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<p>We decided not to do preschool at all, and will make a decision about homeschooling when our children approach kindergarten age.  I think DS1 (3 yrs and 3mos) might be ready to learn to read, and I was wondering if there are any homeschooling/preschool tools to give me a starting point.  He is definitely an auditory learner; he remembers everything he hears.  He loves to read and memorizes books after hearing them a few times (including long books like Dr. Seuss).  Often he'll pick favorite pages and ask to hear them over and over, and one he has them memorized he'll move on to a new favorite page that he wants to hear repeated.  He knows the whole alphabet and has great letter recognition, and I think he's starting to get some sound recognition that he's learned on Sesame Street (we do allow him to watch a little bit, while I put DS2 down for his nap).</p>
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<p>So, how do I make the leap from what he knows now into teaching him to read?  I was thinking of picking a letter and making a big sign with the letter, then including short easy words that start with that letter, along with pictures.  Maybe start with "B" and use words like "bat" "bed" "big" "box" "bus".  I figure I'll start with letters that have only one sound like B and do tricky ones like C and G later.  But other than that, I don't have many ideas.  A friend suggested a Leap Frog DVD that helped her 2-year-old with letter sounds, and I suppose I don't mind using a DVD to supplement since he watches a little TV anyway, but I'd rather be doing most of it together.  I'd be mortified if someone asked me how he learned to read and I said a DVD taught him, instead of me!</p>
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<p>Thanks in advance for any replies!</p>
 

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<p>Good for you for taking on the venture of teaching from home! There are some specific mommy blogs out there dedicated to homeschooling. Have you tried googling 'home school learn to read mommy blog'? Also, when my niece was just learning her letters, I bought her a book called All Aboard. It has really beautifully painted pictures with hidden letters of the alphabet in them. You search for the letters together, sort of like an I Spy book - but the pictures are of a scene, rather than a ton of random objects piled together like in I Spy. I ordered it online from Little One Books. They have all of their books separated by age, so it's a bit easier to know where to start looking.  The books was a fun way to reinforce the learning, and it made it more fun for my niece.</p>
 

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<p>Learning the sounds letters make isn't any harder than learning their names, so you don't really need a DVD or anything - just tell him, the way I assume you did with letter names.  If his memory is that good, he won't need to hear it many times before he'll remember.  With my kids, once they knew the letters, I would sometimes mention the sound each letter made. (I just told them one sound for C and G, and the short sound for each vowel.)  Once they knew most of them, I explained that to read, you look at the letters in the word, remember the sound each one makes, and put the sounds together, and I demonstrated by sounding out words like "bat" or "bus," making each sound separately, then gradually blending them together more and more.  Once they got it, I gave them chances to do it themselves.</p>
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<p>Both my kids could sound out simple words as 3 year olds, but it took quite a while for them to move much past that.  DS just turned 5, and over the past few months has suddenly gotten interested in reading and is making a lot of progress.  So be prepared for the possibility that your DS may learn a little and then plateau for a while.  But he also could be one of those kids who picks it up and runs with it once he gets a little information; you never know.</p>
 

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<p>Have you heard of Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons?  I can't remember the author, but if you check Amazon, you'll find it.  They said that any four- or five-year-old should be able to do it, and a bright three-and-a-half year old.</p>
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<p>My son sounds a lot like yours, but when I actually tried to "teach" him, he wasn't interested - he was only interested in what he initiated.  So I said that's fine, and he's adding to his sight-words right now, and is learning enough spellings to make it more difficult for my husband and me to carry on adult conversations by spelling key words!</p>
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<p>I think we'll try again after the new year (when we last tried, we weren't officially homeschooling, but now that we have the school routine down, he might be more open to it, since he's persnickity like that!)</p>
 

