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Old 10-27-2011, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5 year old has declared to me that he would like to learn to read.  Where should I start? I know nothing about teaching a new reader!  Can you recommend some resources? 

 

He is a terrible perfectionist- we have an ongoing conversation about the importance and usefulness of mistakes, etc.- but I am worried about his sense of confidence.


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Old 10-27-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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starfall.com is a great website for new readers.

 

We've struggled with that confidence issue too.  My son gets very frustrated when he can't do something perfectly the first time, so reading has been challenging, but at almost 6.5, and in kindergarten, he is doing great.  He still gets frustrated and hates to "practice", but the more we work on it, the more he realizes how much he's learned.  I praise him a lot when he does read to me, and my enthusiasm seems to help encourage him.

 

Good luck!


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Old 10-27-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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we've also used starfalll a lot and the reading games on pbs.org. bob books as well: http://www.bobbooks.com/

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Old 10-28-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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We just keep reading together.  I read loads of books to her and she wants to read some back to me.  At first it was just baby board books with one word on each page.  Then familiar (but not memorized) books.  She loves graphic novels and Garfield comic books.  I never make her sound things out (though she tries), I always ask when she gets to a tricky word and then if she is struggling more than usual I say "read along while I say the word" and use my finger, which normally annoys her.  She is also a perfectionist, so it helped that it was an interesting book, I was willing to help where she wanted me to.  In one book, I would read the narrative while she read the speech bubbles.  I let a lot of mistakes go (she likes reading by recognition) especially when she was in a groove.  I mean, we were going to read the book a thousand times anyway!  It helped that these were Greek myths and I would have difficulty sounding out names myself.  I'd try different pronunciations, maybe look it up in the dictionary, ask her opinion.  It was helpful to see that even a great reader like mama didn't always know how to read a word!

 

She is becoming a more confident reader, little by little.  I don't push, don't give "lessons", we just keep reading.  BTW, a 5yo might not have any idea what a reading lesson is supposed to look like, so make it what you want.


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Old 10-28-2011, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the tips.  

 

We do read a lot-- about 1 hour a day total, and often more.  And I've let him explore starfall- we have a membership.  What I'm looking for, I guess, is a structured way to make him feel that he is making progress.  Primarily, I want him to feel that he CAN learn to read, even more than I want him to be able to learn to read.  :)  Does that make any sense?  So I think something along the lines of "lessons" is what I want to do, but I'm not sure what those should look like.  I know I want him to have something tangible that shows his progress, though.  So maybe the BOB series that was mentioned.  Maybe something as simple as keeping a list of words on the fridge he has successfully recognized x times.  Just something structured, but very much attainable.  


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Old 10-28-2011, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PS- I realize I never shared here the comment that began it all.  I am due with baby #3 in April, and he apparently told his Montessori preschool teacher that he wants to learn how to read before HIS baby gets here (so cute!) so he can read stories to his new baby.  How cute is that?  :)


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Old 10-28-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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Get out those baby board books I mentioned and let him practice so he can read (or "read") to the baby!


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Old 10-28-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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We have the Hooked on Phonics package, and the readers from that have been something my DD has really enjoyed conquering.  She's so proud of herself when she reads them to her little brother. 

The system itself is actually not bad for a perfectionist.  We haven't done the main book for now, though.  We just couldn't get into it. 

 

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Old 10-29-2011, 05:39 AM
 
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If you like the bob book idea - check out progressive phonics.  It's free - you print them out or read them on the computer.  Same concept, but you read words in black and he reads words in red...  We've just started with it, so I'm not sure how well it will work, but I like the idea...

http://www.progressivephonics.com

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Old 10-29-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aletheia View Post

Thanks for all the tips.  

