R.Y. asks from Lorton, VA on March 08, 2008
Learning to Read
I have been trying to teach my 5 year old how to read. I've been using the Kumon books as a reference. They seem to keep his attention more than the Hooked on Phonics books did. My problem is that he has a very hard time remember what sound the letters make. I feel horrible because I get frustrated with him because I feel like he isn't paying attention. We will go over one letter several times and then start another letter. Then I go back to the beginning letter again and he has already forgotten what sound it makes. He doesn't have a problem remember the letter itself...just the sound it makes. I know he's getting frustrated and upset and I'm trying to figure out a better way to teach him. Does anyone have any teaching secrets that they used with their children to help them read?
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Wow I'm overwhelmed with all the great advice!! Thanks so much everyone!! I will definitely have to check out that leap frog dvd next time I go to toys r us. I've been putting little silly rhyming songs with the letters as well and he seems to be remembering a little better. He had a lot of ear infections when he was little so his speech is still working on catching up as well. He stutters some and mixes the sound of some of his words up the the "B" and "V" for example. I know he'll have to go to speech therapy when he starts school. I will check out that starfly website as well. I'm sure he'll love getting to play on the computer! Thanks so much everyone!!
M.P. answers from Norfolk on March 13, 2008
H.D. answers from Washington DC on March 11, 2008
Try Leap Frog. We have an alphabet catepillar that does all kinds of phonics. In particular, it sounds out each letter and sings a little song about "every letter makes a sound." My girls just love it and have learned a lot from it.
M.S. answers from Washington DC on March 10, 2008
Go get The Letter Factory Video by Leap Frog. My daughter watched it over and over and by the time she was finished 2 times she knew ALL her letter sounds. It has helped her so much.
L.R. answers from Washington DC on March 10, 2008
Hi, R.--Worksheets and workbooks are useful, and I've used them too, but they can start to seem like just "work" to little ones. Please don't push him or yourself so hard that you're getting frustrated; that could make him view his letters and books as chores, not fun. And reading should be fun for you both! Like someone below said, remember, he's not even in kindergarten yet, and play is still his main thing. You didn't say whether he's in preschool; a good preschool program should include letter recognition (but friends who have taught preschool have warned me against overly "academic" preschools that push worksheets or make promises like "your child will read before kindergarten"-- that's asking too much of many kids). A good preschool also could help you identify whether he has any other issues like hearing that could affect the ability to sound out letters. The Leapfrog and other tools are great helps too. But to me, most important of all is read to him as much as possible so he finds reading fascinating -- teach letters some when he's receptive but read, read, read to him, not just at bedtime but throughout every day, with books always at hand even when you're out of the house, even reading books you may think are "above his level." (I bet you're already doing all this, since you value reading!) Try following the words with your finger so he fully gets that what you're saying connects to what's on the page. Turn regular library trips into the most fun excursion of the week-- make a big deal about how he's old enough to pick out some books for himself and use his very own library card. If he doesn't have a card yet, make it a celebration the day he does get one (libraries usually will give young kids cards, I think my daughter got one at about five). And find out what books really interest him; I've had friends whose boys lost interest in books once the boys were old enough to get past board books because the boys weren't interested in the topics -- boys often prefer factual books about earth-moving equipment, or sports-based stories if they're into sports themselves; I think there are even Lego-based story books that are aimed at boys! Before you get too frustrated with teaching him letters, focus on making the stories those letters form into the most interesting thing he could be doing. And one last thing; if you don't already limit his TV and/or computer time, try that starting now, before he gets so acclimated to having "screen time" that screens, not books, become his preferred go-to entertainment. Good luck!!
1 mom found this helpful
S.L. answers from Washington DC on March 10, 2008
5 is very young, try and be patient. I had great results with "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons."
