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How to Teach a Kindergartener to Read ?

Hi friends ,

My son started kindergarten 3 weeks ago , he still cant read , but he knows the alphabets and sounds very well . I just dont know how and where to start ... I think most of his classmates can read .... I really need a good advice , he will be 6 in 3 months , i want him to read atleast 3 letter words before his bday ... Please friends help me ....

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Friends ,

Thank you so much for all the replies , i feel so relieved after reading the replies ... thank you so much ...

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My son's K class was reading by the holidays. Some read earlier, some were still struggling a bit at the break.
Start with AT. Add letters to make Cat, Bat, Sat, Mat, Fat, etc.......
Then to IT. make Sit, Fit, Bit, Kit...........

3 moms found this helpful

Reading will come when he's ready. It's kind of like riding a bike - all of a sudden, the pieces click, and he's got it. Continue reading to him DAILY. His choice. Read the same books over and over and over and over and over until you want to scream LOL! Ask the teacher for a list of sight words - there are (usually) about 25 that they are "supposed" to know at the end of Kindergarten. Make it a game. We used to play a matching game with some of the kids in my son's class - they have to find the two words that are the same. I remember one specific boy who didn't even know his letter sounds in September. He came back after Christmas break, and it had all clicked, and he was reading the list of sight words. Make it fun, keep it simple, and it will click.

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Most kindergarten children do not know how to read. My daughter didn't know how to read when she entered KG but around December of her KG year is when they started learning. She's in 1st grade now and reads what her teacher says is "way beyond a 1st grade reading level." So give it some time, it's only October!

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Please don't feel like "he still can't read". Children are not supposed to have to read before they get to kindergarten. R., I have a son who is gifted, has a pretty high IQ, and is in college now, and he didn't actually read until about a month before he started first grade. Did I worry about him because some of his friends were actually reading before him? Heck no.

Reading is a process. Learning the letters and sounds is the first part. That's what they are doing in kindergarten. He's also learning how to be in school. There are rules, and schedules, and new social cues for him to learn. All of this, and more, is important. The reading is just one part.

Give him time to figure all this out. Meanwhile, read, read, read to him! Lots of reading! Point to the word with your finger if you like, and sometimes, point out the first sound, like "buh, buh, ball". That helps.

Truly, many children do not learn until they get to first grade. Your son is not behind.

D.

4 moms found this helpful

www.starfall.com

3 moms found this helpful

My son's K class was reading by the holidays. Some read earlier, some were still struggling a bit at the break.
Start with AT. Add letters to make Cat, Bat, Sat, Mat, Fat, etc.......
Then to IT. make Sit, Fit, Bit, Kit...........