 

We do read a lot-- about 1 hour a day total, and often more.  And I've let him explore starfall- we have a membership.  What I'm looking for, I guess, is a structured way to make him feel that he is making progress.  Primarily, I want him to feel that he CAN learn to read, even more than I want him to be able to learn to read.  :)  Does that make any sense?  So I think something along the lines of "lessons" is what I want to do, but I'm not sure what those should look like.  I know I want him to have something tangible that shows his progress, though.  So maybe the BOB series that was mentioned.  Maybe something as simple as keeping a list of words on the fridge he has successfully recognized x times.  Just something structured, but very much attainable.  

Ahhhh...I also have a perfectionist five year old. As someone else said, a five year old likely has no idea what a reading lesson is supposed to look like. For my perfectionist what has helped her sense of progress/confidence more than star fall or reading eggs, bob books etc is something that developed organically. She calls it her "reading lesson" but it's actually more like copy work. I write one or two short (gradually longer) sentences with words I know she can read, she then reads them and copies them. For some reason this really helps her feel like she is progressing.
Cute story about the baby by the way:)

Grateful mama striving to respect the two precious beings entrusted to me DD '06 and DS '09
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Greenmama2- Yes, you definitely feel my pain.  He just so needs to see some sort of accomplishment.  I have no idea where he gets that from.  redface.gif  I appreciate your suggestion, but I am steering clear of handwriting for right now.  It seems to be where his perfectionism is focused- I suspect because he has other (mainly girl) friends who are much better at even, regular letter writing than he is.  He told me several months ago that "Sabine knows lots about letters.  But I know lots about numbers.  Just saying them.  But still numbers are what I know about."

 

Tjej and happy1nluv- thanks for your suggestions.  Unfortunately, they rolled in after I had already fallen in to the depths of the starfall.com maze.  My  heavens!  I had no idea it was as elaborate as it is.  We had mainly used it for the alphabet page, but I did buy a subscription months ago, mostly to introduce my son to the use of the computer.  I had no idea there were products to buy, including complete curriculums, plush animals, stickers, etc!  And that there is an entire free download area?  Wowie!  But it did take some navigating.  Two hours of navigating, actually, during which I really ought to have been focusing on a different sort of reading (a really great exegesis of Sappho and eros in ancient Greek life by Anne Carson).  Instead I was learning about how starfall introduces short vowels, then long vowels, then dipthongs... 

 

Anyway, the end result is that I made my own customized "chart" for him to put stars on.  It is basically a printed version of the "Learn to Read" page with a few other spaces for completing the worksheets associated with each of the 15 lessons, a place for showing that he could find the flash cards I could print for each lesson from amongst the cards for all the lessons, and a couple other "phonics puzzle" worksheets thrown in.  I also ordered the "hardcopy" versions of the 15 books, and I plan on giving him each one as he finishes each lesson, moving our reading time from the computer to the couch or our "cozy corner."  I'm jazzed about it.  The hard part now is sitting on my hands until he mentions it again.  I really don't want to push it on him.

 

SweetSilver- Great idea about the board books!  I'll dig those out.  With some luck, some of them will have some of the words introduced by starfall.  


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Old 10-30-2011, 01:26 PM
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Sounds like you came up with a great plan. 

 

Also wanted to add that my 5 year old loves to play with the tiles from All about Spelling.  We take turns pushing together tiles and sounding them out.  She knows that each "word" must have a vowel (they are red so it is easy to see if her word has one or not).  I don't care if it is a real word or not, we sound it out as well as we can.  From this game of hers she has gone on to sounding out words on her own in books.  We have the I See Sam books that she totes around and works with.  I like them better than the bob books because they progress slowly--the child has a pile of books they can read in no time!

 

Amy

 

PS: you can get the tiles without ordering the whole program

 

Oh, my dd is also a perfectionist.  It is also her desire to learn to read.  She knows that I am not worried about her learning to read yet, so if she wants to practice (or have a lesson) she can't have a meltdown if she doesn't get something right.  This idea (that she doesn't need to read by herself yet) seems to have eliminated the stress with it and she is enjoying the process much more now. She seems to celebrate her accomplishments vs getting down about the mistakes.


