Learn to Read Materials

Updated on December 12, 2009
L.H. asks from Anaheim, CA
13 answers

Hi. My nephew is 4 years old and will begin kindergarten next September. I'd like to buy him a toy or dvd that will help him learn to read in a fun type of way. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

My favs when the kids were in pre-school were the Leap Frog series. I think it was the Letter Factory, then Word Factory. There's even one for math. They tought them the sounds of the letters and really helped them to sound out words

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S.F.

answers from Reno on

Hi L.!

I had the best success with Dr. Seuss (for sounds & phonics) and "Dick and Jane" for basic reading. The classics are classic for a reason! <g>

My sons, now 15.5 and nearly 12 are avid readers, so I guess it worked.

Good luck.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

My favs when the kids were in pre-school were the Leap Frog series. I think it was the Letter Factory, then Word Factory. There's even one for math. They tought them the sounds of the letters and really helped them to sound out words

1 mom found this helpful
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J.F.

answers from San Diego on

I am a teacher with a masters degree in literacy development (and a mommy). The great news for you is that you don't need to go out and buy anything! Simply reading with your child every day and exposing them to rich language is better than any phonics/reading program out there! I agree with the other poster who suggested Dr. Seuss books. Go to the library every week. Model reading for you daughter by reading yourself! My daughter loved playing on a webpage called www.starfall.com. This webpage has different levels. The first level is learning letters and sounds. Start there and have fun with it! Also, go online and find a list of high frequency words (word such as the, of, and, an, is, to, in). These are words that are not usually decodable but are frequently found in text. These words need to be memorized. Make flash cards, make a memory game with them, write them in the sand, build them with play dough, etc. You have the right idea... at your son's age learning needs to be through play! Keep it fun and your son will naturally absorb it!

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F.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Leapfrog is great and any book is wonderful. I suggest maybe giving a Basket of Books, something he can keep in his bedroom or in the living room and just filling it with board books or the basic, Dr. Seuss or Arthur books

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P.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Personally, I like/have success with Tag....there is a Tag Jr. out for the younger hands. This is by Leapfrog and reads the words when you run the wand across them.

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R.J.

answers from San Diego on

www.starfall.com

It's free... all you need is a computer

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I.O.

answers from San Diego on

My son absolutely loved Word Launch. It hooks up to the T.V. Very easy to use.

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M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

Leapfrog has about a bazillion things that help with letter recognition, learning letter sounds, etc. One of our fav's was a refrigerator magnet series that had all of the letters. When you put a letter into the frog, he sang a little song about the sound that the letter made. At 4, he may already know the letter sounds, but that would be up to you to assess. Check out leapfrog stuff

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

my kids, from 2 years old, love their "Leapster."
its very fun and educational... even my 3 year old son can play it by himself and he learns a lot from it. It grows with the child, and till this day, both my kids still use their Leapster and like it.

As Riley and the other respondent said, Starfall is great (my daughter's Teachers recommends that site too. And just plain ol' reading to him, or reading along with him... is very important.

Sound out the words etc., and through using "sight words" and phonics... a child will learn the sounds and how to say the words.

All the best,
Susan

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P.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Anything in the Jump Start series is really great

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S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Well, I'm old-fashioned and believe the best way to learn to read is through books! Of course that means that the child must be surrounded constantly with little language games, especially fun rhymes which teach phonics, games while driving of picking out letters on license plates and signs, etc. If the child has that kind of background, along with plenty of story reading, the first simple book, like "Cat in the Hat" will open up the magic world of reading, and if the child is a natural, that will be that. You will have a reader. My mother, who was a first grade teacher, deliberately did not teach me to read prior to first grade (back then there was no public kindergarten where I lived) because she didn't want me to be bored. However, I had a lot of the kind of enrichment I mentioned, especially lots of rhymes and poems. I also got armloads of books from the library every week. We didn't have Dr Seuss, but many others, like "Millions of Cats" were wonderful and followed the same principles. Consequently, when she told us the words in the little "Alice and Jerry" pre-primer on the first day, I could read the whole book, and never stopped from that day. Actually, every child in her class of 45, during war time, with great personal upheaval in their lives, learned to read.

By the way, "sounding out" can be the death of good, fluent reading! A certain amount is fine, but you don't want to read by sounding out every word. You cannot follow the story that way, and comprehension will suffer, and reading will be artificial and NOT fun! As I mentioned earlier, rhyming is a great way to learn phonics. Phonics lessons can be separate -- like "The fat cat sat on the mat." Once the child gets the idea, he or she will be able to quickly recognize sound clusters and will not need to laboriously sound everything out.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I like, Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons by S. Engelmann. It is the SRA Distar reading program adapted for parent-child use at home. IBSN 0-671-63198-5. Mr. Engelmann is the originator of the direct instruction model of teaching that is a best practice all over the nation in schools.

The book is set into short scripted lessons that teach phonics and word decoding skills, it moves from simple to more complex. Even if only used in the first lessons it will give any child the beginning skills to use in school.

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V.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Good old fashion books! My 4 y/o loves Dr. Seuss. and can read along with me now. words are repetitive.
DVD = Leap Frog, Meet the Words, Super Why are my 4 y/o favs. readrocket.org. is a great on-line site too.

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