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How to Teach a Preschooler to Read Phonetically

My daughter is turning 4 soon and we decided to do preschool from home this year. She's very bright and I feel she'd get the best experience from one on one since she learns so fast. She knows all the letter sounds and has been reading off numbers and letters every time she see them on signs as we are out for a drive. I think she's ready to start basic reading since she's so eager and aware of words around her. What I'm looking for is the best way to teach her. Maybe a homeschooling book, or a program, anything really. Something that would help me teach the rules too. Do you know of any that have been really good that worked for your little ones? Any other teaching book for any subject that would be appropriate for preschool through kindergarten too. I can research on the internet and find lots, but I was hoping to find ones that truly work and are good recommended by other mommies.

-thanx

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You have to start out by just teaching her the letter sounds. The Talking Words And Talking Letters Factory videos are excellent for this! You then just start out with small words. C-A-T and such. Pretty soon it will just click that words are made from sounds. I also strongly suggest buying tub letters at Target (in the baby bath section). While she is bathing you can take the letters and stick them on the wall and talk about the sounds they make and then start putting little words up there to sound out. Its a really gun and effective way to learn. I don't think you really need a book or anything.
You are smart to teach her phonetically...I really hate the memorization they use these days. When my sons entered kindergarten they could read all the 'site words' because they actually knew how to read!

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You have to start out by just teaching her the letter sounds. The Talking Words And Talking Letters Factory videos are excellent for this! You then just start out with small words. C-A-T and such. Pretty soon it will just click that words are made from sounds. I also strongly suggest buying tub letters at Target (in the baby bath section). While she is bathing you can take the letters and stick them on the wall and talk about the sounds they make and then start putting little words up there to sound out. Its a really gun and effective way to learn. I don't think you really need a book or anything.
You are smart to teach her phonetically...I really hate the memorization they use these days. When my sons entered kindergarten they could read all the 'site words' because they actually knew how to read!

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There are lots of methods and curriculum out there, that are all good. I think you need to find the one the best fits both your teaching style, and how your child learns.

I suggest researching the following curriculums. They're all really great. Some are endorsed by schools and some are more widely used by homeschoolers:

Hooked on Phonics (easiest to use)
www.hop.com

The Writing Road to Reading (method widely used in schools)
http://www.spalding.org/

Teach your child in 100 easy lessons (also very straightforward and easy)
http://www.startreading.com/

Spell to Read and Write (very time intensive but excellent results for student)
http://www.bhibooks.net/swr.html

Orton Guillingham Method (great for kids of all abilities, but especially special needs kids challenged in areas like dyslexia, audio or visual impairments)
http://www.orton-gillingham.com/

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"Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons"

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Hi--
Check out Sing, Spell, Read, and Write. We really like it. It's fun for the kids and the directions for the teacher are very clear.
J.

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I taught Kindergarten with high risk students for 3 years. Before a child is ready to read (especially phonetically), they have to understand the way that sounds go together to make words. This is called phonemic awareness and actually has higher relation to kids learning to read than knowing the ABC's.

You might want to start with syllables. Teach her to hear the number of syllables in words through modeling and coaching. For example, you can say "pup-py" while clapping for each syllable. (Just make sure to use 1, 2, and 3 syllable words when introducing it or kids try to make everything fit into 2). Take turns clapping different words. Let her pick some words for you to do, too.
You can talk about word length (by sounds/syllables). Ask which is bigger/longer : cat or kitten, puppy or bird, butterfly or car. Mix it up so that some words that are longer refer to things that are smaller. This teaches to differentiate between the sound of a word and the meaning of a word.

Now you might be ready to break it down to phonemes (individual souns in words). Two great games are "break it down" and "say it fast." For break it down, say a simple word (one syllable, not too many blends, to start with) and help her hear each sound; example, "cat /k/-/a/-/t/." Remember, it's sounds, not letters you're focusing on. "Say it fast" goes the other way. Give her 3 sounds and have her tell you the word; "/d/-/o/-/g/" for dog.
It will take a lot of modeling at first, you'll be doing it more than she will. Be patient, some kids are ready at 4, others aren't quite there yet. Make them games, and stop when she gets bored or frustrated (pushing her when she's ready to be done will only turn her off to reading). Once she catches on, there's a good chance she'll be wanting to play all the time, try to indulge. You can even say "go get your /d/-/o/-/l/-/l/" or something sometimes.

Also, don't neglect the irregular, high-frequency words. He, she, it me, my, you, the, we, they, a, an, and, or ... most of them don't follow the phonetic rules, and they show up more than most other words in written sentences. Pick one to teach her, and have her find it in books when you're reading together (she'll likely point it out as soon as she sees it!). Then teach her another.

And, of course, read to her every day. That is the biggest contributor to kids learning to read well, having a parent read to them regularly!

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We love "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons" and "Sing Spell Read and Write".

My preschool daughter is doing Explode the Code, but it seems very easy for her.

You can find a lot of these books on www.half.com or www.cbd.com

Good luck!

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I loved the hooked on phonics set. I too started teaching my son at 4 and he caught on really fast. We also have the BOB books which he really likes. Have fun!!