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<p>Thanks so much for the replies!  I think I'll start with the signs (I made one for B) to teach him the sounds and practice hearing/seeing them in common words, and sort of follow his lead from there.  I definitely don't want to push him, but since he seems ready I see nothing wrong with offering some help/encouragement.</p>
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<p>greenbeanmama, I have heard of that book, when a woman on my local AP board asked a similar question about a year ago it was recommended to her.  I checked to see if my library system has it and they don't, so I may have to order from Amazon.  Thanks!</p>
 

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<p>I really don't think you need any programs.</p>
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<p>If your 3 yo is *really* ready to read, he will learn with your help, and the books, puzzles, and opportunities you provide.</p>
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<p>He might also be like mine, who at three had the "readiness" all down pat, and at 6 months later hasn't gone much beyond that.</p>
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<p>My youngest read his name on his own at around three, and picked up a few more words that he could read, but beyond that has not been interested in reading.  He wants us to read to him. :D  But he's still advanced for his age, knowing the sounds of the letters and stuff like that.  We didn't do anything special.  He picked it up from listening to me teach his brothers, from some fun kids programming, from playing with his alphabet puzzle and listening to us describe the sounds "B says b-b-b-b".</p>
 

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<p>Your son sounds like my son at that age--though we hadn't introduced letter sounds. He will be 5 in 12 days and is just now sort of sometimes sounding out words. (As in we've tried this 3 or 4 times.) Tonight he was actually interested for about 10 minutes then got tired.</p>
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<p>Kids are ready to read at different ages. I'd recommend reading this article <a href="http://www.lilipoh.com/articles/2007/fall2007/teaching_children.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.lilipoh.com/articles/2007/fall2007/teaching_children.aspx</a></p>
 

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<p>Joining the chorus of people saying that having pre-literacy skills in hand doesn't say anything much about readiness to read. My eldest knew all her letters and letter-sounds at 22 months of age, having learned totally self-directedly. Things seemed to plateau there for a year and a half; then she sounded out one word. I figured she'd be on her way after that, because it wasn't an easy word, having consonant blends. But then there was another year's plateau, until finally at age 4.5 she began reading novels. </p>
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<p>Kids who are destined to read early will generally do so without formal teaching. By engaging in formal teaching with a 3-year-old you are likely to start the learn-to-read process sooner but to prolong it too. My kids all learned to read before age 5 with nothing more than me answering their questions and responding to their requests for specific help. They learned quickly when the time came: almost magically quickly, because they were truly ready and because they plotted the most efficient course for their particular minds and learning styles.</p>
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<p>All of which is just to say: If you choose to start "teaching" him to read, do so gently and without any particular expectations or any particular emotional investment in getting results. Be prepared to step back, or change courses, or await more maturity and readiness. Think of it as a "fun thing to do together" and stop if it isn't truly fun. </p>
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<p>Miranda</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>moominmamma</strong> <a class="inlineimg" href="/community/forum/thread/1284898/teaching-3y-o-to-rum/go_quote.gif"><br><br></a><p><br>
Joining the chorus of people saying that having pre-literacy skills in hand doesn't say anything much about readiness to read. My eldest knew all her letters and letter-sounds at 22 months of age, having learned totally self-directedly. Things seemed to plateau there for a year and a half; then she sounded out one word. I figured she'd be on her way after that, because it wasn't an easy word, having consonant blends. But then there was another year's plateau, until finally at age 4.5 she began reading novels.<br></p>
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Miranda</p>
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My 4.5 year old isn't reading novels but she is reading and her trajectory has been similar. It has finally clicked for her in the last month despite having had a long list of sight words and the skills to phonetically decode any word since age two. When she was younger I didn't really get the concept of "teaching" letter names and sounds as she just seemed to pick them up as she learnt to speak the way she picked up that the sky was blue or the grass was green.<br>
Which is not to say that she hasn't had any instruction, she has gone through periods where she has really enjoyed starfall (18 months to three) and reading eggs (3-4) and asked to do them every day and stages where she wasn't interested. Interestingly her last bout of interest in r e peaked about three months before real independent reading started to happen in front of us and she hasn't been interested since.<br>
The point of all that was just to echo pp's in saying follow his lead. Show him stuff when he's interested, find something else fun to do when he's not and try not to have expectations of when it will all come together.
 

