Teaching 2 year old to read - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 06-19-2003, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to start teaching my 27 month old to read. Now, before you think I am pushing him let me explain He has always had an irrespressable thirst for learning new things. Before his first birthday he knew the alphabet (we didn't teach him, he just figured it out) and could not only identify the letters, but put together alphabet puzzles designed for 3 year olds. He has been amazing us with what he knows and how quick he learns and is cranky, unhappy, bored, and frustrated when he is not being stimulated. His behavior gets instantly better (little or no tantrums for example) as soon as we start "teaching" him something new. He has been showing an interest in reading for a while now, so we have been telling him how to spell things. I would like to take a little bit more of an organized approach though because he is showing all his classic signs of wanting/needing to learn something new.

So now for the questions.......where do I start? What kind of resources are available for a child this young? (I am looking for something that is not rigid or pressure based, I just want to open the door for him Ya know?). Any other ideas or recommendations for dealing with a child like this? I really don't want to push him, but he seems to love to learn new things. Any feedback or resources would be appreciated



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#2 of 20 Old 06-19-2003, 10:32 PM
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The book Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons is supposed to be good. hth
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#3 of 20 Old 06-19-2003, 10:56 PM
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I hated that 100 lessons book.
What about somethign like Sing, Spell Read and Write?
I know they have a preschool program.
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#4 of 20 Old 06-19-2003, 11:45 PM
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What about something like LeapPad where the child learns at his/her own pace? A good cd-rom learning game like Reader Rabbit? My dd does really well with Reader Rabbit and you can set the levels or start at the lowest and it will move itself up automatically as your child masters a level. We also do workbooks and just sound out words throughout the day. Very casual.

Peace and good reading!
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#5 of 20 Old 06-20-2003, 01:57 AM
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I loved teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons I used it with both my children. It worked great for us. I have heard some mamas say they dislike it though and preferred explode the code. Though I am not familiar with that book.
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#6 of 20 Old 06-20-2003, 12:13 PM
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I learned to read at about three without any lessons. My father used to run his finger underneath the text while reading aloud. This seems typical of those who are early readers... though some children are certainly more proactive than others.

How is your child's comprehension and speech? Instead of reading lessons, might something like Before Five in a Row or even Five in a Row be appropriate? With a little time and imagination, FIAR could be adapted for a very bright 27 month old. It has complete weeklong unit study plans for each story.

Five in a Row

They can be picked up at a reasonable price from:

Rainbow Resource Center

I'd also recommend:

Teach a Child to Read With Children's Books, by Mark Thogmartin -- again with some adpatation.

There are also some great book guides available for gifted children.
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#7 of 20 Old 06-20-2003, 01:02 PM
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Well, I think that is wonderful. I agree 100 ez lessons only goes so far. I remember my SOC. class in college regarding memory. At two, it would be really hard for them to learn a lesson a day b/c of their memories. I like the ABEKA reading program. It isn't expensive either. I like the Leap Pad too.
So, have fun learning. I think it is great. If they show an interest, that is awesome.

www.learningpage.com has ebooks that he can put together. It is the vocabulary books that you may be interested. It shows the picture and the word next to it. You have to register and it is freeeeeee. I love anything that is free.

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#8 of 20 Old 06-20-2003, 04:04 PM
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I'm so glad you brought this up! I'm in the same position with my 26 mo. old. I was an early reader myself, maybe this runs in the family?

Anyway, I'm using a Montessori approach for most things, and have decided to teach DS the sounds of the letters first utilizing the sandpaper letters (Montessori). Going at the pace of a letter a week, we'll trace the letter every day while saying the sound, color a worksheet of items that start with that sound, use the beginning books of the Explode the Code series on a limited basis (letter recognition and such), read library books that focus on that particular letter, and play phonics games with the sounds.

I don't plan on spending more than 10-15 minutes a day with this. If he has fun, great; if not, I won't push it.

I really like the reading progression activities outlined in David Gettman's _Basic Montessori_. It makes absolute sense to me from a teaching point of view.