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Old 10-30-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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I love progressivephonics.com -- its a very cozy, gentle way to teach reading.  But my son LOVES ReadingEggs.com -- kids work through "maps" of lessons, and the system is very encouraging and gradual, but it doesn't let kids advance until they've got the relevant concept, so I think it would work well with a perfectionist.  I"m not familiar with the subscription part of starfall, but I think Reading Eggs is MUCH more user friendly than the free portion of starfall.

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My goodness!  So many resources.  I'll check ReadingEggs out.


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Old 11-01-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Does your local libary have Rigby PM Readers?  Ours does and it is a great resource.  The books are leveled and are not phonics readers, so they have more of a story line and are more engaging for children.   Phonics is a very important component of reading, but not the only component.  One of the most important strategies for a new reader when they come to a word they don't know is to say the first sound, go back and read the sentence again and think about what would make sense and look like that word.  

 

To help him learn more sight words (the, here, and, come, etc), choose one word from a book he has read with you, have him find it or show it to him in the book, and then tell him that you are going to practice it so you can know this word quickly and use it in your reading and writing.   Find lots of ways to practice the word (chalk, markers, sand, etc).   Then always go back to the book and have him show you the word and read the page that has the word.  That way he makes the connection that practicing words helps him become a better reader

 

You can also make your own books together.   Many children learn to read by writing.  Use photographs, your children's drawings, etc.   It can be about experiences you've had as a family, fascinating facts learned, dreams for the future, etc.   Have your children dictate the stories while you model saying the words slowly and writing the sounds.   Link the sounds to known words (i.e., "Dog, that starts just like Dad.")

 

Would he be interested in having you create his own word bank.   Have you read any of Sylvia Ashton Warner's work on the key word approach to reading?   With the key word approach you ask children what words they want to learn and put their words on cards, doing just one or two words a day.   They keep their word cards in their own special box.   At first you can spread out the words and ask them to find certain words, as identifying and finding are easier tasks than reading the word on their own.   Eventually you can add a verb such as "loves," "likes,"  "wants," and your child can make their own sentence with their name, the verb card, and their special key words.  Rather than teaching your child the phonics and then teaching them how to read words using the phonics, you are helping them develop a love of learning words, then connecting it to the phonics ("Look 'monster' and 'mom' both start with M!   Can you hear how they start the same?")  Some children respond better to learning to read in this way as it makes it more meaningful for them

 

If he doesn't know all of his letter sounds, you can create a family alphabet book.  Use big pages and have a page for each letter.   Write both the uppercase and lowercase letters on the pages.  Put family photographs and names on the correct alphabet page and then have fun finding pictures or drawing pictures for other letters.   Work on one letter at a time or add to it periodically throughout the year.  Model excitement of discovering about letters and sounds, "Wow, this is such a cool rock!   Let's take a picture of it and put it on the R page of our alphabet book"

 

 

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Old 11-01-2011, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What I like about your reply, AE+Mama, is that you give so many non-phonic-based examples.  I was beginning to think that that was all there was out there.  I especially love the wordbank idea.  I think he would really go for that, and it would be a great way for him to own-- quite literally- his learning experience.  I'm going to try it.  Then maybe we can try to make a story out of the words at some point.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by AE+Mama View Post

Does your local libary have Rigby PM Readers?  Ours does and it is a great resource.  The books are leveled and are not phonics readers, so they have more of a story line and are more engaging for children.   Phonics is a very important component of reading, but not the only component.  One of the most important strategies for a new reader when they come to a word they don't know is to say the first sound, go back and read the sentence again and think about what would make sense and look like that word.  

