Should I teach her to read? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-16-2009, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a four y.o. DD who's very interested in words and reading lately. We've been doing preschool-type activities very casually, learning letters and sounds, but no formal preschool.

I think she could learn to read pretty easily. I think she would enjoy being able to read to herself, and really, I have these fantasies where she entertains herself and her younger sister by reading together!

BUT. . .

I don't want to be a pushy mom. I don't want her to go to school in two years, and be bored out of her mind when they are learning to read. What if she drives the teacher nuts?

Any thoughts?
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#2 of 13 Old 01-16-2009, 09:52 PM
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Just let her take the lead she will let you know how much she is ready for and when its time to back off.


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#3 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 12:34 AM
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Some kids will drive their teachers crazy. That's not my responsiblity. My responsibility is to my child. When my barely 4 yo asked to learn to read, I taught him to read. He reads rather well now, and he's not yet 5. He's happy and learning, and that is what is important to me. So, yes, if she's ready, I think you should teach your child to read.
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#4 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mamaofprincesses View Post
I don't want to be a pushy mom. I don't want her to go to school in two years, and be bored out of her mind when they are learning to read.
Answer her questions, but don't be a pushy mom. If she's ready, she'll learn easily and happily. If she isn't, then it won't be easy or happy and you'll drop it. You'll be able to tell by her reactions.

Just make sure it is about her having fun and not about you.

I wouldn't worry about her future school teachers. A lot of the kids in the class will be driving them crazy with much more annoying traits.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 12:52 AM
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I could have written your post a few months back. I agree about following her lead and teach her what she wants to learn. Reading, writing, math, etc. Why hold her back if she is interested in learning. Also what if the class she's in consist of really good readers or fast learners?

I'm also informally teaching dd(4yo) how to read and do math (she can add single digits). She's a bright child and she's a sponge so my job is the provide her every opportunity for her to grow.
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#6 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 01:35 PM
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I'm following Dd's lead, she is letter obsessed. She reads out and sounds out every letter she sees when we are out and about. So we bought Pre K Hooked on phonics and do it probably 4 times a week, songs, games and then she gets some computer games time with it. She loves it and asks to do it. Older Ds was the same way so we let him learn early too.
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#7 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 02:01 PM
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I have begun to teach my 4 yo how to read. Actually, she already has quite a few sight words under her belt and a very good grasp of phonics, so I'm really just teaching her some blends and the rules.

I thought about waiting, but she told me she wants to read and happily sits with me while we work through things. She'd probably be reading by know if she thought she could teach herself, but she lacks confidence. I have a ds who did teach himself and was reading and spelling by the time he entered K.

As long as you are following her lead and not *forcing* her to do lessons, I don't see any harm in providing her with help. You can deal with K issues later on.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#8 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 05:36 PM
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I wouldn't hesitate. I taught both of my kids to read by the time they were 4, and they do fine in school. The teacher isn't going to be annoyed that they can read.
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#9 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 05:48 PM
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I begged my dad to teach me to read at age three. He waited till I was four, and I have not put books down since.
I was reading on a college level by 5th grade. All six of us were homeschooled.
Then we have my little nephew that taught himself to read and write at the age of two....
Don't hold back if the ability is there

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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#10 of 13 Old 01-18-2009, 09:40 AM
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you know AP is all about meeting the child's needs. not about bf or cosleeping .... those are just components. so if your child shows interest in learning how to read get her the BOB books.

or a website like which is very good if she is a phonetic learner.

or a paid program on the computer like

or even a leapfrog kinda thing.

i would let her set the pace. so could be either slow or you take of running which is what mostly happens when they show interest.

i would figure out the best method your dd might enjoy and follow that. try to figure out what kind of learner she is - her learning style.

ETA: since she is showing interest in academics what would also be helpful is doing math manipulatives if you are not doing it already. not addition and subtraction but pattern, sorting...

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#11 of 13 Old 01-20-2009, 12:24 AM
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I never wanted to be "that mom" who pushes her kid to do academics too early. I researched and wanted to do it all right-- which meant waiting! But someone gave DD alphabet bath toys and she started asking about each one, and soon she knew the alphabet, and then she started in on words. She takes her dolls and comes over to me reading and begs me to tell her what different words say. She saw me checking out starfall (since I heard about so much here and I wondered what it was)-- and saw the alphabet and insisted on playing it, and now begs for it every day.

Who am I to stop her? I love love love books. I'd read anything on hand as a child, and took a book everywhere. Still do. I'm not pushing her-- I'm being pulled along! Sounds like your daughter is pulling you, too!

Just make it something that's around, let her decide when to pick it up and when to stop. I certainly wouldn't wait just because she might be bored in school. Think of all the fun stories she could be reading in the meantime! It will be the school's job (and yours to let them know) to meet her needs then.
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#12 of 13 Old 01-22-2009, 12:29 PM
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I agree w/all the other posters as well. Also, if you are going to put your child in ps, I think the more they know, the better.
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#13 of 13 Old 02-02-2009, 08:01 PM
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I would say do the best that is for your child at the level she is at. If you feel she is ready then you a a parent have a right to start her on a road to reading. Schools should accommodate this into their classrooms as children read at all different levels.

Amanda treehugger.gif , UK Mum, married to airline pilot Davesurf.gif . Mum to Emily blahblah.gif (20), Jasmine  dust.gif(11) and Theo fencing.gif(7):

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