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<p>My 6yo was showing all the readiness signs at 3yo, and at 4yo learned to read simple cvc words (those would be words like cat, bop, hit, and such).  My 4yo dd will be 5yo in exactly 1 month, and she's reading some cvc words and beginning sight word learning now.  However, my 7yo wasn't ready when she was in ps for K and they forced her to learn to read, she just memorized the books to pass the reading tests and then failed the year-end K skills test to move to 1st grade.  Now she's reading "The Beginner's Bible" and is starting to tackle more difficult material, all after being given a break and spending most of last school year just reviewing what she knew and doing CVC words and sight words.  She learned her letter sounds at 4yo btw.</p>
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<p>Now, what I personally did was get the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVDs.  The girls loved those movies, and I got sick of the songs, but they learned all their letter names and short vowel sounds in the first one, some common blends (like ST and CH and SH), and picked up the basics of punctuation and other skills as well while having fun and singing songs.  My 3yo could tell you what any capital or lowercase letter is and about 50% of the sounds when she was 2yo, and now at 3yo she knows all her sounds and is trying to sound out words but isn't quite developmentally there yet so she's having fun with trying to print individual letters instead.</p>
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<p>And when we finish the leap frog movies and they get their letter sounds down (that's the first one), then I do the first lessons of Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons to get the basics of sounding out words before we move into Sonlight language arts K.  My 4yo is at that point now, doing the LA program, and loves it.  That is my preferred order for things, and fits well with my family's philosophy of following the girls' leads on reading and math.  And the approach of Sonlight language arts is totally in line with our views on how to teach a child to read and write beautifully (although we have to modify it, my 4yo and 6yo can't do all the written work in their levels of it because of their motor development).</p>
 

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<p>Another who votes against any formal reading instruction.  I observe student teachers so I get to visit classrooms often . . .and one thing I have come to realize is that there is FAR too much time dedicated to reading instruction.  I cannot believe the patience I've observed in children sitting through lessons for things like the short vowel/long vowel comparison.  I am sure there are some children who  actually like this, but I do not know of many who would choose it over other activities. Sigh.</p>
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<p>When I think of how many hours children have to sit to "learn to read" it pains me to think of the time they have lost.  While there are absolutely children with neurological issues (inc. visual problems that go beyond just needing glasses), then of course these need to be identified and addressed, but for most children  . . .it is a waste.</p>
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<p>There is always this push for more, for children to learn "academics" faster and at a younger age.  Why?  Children are natural born learners.  In fact, that is all they do all day: learn.  That is what they want to do.  On this thread there are stories of children who learned to read at a young age.  Mine have, too.  But you know?  So what?  Had they learned later, what would that mean?   Nothing!  They learned to read because they just did.  <em>They</em> did it.  If it had not been reading, it would have been something else they spent their time on. </p>
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<p>If you want to "work on reading" then read books.  Talk about them.  Sing.  Write.  Make books together.  Make lists.  Look up information.  Write a letter to a friend.  Pick a poem to learn by memory and recite.  Make up silly verses.  Have fun!   Whatever you do re: reading, do not NOT have fun.  I am serious, because then it's doing way more harm than good.</p>
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<p>My oldest was showing almost all the readiness signs and asking to learn to read around 3 1/2, I was going to start teaching her but ended up with severe morning sickness and then this pregnancy has been really rough so I never did more than read some of the Bob books with her and work on some letter sounds. Now she isn't interested. Just to warn you, just because they are interested one moment might not mean they are going to stay interested. She did the same thing with learning to count (learned up to 20 or so then decided she didn't want to learn anymore). Right now she is interested in learning to draw, who knows what will be next. I figure we have plenty of time before she NEEDS to know how to read, even to appease my hubby (who is waffling a bit now on homeschool now that the kids are getting older).</p>
 