That's as far as I've gotten with my plans. I will say that I've looked at both _100 Easy Lessons..._ and Phonics Pathways. I like the looks of _Phonics Pathways_ better, but don't plan on using it. I feel that hands-on activities with work better for us.
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#9 of 20 Old 06-20-2003, 09:07 PM
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They have a 'Before the Code' that is fun for young ones. Lots of coloring and fun activities. My 6.5 yo and 3 yo ds's just finished book #2 of it. My oldest was dx Asperger's and pretty much despises anything related to writing, but has enjoyed the Before the Code (at least I 'think' that's what it's called.....it's before Explode the Code) because it's more like games, and his little brother will do it to. Nothing like positive peer pressure!

We tried 100 Easy Lessons, and hated it!

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#10 of 20 Old 06-21-2003, 11:01 AM
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I used 100 Easy Lessons and loved it.

But just taking your dear child to the library and letting him/her choose is/her own books should stimulate your child and keep him/her satisfied.

I chose Eric Carle books because they were very stimulating and colorful and the words repeated enough for reinforcement.

I started to teach my ds on the McGuffey readers since they are very progressive and build one lesson on the other. They are also very phonetic, comprehensive and allegorical.

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#11 of 20 Old 06-21-2003, 12:04 PM
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longjon's_wife, I think you may be right. Both my brother and I read early, and my kids have started early too.
When Ds started to be interested in written words (about 2 1/2), I did what ever I thought would be fun for him;
We made an ABC book out of one of those page protector books, construction paper and what ever else we had on hand. We would work on whatever letter he wanted whan he was interested. Then we would pull out all the old magazines, food ads and stickers......cutting and pasting the things we saw that started with that letter. i wrote the word under each picture. As he got older, he would write the letters (upper and lower case) on the page as well as the name of the item.
We played games with the names of people and pets we know.....G is for Gramma. Gramma likes Grapes!
Those alphabet tiles, magnets, etc are cool too. We have those magnets that are words now.
These games may be uninteresting to your son....he might like structured workbook tyoe stuff better. DS enjoys all those workbooks you buy at the grocerystore.....he just skips the pages that are uninteresting. When he was too small to write, he just did the matching games, mazes, and the "circle the letter" ones first.
I started a thread on bright kids in the "learning at school" forum.....wasnt sure where else to put it since Ds wants to go to school. I would love to have a support thread for mamas of above average learners.

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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#12 of 20 Old 06-21-2003, 07:15 PM
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What a neat idea, serentabbie!

I collected pictures of each of my children, and created their first reading book about them - every child's favorite subject is about themselves!

Later I took photographs of my dear son, the youngest, and had him holding an apple, with the caption, "'A' is for 'apple'", the second page "'B' is for 'book'", and so on.

We had gone to the zoo, so the last page had him standing in front of the entrance to the zoo.

Later, he cut out pictures of things from advertizements and made his own alphabet scrapbook.

We had fun putting it all together.
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#13 of 20 Old 06-22-2003, 11:34 AM
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I'd recommend starting with whole word and transferring to phonics. Surprisingly, 2 year olds do better with you telling them "this says cat" than this says "c-a-t....cat." A good book to read is How to teach your Baby to Read by Glenn Doman. We used his methods, followed up by the pre-Explode the Code books already mentioned (and the regular ETC books). Our older two children (who yes, are gifted or we'd have not bothered with it) are both independent readers now. The 4-year old is on a 6th grade level, and the 2.5 year old is on about 2nd grade.

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#14 of 20 Old 06-22-2003, 06:13 PM
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I think it is important to be aware that once the focus of the book, page, story, newspaper, whatever, becomes the ACTUAL printed words, the experience for the child is going to change.

You might notice less imaginative story telling, less "pictures in the mind", less "sensory imagery" taking place. Make sure you make a concerted effort to keep that alive too.

IMO, they will learn it. Sounds like reading is not going to be an issue for your kid. Maybe actual "teaching" of it could wait, and you could focus on other things.
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#15 of 20 Old 06-22-2003, 08:44 PM
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My 2 1/2 yo dd loves Bob Books (available at Amazon). They start with just one word on a page and slowly ramp up to longer sentences. They also have 2 year old humor (like the characters sit on each other) rather than school based themes (like lunchroom conversation, etc that dd would have a hard time understanding at this age) more appropropriate for K+ kids learning to read.
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#16 of 20 Old 06-23-2003, 12:11 AM
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Dd started recognizing a few words by her 2nd birthday. My husband was an early reader so we weren't surprised. Since she was so young, we just went slow and informal. We haven't used any particular system, just followed her lead. We had books and alphabet puzzles, and games available for her. And we played with them whenever she wanted.