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Abeka is good, and known for their phonetics, but I was not impressed with the kids real life use of phonetics and reading comprehension in the school I used it in. I have used Bob Jones for my kids, and love it! My 7 year old reads at a 6th grade level -- loves books like the Hardy Boys, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Five Little Peppers, etc. Those are just the ones I've seen him with recently -- Treasure Island. My 4 yo reads almost anything we let him get his hands on. He did about half of the kindergarten curriculum this year. They are phonetic to an extent, but they also use "memory words" that don't fit into phonetic patterns (or patterns being learned yet), so the kids get interesting reading right off the bat. To me it sounds like your daughter would be bored with K4 curriculum, but you can always check it out if you want. I did it with my 4 yo last year (at 3 yo), and my 2 yo loved it! She'll be starting it this fall at barely 3. She's so excited! Remember, kindergarten is really only for prior knowledge, not mastery, so if you do kindergarten, and she doesn't get it all, but she learns to love to learn, that's all that matters. Have fun with it! Oh, my oldest is going into the 4th grade after having used BJ until this last year, so it really is good curriculum! He'll turn 8 just before the school year starts.

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Hooked on Phonics-

it's relatively inexpensive and it works. =D

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I have several family members who have used the Hurst First reading series (very, very successfully, I might add...as in, their children were reading fluently by 4 and 5 years of age and their respective teachers suggested that they skip a grade). We just got the first series to start with our 3 1/2 year old, and he is already doing great. I've been very pleased to say the least!

http://www.hurstreading.com/

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The best program academically is the Abeka Curriculum. The curriculum is the best written out there and the way they teach reading is phenomenal. For me to home school my twins preschool I believe cost me $40 a piece for the year.

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I would also suggest Hooked on Phonics. Helps them learn and make it fun and grown up on the computer. I home school my boys and my youngest (4) just completed Kindergarten. I taught my boys the sounds before the letter names and also taught them lower case before upper case since most letters are lower when reading. Sets them up for reading. Not sure what to use since I used a Kindergarten curriculum, My Fathers World. Looks like you have already got some good ideas :)
Happy Reading.
C.

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I've decided to homeschool my kids. My son was in a similar situation at that age. He learned his alphabet, but he didn't know any sounds.

A month after he turned 4 yrs old, I had him watch Leap Frog Letter Factory (dvd). That DVD is awesome!! It teaches sounds in a fun way that kids love and makes it really easy for them to learn it. Two days after he watched it (he had watched it a few times by now), I thought I'd ask him to see if he had learned any of his sounds. He knew them all! I was shocked. So, definitely, definitely, definitely get that DVD. It really does an awesome job teaching the sounds.

Then, after that, we started with Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten bundle. You don't need to do their preschool bundle because all that does is teach sounds, and if you have the Leap Frog dvd, they already will know all their sounds. The bundle might seem like it's pricey, but you get a TON of stuff in it, and it's totally worth it. I really, really like Hooked on Phonics. It teaches the phonics, and then it has some memorizing words - ones that don't follow the phonics rules. It comes with a workbook that tells you everything to do and has lots of little books to read - which the workbook tells you when to read those books, etc.

My son has been reading for about six months now. For about 2-3 of those months, I had morning sickness and hardly did any reading with him because I just couldn't do it. Then I've been rather sporadic other days because I have my hands full with other little ones and being prego! Plus, he's only four, so it's not a big priority to me yet. On days that I do do reading with him, it's only maybe 10-15 minutes (I don't push him beyond his interest)...and with all of that, he's already into first grade level reading. He's 4.5 years old.

I can't say all kids will do that. My older daughter just simply wasn't interested until she was much older. But my son was quite interested, so I let him lead the way with his interest. Hooked on Phonics presents it in a really clear way.

I highly, highly, highly recommend Hooked on Phonics for teaching reading. Again, it might seem pricey, but be sure to look at the details of what you are actually getting, and it's not pricey at all.

I also follow up with Explode the Code books. They start with primer books (preschool) "Get Ready for the Code Books A & B" then "Go for the Code Book C". Then it's "Explode the Code Book 1" (that seems to be equivalent to kindergarten level). So, I start with the primer books and let them do whatever they are interested in and never push beyond their interest at this young age. This introduces letters again, as well as sounds, then writing, and reading. I don't push writing at age 4! too young. So I usually sit by him and have him tell me what to write. He just finished Book 1 and is ready for Book 2 (1st grade level). I have Hooked on Phonics be what they start with and what they are ahead in - and then I follow up with the Explode the Code books, so it kind of reviews it all again.

Hope that helps some!

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For my daughter, the Bob books - a series of little books (published by Scholastic, I think) that come in boxed sets, each book concentrating on one or two target sounds - was perfect. They have really cute line illustrations and are short enough for a little one (even a squirmer) to get through in one sitting. But they are a bit short on plot. My son thought they were boring. He wanted more story and more complex pictures. So I went retro with him and taught him to read with the Dick and Jane series.

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My kids love love love the letter Factory. They walk around the house singing - every latter makes a sound. They watched this video and now they are pointing out letters and telling me what sound they make and asking me what it spells. They are taking a bigger interest in writing thier letters and trying to read. All because of that little Leap Frog video. Take that no-tv moms! ;)

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