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<p>All the advice I can give you is my experience with my own three children.  My eldest was a very early reader.  He wanted and needed to learn to read.  When he would ask me what a letter was, I told him its sound, not it's name.  He didn't even know his ABC's or the alphabet until LONG after he could read novels.  Also, he didn't learn his sounds in alphabetical order either.  We did the simple, one sound for one consonant letters first, like B, M, T, P.  He though this was fun with those funny noises.  He could read the word STOP because there are so many stop signs around town.  He would also sit on Papa's lap and "press all the letters" on the keyboard and watch them stream from the curser as Papa made the noises.  One day when he was about three, he started doing his own writing.  His letters were backwards, upside down, but if you watched him you could see the sense of what he was doing and could even translate sentences.  Again this was fun and we let him do it his way without correcting him.  I Actually I think his writing was where he learned to read.  When he was a little older and reading storybooks that he knew by heart, he noticed that some of the words were the same.  Especially if the words were in a column, like:</p>
<p>and fish,</p>
<p>and goats,</p>
<p>and cows,</p>
<p>and sheep...</p>
<p>I would say, when you see this word ( I point to "and") say the word "and".  Again, this was at story time and a fun and bonding experience.</p>
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<p>My daughter went through these same general steps to learn to read, just a year or two later than my son.  The differnce with her was that at some point she felt frustrated by not reading the "right way" and we bought the Bob books for her and read them together.  After that, she went off on her own.  She also developed a pretty wierd pencil grip (remember they were writing words, or lists or recipes before they could really read) which we didn't really mess with until she was getting ready for formal school at age six.  Then we just worked on her pencil grip then and it was pretty easy to fix.  I guess I want to emphasize how learning to read at a young age for us was a "natural" process, much like learning to walk and was not approached as an academic study.  I've seen so many kids get stressed out about learning to read while what we really want is for reading to be a joy.</p>
<p>My youngest son is now 3 years and 3 months.  He is not as verbal as my older two were at that age.  He also has many "teachers and everyone in the family is doing different things with him.  His brother tries to teach him math, his sister tries to teach him spanish.  The little guy has to sort out all the conflicting information he gets.  When it comes to literacy, we feel he really neads to work on his language skills and so we read and read and read to him.  He just got some alphabet blocks and likes the sounds for S, B, O and T.  That's about it.  Then he builds a tower and knocks it down.</p>
 

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<p>Now see, I'm opposite of everyone else with my ds who is now 9.  He was showing no signs of reading readiness, but came up to me one day a little before he turned 4 and said he wanted to learn to read.  I picked up Phonics Pathways (I don't like the way Teach your Child to Read broke the letter sounds down with the marks over them).  We started formal reading instruction for about 10 minutes a day and within 4 months he was reading Dr. Suess independently.  Whereas my daughter is 7 and with or without formal instruction (we've tried both) hasn't learned to read. </p>
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<p>We just recently put our kids into school, but I'm still homeschooling the 4 yr. old because we can't afford preschool.  He hasn't asked to learn yet, so I'm not concerned.  He has shown readiness for about 3 months, but no interest, so no pressure from me. I think it can't hurt to try to start instructing, but if they show no interest, then just let it be.  Formal instruction is not a bad thing, as long as the child is the one showing the desire.</p>
 

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We did the 100 easy lessons book when dd1 was around 3.5. She'd been playing on Starfall since 18 months and was ready for something more. We did 10 minutes a day for about a month, got through about 2/3 of the book when she got bored. We stopped all instruction and around 4 she just started reading stuff (newspaper, signs etc) out loud. She just turned 5 last week and is has been reading short novels (Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web etc). We haven't done any formal reading instruction since that first go with the book.<br><br>
IMO you know your child better than we do. If you think it's something he would enjoy, go with it.
 
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