Last fall she started wanting to know "what that says?" So we'd tell her. Some times she wanted to know the sound a letter made, other times she wanted to know what a word was. The repetition of reading the title page of a book 10 times in a row was a little tiring at times. But we went with it. The past several months, she has also showed great interest in how to decode words. She is hooked on 'Between the Lions" and seems to be absorbing the vowels and vowel combinations now. She also likes the Brand New Reader books.

Since we are letting her take the lead, we don't have firm grasp on where she is. But she is progressing. We suspect she is practicing when we aren't watching. But she kindly decided to show off this morning by reading words that didn't have pictures by them. I think she is trying to show us that she is a 'big' girl, not like her baby brother. lol.

And finally, her interest has not been sustained. One day or week or month she may be obsessed with words and letters. And then she may go weeks without seeming to care at all. But this is definitely a pattern of behavior for her.
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#17 of 20 Old 06-23-2003, 01:13 AM
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Our son learned to read very early (age 2.5) but we didn't teach him. I knew he wanted to learn to read, because he was sitting in my lap for hours on end while I read every book in the house to him. So, I made sure that we had lots of good books around for him. Not just good books. Wonderful books, tantalizing books, amazing books. I pored over the Chinaberry catalog, browsed through amazon listmania lists, and talked to every book fiend I knew. We went (and still go) to the library once a week to pick out new books. Sam would ask me to read to him all the time, and I would. As often as he asked. It was something that, for whatever reason, he wanted to figure out, and he did. We never did any of the teaching-reading books, although I have heard good things about some of them.

If your toddler wants to read, he will. My advice would be to keep tons of great books around for him.

Have fun! I found that seeing Sam plunge into reading was the coolest thing ever.

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#18 of 20 Old 06-23-2003, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow! Thanks for all the great responses. As usual ds is way ahead of me. He has been pointing to words and telling me what they say (only a few, but he is sure starting). He recognizes many of the words of his favorite books and I think it helps that he memorizes the stories so quickly so he can follow the words as they come up. He has a ton of books, and we are always picking up more as he loves them so much. He is loving Dr. Suess right now as well as a Dennis Lee poetry book (Garbage Delight), I swear we spend an hour reading poem after poem every day. On payday I will go pick up a few more of his books. I am also going to check out all the books suggested, I think we'll be hitting the library this week for sure. We also got him a couple of learing games for the computer. He mastered Sesame Street letters in a day, so we got him a couple of Blue's Clues and Cat In The Hat (since that is one of his faves at the moment) as there was not much selection. He really seems to enjoy structured learning and categorizing so its just a matter of feeding that interest. He gets bored easily and becomes frustrated at life in general if I don't constantly keep him stimulated. I also love the idea of cutting out pictures that start with certain letters. We do a lot of gluing-type crafts and are often cutting out letters to make birthday cards and such so he will love that!

Thanks again!


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#19 of 20 Old 06-27-2003, 02:32 AM
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I have 7 children and every one of them is different!!!! Some have read very well as early as 2 and some haven't been proficent untill 11 or 12. They have all been learning in other areas and eventually have developed the same love of reading as their father and I.

I have used 100 Easy lessons with several of my children and had good success with one of them, no success at all with another, and variations in between.

Like applejuice I really like the McGuffey readers, and so do my children. We seem to go back to them every time! Even my 2 that are extreamly dyslexic have had the most success with the McGuffey Readers. I guess you just really can't improve on a time tested method like that.

Do remember that if your child is reading at an early age you will want to make sure he has lots of oppertunity to explore imaginative play, story telling, and imagery as well.

Every child is different, so let the child set the pace. With my early readers, I found that very little "teaching" on my part, was necessary and often it was unwelcomed. The bottome line is you simply have to find out what works for you and your child.
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#20 of 20 Old 06-27-2003, 02:37 AM
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I was just like that when I was a kid. I was reading before kindergarten. I read Charlotte's Web in 1st grade. I never learned how to read by phonics, b/c I already knew how to read. I remember being in kindergarten and slacking on phonics homework. :LOL

My mom never did anything special, she just read to me ALL the time. Whenever she could.
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