Young(ish) readers - to teach or not to teach? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-12-2007, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 4.5 years old and beginning to read, mostly on her own. She learned the letter sounds and we played some verbal phonics games and then she picked it up.

She does well with basic CVC phonics, but now she is asking what everything says and trying to sound everything out. We did the first set of BOB books, and I answer her questions and help her sound things out, but what now? She needs more rules than the basic CVC and short vowels.

Do I try to explicity teach her to read? I've got The Reading Lesson workbook by Levin and we could work through that. Or, at this age, should I just let her continue to puzzle out the rules on her own and not provide formal instruction? Shouldn't she be playing instead?

She really, really wants to read. And I should add, she's started writing on her own - words, sentences, lists, short (very short) stories and making up her own phonetic spellings. The girl wants to be literate!

What now? To teach or not to teach at this age?
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#2 of 10 Old 12-12-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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My DD (age 4.5) is not quite to the point that your DD is. She likes to write by asking me to write something and then copying it, and asks me how to spell things, and knows most of the sounds of the letters. However, if she was asking me to specifically teach her like it sounds like your DD is, I think I'd go for it in an (obviously) easy, no-pressure manner.

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#3 of 10 Old 12-13-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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I'd go ahead and give her some instruction if she seems so eager to read - you could always back it off if it seems like it isn't appropriate. An easy place to start might be with something simple and cheap like Phonics Pathways, or whatever it is that you have - I'm not familiar with it, and see how it goes. Alternatively, you could just keep reading with her and explaining a pronounciation "rule" when you come to an unfamiliar word, and just keep adding scaffolding to her knowledge without formalizing it too much. Trust your gut!
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#4 of 10 Old 12-13-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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My daughter is 4.5 years old and beginning to read, mostly on her own.

We did the first set of BOB books, and I answer her questions and help her sound things out, but what now?

And I should add, she's started writing on her own - words, sentences, lists, short (very short) stories and making up her own phonetic spellings. The girl wants to be literate!



i wanted to highlight these things specifically.

honestly it sounds like she's teaching herself to read already. she's 4 1/2 and has read the first set of bob books. that's wonderful and very advanced for her age. and that's reading!

although i do a formal reading program with my dd - she's 6 and just now is learning to read. it's not been a natural process that she figured out on her own at all .....but like your dd, she really wants to read....so we use a more formal approach to obtain that goal.

your child seems very intelligent & capable of teaching herself thus far, so i'd just get some easy readers and go over them together. help her when she needs it & just work with her that way. i bet she'll be in avid reader in no time!!

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#5 of 10 Old 12-13-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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If she wants instruction, by all means, give it to her. My current 4.5-year-old is a beginning reader, and while she really wants to improve her reading, she doesn't want instruction. She wants me to answer her questions, and she wants to share reading aloud from simple books with me, taking turns. That's it, and it's working for her. She's got the long vowel sounds and most of the dipthongs and digraphs sorted out in the past couple of months this way and is tackling longer words.

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#6 of 10 Old 12-13-2007, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
She's got the long vowel sounds and most of the dipthongs and digraphs sorted out in the past couple of months this way and is tackling longer words.
See, you're ahead of me moominmamma b/c I don't even know those terms (digraphs?). I think part of the issue here is that I need a refresher course on the rules of reading myself. They've become too ingrained for me to be able to teach and explain them.

Thanks for the encouragement, though, everyone. I think I'll try the workbook approach (since she's asking for more) and then follow her lead. I jsut wondered if there was any harm done in my teaching her. There are so many products on the market for teaching reading that I have the impression I might choose the wrong one and mess her all up!
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#7 of 10 Old 12-13-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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Do you let your kids watch TV at all? Put on the closed captioning on your TV or put on subtitles on DVDs. Sit and read a few books together each day. Suggest to your daughter that she read you a book- choose something simple like "Brown Bear, Brown Bear"- you know, something basic that is extremely repetitive (and with this particular book, your babe can peek at the next page if she has trouble reading what's next). We did these things with our newly-5-year-old son when he started trying to read about a year ago, and now he can read fluently. Of course he still struggles with some larger words, but it was his desire to learn to read that lead us to put on our closed captioning (plus my mom is deaf so he'd see it at her place all the time). Little things, but they're noticeable to the babe and it really seems to help our son. When he wanted more structure, we'd work on a phonics workbook once he'd mastered writing the alphabet. He's now working in a first-grade phonics book after completing his Kindergarten-leveled one after only about 5 months of working on it occasionally. Just let your child lead, and provide the resources.
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#8 of 10 Old 12-13-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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Don't go by age. There are no rules as to when to teach or not teach. There's an average, I suppose, as to what age a child is ready for whatever -- but go based on your individual child, not the population average.

If your child wants to learn, then don't hold back. In my opinion, that would be a huge disservice. Go ahead and do a lesson/curriculum/whatever works for you and your child. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 EZ Lessons worked very well for us. Dd1 went through this at 3.5, she was a naturally early reader and wanted to zoom on ahead. 100EZ worked well. She's now almost 5 and can read anything you put in front of her. Some prefer other ways. Try a few things and see what works.

There's absolutely no reason you should hold back based on her age, however. If she's ready, willing, and eager, then go for it.
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#9 of 10 Old 12-13-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaE View Post
See, you're ahead of me moominmamma b/c I don't even know those terms (digraphs?).
OMG, I googled "ch sh th" to find out what the term was when I was writing that post. You totally don't have to know what "ch" is called to have a child who figures out how to read one, okay!? I'm living proof.

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#10 of 10 Old 12-14-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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If you're not opposed to computer instruction, my ds really loves Headsprout.
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