3 moms found this helpful

My son will be 5 on the 20th, and has been doing the really easy beginner reading stuff for a few months now. He won't start kindergarten until next year though because of his birthday.
I disagree wholeheartedly, hands down, emphatically, want to throw my computer keyboard (but won't because I'm too cheap to break it, lol), over the lady who said it's not your job to teach your child, but the school's job. I believe that my children are my responsibility. There are schools, teachers, counselors, extra courses, special events, and other educational facilities (libraries, museums, etc) that are there to help me along and we can work together as a team, but if he falls through the cracks or somehow doesn't get it, they go on with their lives. It's is ultimately my responsibility to get the boys through childhood and into adulthood prepared for whatever they may need. It is crazy hard to do that alone though, so yes I do work with other educational leaders in the meantime. To sit back and leave it up to the professionals (who are often just experimenting themselves---there's a new theory and method every 10 years) is lazy.
That said (not so much to you but to the lady who I disagree with): it's great that he knows his alphabet and phonics! Sounds like you've done a lot already, and that's the foundation. I taught my son the letters through songs, drawing/painting, ABC spaghetti o's, I Spy games where we'd look for a letter while walking or driving, the alphabet train floor puzzle, etc. For sounds, we watched Leapfrog's "The Letter Factory" dvd which he liked a lot, we'd play games in normal life, etc. Riley mentioned Starfall.com and I suggest that whole-heartedly. That was the next step I took with my son as well! He thinks he's playing on the computer. He started out on my lap but now he can do a few lessons all by himself while I sit nearby folding laundry and listening to the computer to see that he's doing it correctly (if he gets some things wrong, I'll casually walk over and see how he's doing, and we'll work on whatever he needs work on). On starfall, the first thing is alphabet and phonics (and also numbers if you click that instead), but the next thing is knowing "a+n=an" and then putting another letter with it to match the pictures (a picture of a fan, and in 1 column the letters p, f, r, c....and the child clicks the f and drags it in front of the "an"). The kids think it's a computer game and have fun with it, and it's also teaching them how to control the mouse and listening as well. After mastering the 3 letter words, it moves on from short vowel to other concepts (long vowels, r controlled o's, sight words, etc). Later, you can use the same site to read / practice little online stories. Starfall.com is awesome, we love it!
Another thing you can do is while reading to him, pick words (especially using what he's been doing already in starfall) that he can read to you. When reading books to him now, my son reads all the words like "the, it, can, ran, I, cat", etc to me. I read with my finger, and when I tap a word, that's when he sounds it out and "reads" it for me. It might start with just one word a page, but now he's reading half the page. Be very patient, calm, and matter of fact. Don't get stressed out or he'll get stressed out! Realize that you're teaching him how to look, remember, take some action (sound it out), and confidence to take that chance and try to say what he thinks it is. It's a lot. It is a process. But it's a very special gift to learn how to read---a real treasure that you're taking him to find. Have fun with it!

2 moms found this helpful

Most of my son's Kindergarten class cannot read. Most are still learning the alphabet and learning to write their letters. This is because not all kindergartners have a preschool background and there is a vast age difference from those that just turned 5 to those that are almost 6. By November, my daughter could read about half of the "sight words" that they had to know to graduate and the teacher said she was on target, she was almost 6 when she started. Ask his teacher and I am sure she will tell you if he is on target or not.

2 moms found this helpful

Reading will come when he's ready. It's kind of like riding a bike - all of a sudden, the pieces click, and he's got it. Continue reading to him DAILY. His choice. Read the same books over and over and over and over and over until you want to scream LOL! Ask the teacher for a list of sight words - there are (usually) about 25 that they are "supposed" to know at the end of Kindergarten. Make it a game. We used to play a matching game with some of the kids in my son's class - they have to find the two words that are the same. I remember one specific boy who didn't even know his letter sounds in September. He came back after Christmas break, and it had all clicked, and he was reading the list of sight words. Make it fun, keep it simple, and it will click.

2 moms found this helpful

Most kindergarten children do not know how to read. My daughter didn't know how to read when she entered KG but around December of her KG year is when they started learning. She's in 1st grade now and reads what her teacher says is "way beyond a 1st grade reading level." So give it some time, it's only October!

2 moms found this helpful

I really feel like I am sounding like a used car salesman because I have recommended this book so many times on this site:) Check out the $15 book "Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" My daughter was 4 when we used the book... By day 60 she was reading all easy readers... By kindergarten she was reading chapter books... It was amazing to see how quickly she progressed.

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Hi R.. It is school's job to teach him to read, that's why he is there and that's what the kindergarten year is all about. He will learn about letter recognition, phonemic awareness and all of that in school. You don't need to set specific goals for him to reach by his bday, school knows what the appropriate goals are, and if he is not reaching them, they will intervene. Please discuss any concerns that you have with his teacher, but as an experienced parent who is beyond the elementary school years, and as a teaching assistant in an elementary, it's often best for kids to do their learning at school when it comes to reading. They will be taught a certain way and certain strategies, and if you do not use the same method, there will be confusion which may be difficult. If you want to help him improve his skills, the person that you should speak with is actually his teacher, who can tell you how to support the classroom curriculum at home.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't compare him to other kids his age. It's hit or miss until age 10 and all children develop at different ages. My children were reading fluently at ages, 7, 9 and 5. You can practice with him but don't feel like he's behind. The best thing you can do with him is to read to him every day. You can make flash cards, or pick up a workbook from Barnes and Noble or Walmart. There is also a book called "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." Good luck!