S.T. answers from Washington DC on March 10, 2008
you are wonderful for recognizing that the frustration is getting in the way and looking for ways to reduce it. i'm SO sad that little ones are being shoved into formal 'learning' so young these days. honestly, he's only 5. many kids do read younger, but many don't, and the idea that all kids have the same benchmarks is absurd. having them reading and writing by kindergarten is best for teachers, not for kids.
the problem with working at it so hard is that reading does indeed become work and that's a pattern that will never go away. i'm sorry you lost your job but the time with your kids is SUCH a gift. please use it to bring joy into your lives! read him books he loves. have him sit next to you and move your finger under the words to direct his eyes there, but don't demand anything of him but the joy of the story and shared warmth with you. in every activity you do you can incorporate emphasizing letters or spelling things out, but in a fun and natural way that won't turn it into drudgery. be patient, both with him and with yourself.
J.M. answers from Washington DC on March 10, 2008
I have taught all three of my boys to read using the "Alpha-Phonics" book. It is actually a program that is used to teach reading to children and to adults as a second language.
I have three boys with very different learning styles and one with a minor auditory processing issue. It has worked for all of them, but I have also supplemented with some phonics flash cards.
It is very important that children don't get into the habit of "guessing" the sounds. Some of the reading programs actually encourage this. Also, do lots and lots of read-aloud. Boys have a much shorter attention span and it helps to play some phonics games that are active, like "find the..." and have him run and find toys or other items that begin with the sound. Label things around the house that begin with the sound you are working on, just the letter. Have him write the sound and say it at the same time. The goal is to have him using his eyes, ears and motor skills together.
Keep the lessons short, but do fun little exercises throughout the day. It's important that he sees letters as a fun code rather than something that is constantly frustrating.
W.L. answers from Washington DC on March 10, 2008
I am a homeschool mom with 5-year old twin boys. I have been researching programs for teaching reading and am planning to use the "Code" system: Book 1 is "Get Ready for the Code", 2 is "Get Set for the Code" and 3 is "Go for the Code." Go to www.epsbooks.com for their reading and phonics products. It is a workbook based program, so you guys are ahead of the game with what you are already doing. I wish you luck in this adventure!! :)
J.G. answers from Norfolk on March 09, 2008
I really commend you for your efforts to get your son prepared for kindergarten. It's not like when we went and we weren't expected to be able to read or know much about phonics and such. We were pretty much taught to read there. Now, they have moved the first grade curriculum back to kindergarten, so kids are expected to know more when they start. We had the same problem with our daughter that you are having with your son. No amount of tutoring or extra attention seemed to help. The frustration on her part as well as ours was tremendous. She seemed to be trying very hard, but nothing was "sticking." We knew something was wrong because she is very bright but just wasn't grasping the concept of reading. Well, her first grade teacher agreed with us, that she was far too smart to not be getting the letters, their sounds, etc. and suggested we get her tested for possible learning disabilities We did, and it was the best thing we ever did for her. Turns out it wasn't just us who thought she was smart -- at the age of six, her IQ was 120. But the problem was that she was dyslexic. I am in no way saying that this is what is going on with your son, because at five years old it's difficult to assess what is his normal development and a possible learning disability (some don't even want to test a child until they are about 7, which in this case would have been disastrous for our daughter to wait so long). I am just saying that if your gut instinct as a mom is telling you that something isn't right, you should listen to it. Keep doing what you're doing, working with him on his reading and phonics. If you don't see improvement over the summer, I would suggest getting him tested. This is just my 2 cents worth, but reading your post just brought back everything we went through with our daughter.
A.E. answers from Norfolk on March 09, 2008
Hi! Have you tried www.starfall.com ? I have used that website with my 3 yr old since he was about 10 months old and this has helped him to master letter recognition, the sounds of the letters, and he can even read 5 letter words! Give it a try...it's like a game for them...you will all love it! Don't forget to let your 1 yr old try, too! :) By the way, it's free!
D.W. answers from Norfolk on March 09, 2008
You can call the Hpt Library reference dept. at ###-###-#### and ask to speak to the lady in charge of Literacy. I took a course years ago (free) and they had a program one time there where kids were tutored for free. They also teach ESL (english as a 2nd language) a wonderful program. In addition you may want to try the backpacks that have books and audio tapes to read along with. My kids learned amazingly well with this method, it helps in comprehension & retention too.
Also, at West Hpt Community Center on Briarfield Rd. (next to Lindsay Middle School,) they have a friend of mines, Mrs Burton that offers tutoring in all subjects, (Jacobs Well) you can go there and find out info. or call.