 

To help him learn more sight words (the, here, and, come, etc), choose one word from a book he has read with you, have him find it or show it to him in the book, and then tell him that you are going to practice it so you can know this word quickly and use it in your reading and writing.   Find lots of ways to practice the word (chalk, markers, sand, etc).   Then always go back to the book and have him show you the word and read the page that has the word.  That way he makes the connection that practicing words helps him become a better reader

 

You can also make your own books together.   Many children learn to read by writing.  Use photographs, your children's drawings, etc.   It can be about experiences you've had as a family, fascinating facts learned, dreams for the future, etc.   Have your children dictate the stories while you model saying the words slowly and writing the sounds.   Link the sounds to known words (i.e., "Dog, that starts just like Dad.")

 

Would he be interested in having you create his own word bank.   Have you read any of Sylvia Ashton Warner's work on the key word approach to reading?   With the key word approach you ask children what words they want to learn and put their words on cards, doing just one or two words a day.   They keep their word cards in their own special box.   At first you can spread out the words and ask them to find certain words, as identifying and finding are easier tasks than reading the word on their own.   Eventually you can add a verb such as "loves," "likes,"  "wants," and your child can make their own sentence with their name, the verb card, and their special key words.  Rather than teaching your child the phonics and then teaching them how to read words using the phonics, you are helping them develop a love of learning words, then connecting it to the phonics ("Look 'monster' and 'mom' both start with M!   Can you hear how they start the same?")  Some children respond better to learning to read in this way as it makes it more meaningful for them

 

If he doesn't know all of his letter sounds, you can create a family alphabet book.  Use big pages and have a page for each letter.   Write both the uppercase and lowercase letters on the pages.  Put family photographs and names on the correct alphabet page and then have fun finding pictures or drawing pictures for other letters.   Work on one letter at a time or add to it periodically throughout the year.  Model excitement of discovering about letters and sounds, "Wow, this is such a cool rock!   Let's take a picture of it and put it on the R page of our alphabet book"

 

 



 

 


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Old 11-01-2011, 10:36 PM
 
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Do you have a Montessori moveable alphabet set at home?  They are really nice for just playing around with words.  My daughter has also enjoyed our magnetic poetry set as she is becoming more fluent.

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Old 11-02-2011, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We don't, though we do have a set of wooden craft letters that I found at our local dollar store.  Not nearly as nice in quality, but at $2.50 for one alphabet, I was able to get four sets.  I haven't introduced them yet though!  Good idea.


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Old 11-05-2011, 06:39 AM
 
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Yes, we often think of phonics as how kids learn to read, but the visual information of the word is only one of three sources that helps us figure out unknown words.  The meaning of the story and the structure of the sentence are the other two sources of information and the two that good readers and adults use most automatically then checking our response with the visual information of the phonics.

 

If you were reading the sentence:   "The rabbit is hiding in the tall ________"  I bet with meaning (from what you already know about rabbits) and the sentence structure, you could figure out the last word.  

 

If your eyes then saw, "The rabbit is hiding in the tall gr____"  You would definitely be able to figure out that word using meaning, the structure of the sentence and the visual (phonics) of the first two letters.   Then our eyes quickly scan the rest of the word to confirm with phonics that we were correct.   So, yes it is very important for children to learn letter sounds and phonics, because that is one way we figure out words.   However, as good readers and adults don't sound out letter by letter, not even on unknown words, so it is important to teach children how to use meaning and structure as well to figure out words and to check to see if the word they said was right.   Unfortunately, kids can't learn to use much meaning and structure on phonics readers.   How much meaning can you get out of "Pat and Nat sat on the mat."?

 

This teacher's website is a good resource for ways you can help your reader figure out unknown words:

http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/clau/Strategies.htm

 

Have fun reading together!

 

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What I like about your reply, AE+Mama, is that you give so many non-phonic-based examples.  I was beginning to think that that was all there was out there.  I especially love the wordbank idea.  I think he would really go for that, and it would be a great way for him to own-- quite literally- his learning experience.  I'm going to try it.  Then maybe we can try to make a story out of the words at some point.  



 

 



 

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