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Are they teaching kids to read in K now? Why don't you talk to his teacher to see if he's behind or not. I doubt that the rest of his class is reading. I thought they learned the basics in K and then reading comes later. My kids are older so maybe I'm not remembering but I would start with the teacher. Unless you are a teacher yourself, its best to teach the same way they are learning in class so they dont get confused. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Dawn B. My daughter ended the K year as the top reader but took the whole year to get there. We read to her a LOT and she would pretend to read to our dogs. (actually memorized her favorites) I remember I was so worried when she first started. He will catch up, just make it easy and fun for him.

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my daughter J. turned 5 and is in k and can;t read, she J. started sounding out words and spelling them by thinking, and shes excited over that, and started the basic site word books they give at the book sales. The one thing I've noticed is she seems like she WANTS to learn to read right now, before school she wasn;t as interesting in trying, so I think they'll all get it soon. Also her teacher told us some come into K reading and some take all year!

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We have been using the book "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". We are on lesson 12.
My DD knew her alphabet and sounds very well when we started.
She is reading!!!
This homeschooling mama is pretty proud!
Go get that book! :)

1 mom found this helpful

I highly recommend the book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." (I don't know how to underline on here!) I have used it with several of my children. Skip the writing part of the book, just do the reading part. You can even do more than one lesson a day if he is feeling up to it. Some days getting through one lesson is more than enough for us. :) Enjoy!

1 mom found this helpful

Definitely get the Bob Books. We had success with those over the summer (our twin daughters just started kindergarten, too). And don't stress. Different kids start kindergarten with all different kinds of skills, and his teacher will work with each of them to get them where they need to be.

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My favorite thing to do if they like working with you is this...

Gather all the magazines you can, clear shelf paper, and 3 by 5 cards. Cut out pictures, letters, and make your own flash cards. Start with the consonants, then move to the blends, and then to groupings like...ight, ike, ill, etc.. Once you have all these cards made and you use the shelf paper to laminate them, you can lay them out on the table and mix and match them to make words.

It's nice to add a few more cards at a time as time allows and let your box of cards grow.

1 mom found this helpful

It is normal and age-appropriate for him not to be reading yet. Don't stress it. However, here are some ideas if you want to speed the process along a bit.

Kids in a literate environment learn to read like they pick up any other language. Read to your son and put labels on things at home. Point out signs.

Recognizing the word "birthday" is no more complicated a visual or neurological task that recognizing an image of Mikey Mouse. Make some flash cards of interesting words on subjects he likes. Throw them around the house (or park) and have him chase them down.

Learning to sound out words is a lot more difficult. First, you need to be able to hear how sounds go together in words. For some kids, this is very easy. For others, incredibly difficult. Then you need to be able to put these sounds together. Then you need to be able to deal with the fact that English is a totally un-phonetic language that makes no freaking sense! Some kids take this in stride, but the inconsistencies of English is absolutely devastating to some kids.

If your child is having trouble with the inconsistency of the English language, there's a program called Rocket Phonics that I like. I've used almost none of the curriculum, but the phonics cards have been terrific tools. It gives me a way to write a "translation" below each word, so it is actually possible for my kids to sound it out.

Learning to read sentences smoothly and easily is a complex visual task, that requires a fairly mature visual system. Children's eyes do not mature until age 9. Please be aware that many children are not physically capable of reading sentences smoothly and easily until they are at least 9 years old. The pushing of early academics has been devastating to these kids. It's like putting them in remedial stretching exercises because they aren't tall enough yet! So don't stress if he gets words but not sentences.

