M.S. asks from Chicago, IL on February 12, 2010
My 4Yo Wants to Learn to Read - Any Suggestions on Helping Him?
Hi - my son who is 4, has been expressing lately how he wants to learn to read. I am so happy. He has been spelling out words. Any advice on techniques to help him read? I don't really want to go the "workbook" route. We love the Starfall.com site - that site taught him his alphabet.
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Wow - thank you so much for the suggestions! My son does know his letters and letter sounds, so it is a matter of putting the sounds together.
Thanks again for all the suggestions - I'm looking forward to teaching my son to read!
J.L. answers from Chicago on February 13, 2010
I'm a homeschooling mom and am having EXCELLENT success with the book "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading". My newly 7 yr old son is now reading near a 3rd grade level (I started him at age 5 1/2), and my 4 1/2 and almost 3 yr olds know their alphabets, what each letter looks like, and what sound they make. This book isn't a workbook that the student works in, more a guide that the parent uses. I got mine from Amazon.com or www.homeschoolbooks.com Good luck and let me know if you'd like specifics on it. - J.
M.H. answers from Atlanta on February 12, 2010
I used the Phonics Game for both my girls and they also have a JR Phonics Game. Both were absolutely a wonderful thing. The games are fun and the kids loved them and they both read very well. Phonchild is the only way to teach a child to read whether it is this program or another. The site and see methods are simply memorization so kids have trouble with new words. If a kid learns English with phonics it also helps them if they ever want to learn other languages.
J.C. answers from Champaign on February 13, 2010
Hi, this is very exciting! My daughter is 4 as well and she reads on the 1 grade level books (not to brag, just sharing my experience :) ) English is not my first language so I don't think I am the "perfect example" for her or teach her, but I read to her daily since the day she was born. We also use the leapfrog tag pen since she was 3.
Start with his favorite subject and get the level 1 reading books. My daughter started with Thomas the tank engine. As for workbook, we started the first copy 4 months ago and I was surprised how much my daughter enjoys it, we use Flash Forward reading.
Have fun and enjoy, both of you!
S.K. answers from Chicago on February 12, 2010
I also used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons, the author is Siegfried Englemann, you can find it on Amazon for $15. Both of my older kids were reading around 3 1/2-4 yrs old, the whole book took us about 3 months to complete, but they are reading basic words from the beginning. My kids really enjoyed the book, too. My son would beg me for more lessons, but sometimes I just had to cut him off for the night. All their teachers have been very impressed with how advanced they are in reading. My daughter is in kindergarten this year and her teacher has had to find her an entirely different set of readers for her to use at school because even the highest level they used in the classroom didn't come close to meeting her needs. I definitely plan to use this book with my younger kids. You may even check to see if your library has it so you can preview it before you buy it.
S.K. answers from Chicago on February 13, 2010
We love the Dr. Suess books. My kids loved story time at the library. Also, the Wheaton Public Library has phonic books. I used to read them with my daughter. They focus on each letter/word combination. They have a special section close to the toy/puzzle area. You can also check out some books on tape so he can read along. In kindergarten, my son had to find something around the house that started with the letter of the day and bring it to school. It was fun. That might be a fun game.
L.T. answers from Los Angeles on February 12, 2010
I used the Hooked on Phonics program from Costco and "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lesson" to teach my children. My son read at 3 yrs. old and my daughter at 4. I just did one-3 lessons a week, maybe 5-15 minutes each. I find the combo helped them to decode that letters makes words and words make stories. Both my children are avid readers now. Once your son learns the alphabets and its phonics, he can start to put the sounds together. Good luck.
K.J. answers from Chicago on February 12, 2010
I come from a family of 5 kids, and all 5 of us learned to read using the "McGuffey Readers" collection. The summer before I started kindergarten I was 4 years old and my older siblings told me that kindergarteners know how to read, so I took the set of books, locked myself in a closet, and, as my mom says, learned how to read that same day.
I don't really recall exactly how the books are structured, but they seem to be a tried and true aide.
L.L. answers from Dallas on February 12, 2010
I think the best thing you can do is to go to the library, attend story times, and then have him pick out books and then read. I think, for the time, energy & money, this is the best way to promote literacy. Also, turn everyday things into reading/learning events. You can point out words at the grocery store or other places. I agree with you on the workbook thing, unless of course you kid LOVES workbooks. Keep it playful and fun, your child will learn to read. Don't become frustrated if he's not reading right away. In many (and highly literate -- as in more so than the US) countries, reading isn't even taught until about 7. Good luck & have fun!!
J.K. answers from Mansfield on February 12, 2010
hooked on phonics is really great (you can get it at the library) also if he knows his letter sounds pretty well you can start him on Bob books. They build onto each other so it is a very good reading system. I like it better then hooked on phonics once they know the letter sounds because I believe that hooked on phonics has them doing too much memorizing (cat, bat, hat, mat, pat, sat) ofcourse that is good to know that ending sounds that look the same sound the same but it took a long time to get reading enough words to make a story. The bob books start out right away with simple stories using 3 letter words, and builds on and on always revisiting the words they have already learned. There are also many computer software games that help them learn to read. Hooked on phonics has a game that comes with the kindergarten set. My daughter has one by school zone that is great as well it is a preschool level program called beginning sounds, also came with thinking skills. Read to your son- have him pick out the letters he knows and talk about the sounds with him. Teach him just a few sounds at a time and he will start pitting them together on his own. My daughter was sounding out the names on her valentines today (she just turned 4 in december). Hope this helps:)
N.P. answers from Chicago on February 13, 2010
teach him common endings, I like to start with at. Explain how each letter sounds and you smoosh the sounds together to make the at sound. Now show him how you can make at into sat, mat, hat, that, fat, bat, cat, etc. Do this with more common endings until he gets the idea. Rhyming families is the quickest way to understand the phonics part.
The sight words like the, and, said - those just have to be memorized.
Start with simple books like the Bob books, or stage 1 readers or make your own stories up with the rhyming words he learned.