15 answers

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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What can I do next?

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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!

2 moms found this helpful

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.

2 moms found this helpful

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!

2 moms found this helpful

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!!

1 mom found this helpful

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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