And most importantly, make sure your son loves books. Read to him. Go on trips to the library. Get some of the wordless picture books and have him "read" them to you, telling the story in his own words. It will do him very little good to be able to read 3-letter words if the process is so stressful that he learns to loathe books! Relax, breathe, and have fun with books and words and sounds.

"If you aren't having fun, you're doing it wrong." I've found this advice in every curriculum about teaching young children to read. It is sound advice.

Good luck. Have fun.

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There is a book called "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". I'd try this.

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Tomorrow see if the school library will let you check out the BOB books. They are so easy.. to use.. you may realize he does know how to read but does not realize it yet.

http://www.bobbooks.com/

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He is right where a just beginning kindergartener should be. Read to him, have fun with books, magnetic letters, etc. Learning to read is a process, which will develop over time - letters, sounds, words. I'm sure his teacher will be introducing sight words soon. Then you can start reinforcing what's happening in the class room. Don't worry!!

1 mom found this helpful

I 'taught' my son to read at a very early age without meaning to. He was very curious about the alphabet, so when we were reading and would get to a one letter word, I would point to it and he would read that word. Soon he was also taking over the two letter works, three...

For us it was just a game. He loved to read books together and this is how we did it.

I then did it with my next child, albeit a little later (my first read by three years old), and it worked like a charm.

I also think school is a good place to learn reading and was worried that my son would be bored with school, so I wouldn't stress.

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It should take a little time and I believe they are expected to read certain words by then end of the school year. If you want to help him along, you can google sight words and make some flash cards. Then you can sit down and read a book with him and while you are reading follow along with your finger on each word as you sound it out. Once he becomes familiar with some of the sight words have him find them in the sentences while you read.

Best of Luck!!

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Hi R.,
I taught my toddler to read using "How to Teach your Baby to Read" book. I remember making up a bunch of word cards on poster board. I also used Scholastic phonics books. I read once that anyone who tries to teach his/her child to read will succeed because a child wants to learn (I guess children's minds are like sponges).

My daughter also had to go to speech class & that supplemented my efforts because they had cards with the picture/word. Just totally reinforced what I was doing.

I enjoyed doing this. Hope you do too!

ETA: I used Bob books too; I forgot that...

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My kindergartener is not reading yet either (he is starting to sound out words a little). I wouldn't panic this early in the year. Ask the teacher what method the school uses so you can support it. My son's teacher also recommended starfall.com and my son loves to play on that site (lots of letter and reading games).

Dr, Seuss and the Corduroy books work wonders.

start with the step into reading books. Also repetition works well, read the same books daily and point to the words when you read them. All children have to learn at different rates. Make flash cards= ) Make learning fun. My son was motivated to learn to read at an early age because he desperately wanted to play different video games that Required reading...it ended up being a huge motivator. I have a love for reading and so far my two oldest love it as well.

Let his teacher teach him to read... your job is to practice the skills at home. Whatever the teacher sends home for him to read, do it together! Read to him each night and encourage him to fill in words and to tell you a story using the pictures.

Developmentally, he's right where he should be. MOST children are not reading at the start of Kindergarten. Some are, but not most. MOST children are reading simple CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words by mid-year, but not all. The ability to recognize, spell and write basic sight words (CVC patterns like mat- rat-cat-bat) is a late-spring expectation for Kindergarten.

Just practice the letters and sounds and do the homework that comes home! If the teacher thinks he is behind, she'll let you know.

Get Primary Phonics (www.epsbooks.com or call 800-225-5750). They are great books used by Montessori Schools.

Headsprout.com
Awesome! lessons are taught online, in a very fun, game-like way using animated characters.
you can try sample lessons before purchasing the program.

What is the rush. Usually first grade is when the reading begins. Let him
enjoy his K experience. Just read to him and it will come. Do not push you
will turn him off.

