My Son Wants to "Learn to Read"....

Updated on May 04, 2011
S.E. asks from Bozeman, MT
20 answers

My 4.5 year old pays very close attention to commercials on tv - he is the target demographic let me tell you! The other day he saw something having to to with learning to read. He instantly said he wanted it so he could learn to read all his books. I love it!!! Of course I was in a different room and didn't see the commercial but I am assuming it was along the lines of Leapfrog or V-tech. My mother wants to get him this for Christmas, but I don't know which item would be best. Any ideas out there or personal experience? I have looked in the stores at both the Leapfrog Tag system and the V-tech reader. We don't need the Leapster type since we already have a Nintendo DS. So moms, what are your recommendations?

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answers from Los Angeles on

My 4 year old loves the Tag reader that he got for Christmas last year from his grandparents. This year he asked for more books.

I also wanted to add that my son also learned to read with a game called Silly Sentences! It's really cute and doesn't cost much but my DS and I play it almost everyday. It's his favorite and we end up laughing hysterically at all the funny sentences we make. Plus it uses lots of sight words.

Like S.B. below we also have a word wall but I keep it in the living room. I bought it at Lakeshore Learning center which is a supply store for teachers & parents.
Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

We're going through the same thing with my daughter. I heard that the BOB books are a great way to begin learning to read. And I second some of the other moms--books! Go to the library, pick up books, read to him & have him read to you. He'll have enough time as he grows up with computers. Start the love of books while you still can. Good luck!

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answers from Austin on

There is an awesome website that my daughter loves - she is 6 and started reading a year ago and still like the website : It's a free early childhood reading site that has short stories that will teach your child letters, letter sounds and how to read. My daughter spent hours on it on her own, it is so easy to use. She was 5 when she started using it, but I think it's geared towards preschool age and up. She is now a fantastic reader - reading at least 2 grade levels above. Also, many of my friends used the book that the other posts have mentioned about reading in 100 lessons - I almost bought, but by the time I found out about it, we were past that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The Tag!! My almost 3 yr old daughter (who is still a little young for it) loves it. She calls it her reading toy... and I think any time you can make reading fun is a win win situation.

It will read the story, sound out the letters or read the individual words as you place the pen on them depending upon what mode you have it in. There are also games related to letter sounds etc. at the end of each story. AND, in additon to the story, the characters and objects in the pictures accompaning the story also make sounds and say things when you touch them with the pen.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Since you don't want/need the Leapster, I would suggest the Tag Reader.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son has the Tag reader. He loves it. And it does give him some independence, because he can "read" the story without mom. As a toy, I think it's great. But I would not say that it has helped him learn to read. I would say that it fosters his love of books. And it is very interactive. (BTW Toys R Us is having a buy two get the third item free on all Leapfrog includes the tag books. I think the sale ends on Sat. of this week)

We have a word wall in his room. Each morning we start with a word written on preschool writing strips. Then we practice it periodically through the day. At night we add the word to his word wall. That has been the most helpful is getting him on the road to reading.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Book from amazon "Teach your child how to read in 100 easy lessons"......very easy and it WORKS!!!!!!!



answers from Springfield on

If your child wants to read then it's awesome. I recommend this link

It's very helpful for kids, trust me. If you're not satisfied, you'll get your money back, you have nothing to loose. That package has a lot of interesting things and it's not expensive at all in my opinion. Good luck !


answers from Oklahoma City on

i had a v smile when my daughter was that age, and she LOVED it and she's VERY far advanced, in 2nd grade, 4th grade reading level, and honor roll student



answers from Provo on

I can't say anything about the V-tech because I haven't used it but I can speak VERY highly of the Leapfrog Tag system. My son loves it. At first I just got him the regular story books for it but last year for Christmas I got him some of the learning books (phonics, letter sounds etc) and when he started Kindergarten in the Fall he tested at a 2nd Grade reading level. If your son can navigate a computer and mouse another great site for early readers is



answers from New York on

I think the Tag system was wonderful and we started that w/our daughter at that same age. She is now 7 and enjoys reading chapter books from her school library. It is a wonderful program. Best of luck to you and your soon to little reader!



answers from Seattle on

Unfortunately (as far as wrapping in concerned ;) has the BEST learn to read program out there. And, yup... it's free. Just go to the website and start using it.



answers from Philadelphia on

My kids are out of that stage so I am not sure which system is better but I taught my daughter to read at age 4 by working wih her just 15 minutes a day. It took her 60 days to learn to read any easy reader book and it only cost about $15. If interested check out the book "Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons".



answers from Salt Lake City on

The commercial I saw like that was not a toy, but a reading system. I didn't pay attention to it, but it sort of reminded me of "Hooked on Phonics". I think the main componant was a DVD, or a series of DVDs-- that the kids would learn to read just by watching/enjoying the movies. There may have also been a series of books to go with them. ...

Like I said, I didn't really pay attention, but I did think "Wow! that commercial sounds VERY persuasive.--Just watch a couple movies and your kid's a reader!"



answers from Seattle on

We have the tag reader and love it. My daughter is 4 and it is perfect for her. I am not big on the gaming learning things and not quite sure what V reader is. I like the fact that Tag is actual books so they can sit down with or without the reader thing and have a book. And that is what reading is all about!
I am sure that you already read to your son and I think that is a very important part to learning how to read. Pointing out words in the story. Having them look for letters, sounding out words, spelling words - easy little things you can do to encourage the natural progression of reading.



answers from Chicago on

we just learned the letters, then the sounds and then just got reader books from the library., he started 'reading' about 4 words a day right before 4. He's just 5 now and he ends up reading about 60 words a day now : )



answers from Denver on

I would do an actual curriculum. The others are great toys and support, but not actual teaching tools. There are a lot of curriculums out there online, etc., or I know a lot of people who like the book the others recommended. We do online kindergarten with our 4 yo. One is still ahead in school, our plan is to send the other to kindergarten in a school next year. He's reading and writing with no problem, just a bit immature, not to mention really small. Our boys have both loved all the info. We do the full curriculum, but you can do just the reading part, too. I think you would have to go through a private school as the public schools have age requirements. Our school has never asked for our kids' age, as kindergarten isn't compensatory, they just let you order. The curriculums really aren't that expensive. GL!


answers from Los Angeles on

Sighhhh . . . .
Sit with him and read books together.
Real books.
You read to him.
Then he reads to you.
You don't need electronic gizmos to enjoy reading together.


answers from Portland on

The best teach your child to read program is not electronic, it is a book called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and it costs less than $20 at Amazon or on ebay. It takes 15 minutes of your day sitting down one on one with your child. You certainly can purchase an electronic system for fun, but if your child wants to learn to read, this is the best and easiest way I've ever seen. I can't say enough about this book. I've worked with children for over 25 years, and 2 of those were in a kindergarten where I helped teach children to read, and I still think this book is hands down the best method to teach a child to read.

Best wishes to you and your son!

~P. G.
Local Childcare Coordinator, Cultural Care Au Pair



answers from Columbus on

We have Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program and it taught my kids to read. My son started to use it at 3.5 yrs old b/c he wanted to learn to read like his big sister. He picked right up on it and reads books to us all of the time (He just turned 4).

My daughter has the Tag reader and never cared for it but I've heard of other kids that love it.

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