How to Help My Child (4-Year-old) to Start "Reading"?

Updated on November 05, 2008
C. asks from Forest Park, IL
7 answers

We are bilingual so English is not my son's first language, he is picking up English very fast from school and from friends. I am trying to teach him to read English books by himself now; can you moms please suggest some good books/DVD for early reading? Also, if you have a good way/method to teach early reading, please share with me. Thanks a bunch!!

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Thank you for all these great ideas!!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Leap Frog Letter FActory is the best DVD for learning the letters. Then after he has all those sounds and letters down pat, you can work on the next Leap Frog movie about building words, but that doesn't work magic like the Letter Factory one does.

Work on rhyming words - cat then sat, then fat, then mat. Show him how the sounds work to make the word.




answers from Chicago on

My daughter loves the new "tag" system from leap frog where they can click on a word they don't get it and it will say it to them. She also is big on the step into reading series of books. I think the only way to teach reading is to encourage books from early on and to read with them/to them/without them every day. They will catch on. My daughter was "reading" books at the age of 3.. she really had just memorized the words to her favorites, but she would see a word that she had memorized in another book and pick it up. She loves books and that's the best way to get them reading.



answers from Chicago on

Not knowing your son's learning style I am going to give you some DVD's and websites that you may want to check out.

Leap frog has great videos:
"The Letter Factory" (teaches letter sounds)
"The Talking Words Factory" (pre-reading)
"Talking Words Factory 2: Code Word Caper" (reading)
"Learn to Read" (ready for school skills - reading, punctuation, story comprehension)

These videos still keep my oldest engaged and he is an advanced reader.

Websites (all free, but you may have to register w/ minimal information) (they have a section for ESL) (ESL section as well)

I hope these help. Let me know if you need more resources. I home school, so I'm always looking for alternatives on the internet to supplement what we do in class.



answers from Chicago on

The main thing to do is to make sure he reads/is read to a lot. Take him to story time at the library, check out a ton of books (let him pick) and find out what he likes best. If he already reads in his first language, then find English versions of whatever his favorites are. Even if all he likes are comic books just make reading a part of your day and an enjoyable thing for him. My son is 3.5 and some of his favorites are: Curious George, Give a Mouse a Cookie (there are bunch in this series), the Olivia books, Fancy Nancy books, anything with firetrucks/helicopters/planes/astronauts -- typical boy stuff.

Also, I'm sure someone on here is an Usborne books rep and can help you out -- Usborne books are a great choice for building a home library. It's a brand of "educational" books I guess you'd call them although all books are educational, really.



answers from Chicago on

There are tiny books called BOB Books. They come in boxes of 12 but they are very simple to read books. My son loved them because he could read a whole book all by himself. They are based on phonics and encourage the kids to sound words out. See Bob sit. Bob Sat on Matt.
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I teach third grade now, but have taught kindergarten and first before. Reading can not be rushed and needs to start with phonics. Make sure your son not only knows the ABC's by name but can give the sound out of order- find some fun flashcards that you can mix up and make a song out of the letters, sounds and words. My three year old and I look at ABC cards and chant: "C ca C ca C ca CAT" Any book that has repetition is a good place to start- toddlers are so good at memorizing and it will carry over to other books. Have him help you make your own books on the computer that you can print and read and draw pictures to. hope this helps.
Good luck



answers from Chicago on

rent hooked on phonics from the library

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