Don't worry, he is fine. Some kids learn earlier than others and they already read when they attend Kindergarten, others master reading a little bit later, and it is NORMAL. However, most of the time those kids who learn to read earlier are exposed to more reading in different ways. So, whenever you can, expose your little one to books, READ A LOT TO HIM, I mean A LOT, make him point to the words you are reading to him, and play with flashcards, build with them short sentences, and repeat them aloud together. In my opinion reading start at home, and everything you want to educate your child about, start right there at home with you...anytime is good for teaching...school is a complement to what you teach to your kids.

I am a kindergarten teacher & I'm sure that most of his classmates cannot read. If I'm lucky, I may have 2 or 3 readers in September. Otherwise, the children come in with a wide range of readiness skills. If he knows the letters and sounds fairly well, then it will only be a matter of time until he can use that knowledge to read & write. Just be patient. Let the teacher do the teaching. Make sure that quality reading time is part of your daily routine and that you follow through with any suggestions from his teacher. If he likes using the computer, Starfall.com is a great site. (By the way, I also have a kindergartner of my own, and, no, he is not reading yet either!)

Just read to him a lot, but don't stress about it. First grade is when kids usually learn to read, he is not behind at all.

Dr. Seuss. Start with Hop on Pop.

its fine for him to not be able to read at this point. do you think he isnt ABLE to learn? like have you/he tried hard and he wasnt able? or has he just not learned it YET? (yikes, i hope i dont sound rude, i hate using caps, i dont mean it like that, lol, i just dont know how else to ask. but do you see the difference?) and if he just has yet to learn, then let him learn at the pace of the class. i dont know why everyone wants their kid to know everything that they are about to learn in school, honestly. doesnt that make school so boring?? i was a reading teacher and tutor, i could have easily taught any of my own kids to read before kindergarten. i didnt, and wouldnt (unless i thought they were struggling or would struggle) because i know my kids would just be bored in class and probably end up getting into trouble and not liking school. i focused on just reading to/with them a lot and making it fun so they love it. and they do. even my 4 year old who cant read at all, sits there in bed with his books, flipping through them just like he is reading, like a little old man, so cute. the other 2 learned along with their class, i did things at home to support what they were doing in class, be sure they are not struggling, like that, but i really didnt push them ahead. just enjoy reading. theres nothing more important to their future success in school, in my opinion, than loving reading, whether its sooner or later. .....so, that said,,,, there are lots of things you can do to help him if you really want/need to. just be sure its a fun positive part of your lives. mostly, read. read good books, fun books, funny books, silly books, books with beautiful pictures. let him see you read for yourself. play with tub crayons, do art projects with letters and things, read tons of books, especially books that are very phonetic and focus on patterns and rhyming things, like dr seuss, sandra boynton, etc or any books with names of things and cool pictures, my kids loved all those books, beautiful pictures of every day things, animals, food, etc with labels in big letters. rhyming. write little cards to friends/family. put the captioning on tv. play with letters and blocks and things like that. basic flash cards with cool pictures. did i say read a lot? have safe magnetic letters on your fridge. watch tv shows like superwhy and wordgirl and wordworld. and old sesame street. (sesame street taught me to read when i was 3, the story goes...) ...all kinds of art/craft media with letters. write one syllable rhyming words together, ( hat fat sat pat rat .... pan ran can fan man) let him see you change the first letter to change the sound. do it with cool crayons and markers, paint, with your fingers on a baking sheet in sand or shaving cream or rice or anything fun. glitter!!! there is nothing more exciting than glitter. you can even put labels on things in your house, phonetic words that you can sound out... lots of games that use words and letters. (zingo is a great one, just thinking of it) stuff like that.. but more important than anything is to keep it light and fun and natural. if he is having true difficulty, i would think that the teacher will talk to you at some point in the near future, but i think its really too soon to worry. plus if he knows his letters and sounds, it sounds like he is learning and doing just fine. please.... help him to love reading and to love school, at least for as long as you can. its the best thing you can do for him, school-wise.

Don't stress and just read to him. Every day. My kids all started at different ages, including at age 3, and my most "gifted" child did not start to read until 1st grade. Your DS is not "late" at all!

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