 12:25 PM
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If she wants to play, then I would make the learning-to-read process as playful as possible.

Ds' early reading lessons were done almost entirely with games and manipulatives (not just fridge letters, but word sliders, flip books, spinners, word sorts, etc.). We kept the lessons short, just a few minutes, usually, unless ds wanted to continue to play with the manipulatives. The novelty kept him coming back for more until he was reading early readers. Then the magic of simply reading books became the primary motivator.

I got many of my games at www.fcrr.org. The games are pdf print-outs and part of the center activities.

I love that you see your daughter's desire to play as a learning style, because of course, it really is! Young mammals play to learn the skills they need as adults. Our little kiddos are really no different.

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#6 of 12 Old 11-07-2010, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I don't what to push her b/c then she will totally resist. I will start playing sound games and see if she is interested. It just seems daunting to teach someone to read
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#7 of 12 Old 11-08-2010, 02:23 AM
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#8 of 12 Old 11-09-2010, 03:20 AM
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Check out www.starfall.com, it is fun way to learn to read. Make sure she clicks on things in the pictures - they move.


A mother of a child with learning difficulties and a teacher by profession.
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#9 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 10:53 AM
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I guess I'll provide the opposite perspective here...I have a VERY headstrong/spirited/whatever you want to call him child, and we used a reading program called 'Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons.'  There is a lot of information on people's experiences with this book here on this forum, FYI.  Anyhow, with my ds it was a total success.  We started at age 5, and I'd say he knew only about half of the alphabet sounds; 9 months later he was reading Early Reader books at the 1-2 level.  Did he always love it and look forward to it?  Not necessarily, although generally he didn't mind it.  But we only spent about 10 minutes on it a day MAX and it was just a part of our daily routine.  I really appreciate that we got the bulk of the reading instruction done with early, because it has left us to focus on other topics that are more of his choosing.  It has also made it much easier to pursue other topics because he can read :-). 


Anyhow, the whole thing was very logical and simple to use and most importantly - SHORT.  It's just one book that you have to have, that's it.  I think it worked well for ds because #1, he's not into games and this book was very straightforward.  #2, the 'instruction' if you will, was coming from the book and not from me!

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#10 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 11:40 AM
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If she loves books then I would just entertain her by reading to her. Let her choose the ones she want to listen to and really express excitement when she chooses them. My ds did not enjoy reading and really struggled with it at first. I decided that I rather he grow the desire before I forced him to struggle more. I would make it feel as special as possible like making a favorite snack, drag out all the pillows and blankets, take the book  outside or to the park and act out some scenes in play with her..maybe even dress up or paint your faces. You could make a lap book with the vocabulary or pictures. One thing I do with my 5 yr old is read the story and then let him tell it back to me. Most times he will make up his own version and just keep a few parts of the story in his version. I have a journal that I write down every word he says. It is funny when I keep the stutter or hmms and umms in it. I will prompt him to explain or describe things more too. He is really proud when I read it back to him and will often take it to other family members to read out loud ..repeatedly.

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#11 of 12 Old 11-16-2010, 12:16 PM
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I've taught two of my children and two that I tutored to read so far and am working with my third (5yo).


Some things we've used:


- Expole the Code workbooks (worked well for my oldest)


- The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading(used a little bit with my ds1 and dd and a lot with my tutoring kids)


- www.starfall.com All of the kids liked it.


- The "Letter Factory" DVD from Leapfrog (my younger two children like this and have actually learned letter sounds from it)


- sight word practice. I bought flash cards from B&N and drilled sight words with my older two and the tutoring kids. I haven't started it with 5yo ds yet. 

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds
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  11yo dd
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 9yo ds and 7yo ds
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and 2yo ds 
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#12 of 12 Old 11-16-2010, 12:30 PM
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we also used starfall. and i used the ordinary parents guide to teaching to read.  each lesson builds on each other and they take less than 10 minutes a day.  once she knew all of the letter sounds, i got the BOB books and she has been doing really well. we just read the books and move onto the next as seh is ready for them.  and we also do lots of rhyme word games, and point out letters and their sounds everywhere we go.  i haven't done the ordinary parents guide past the letter sounds, dd got bored with it, but i think its a good foudnation

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