Teaching 4 Year Old to Read

Updated on August 24, 2010
J.J. asks from Andover, MN
8 answers

My 4-year-old daughter asked me if I would teach her how to read. She wants to be able to read to her little brother. So cute! Now I'm stuck at the best way to teach her how to read without overwhelming her or making her frustrated. Any suggestions on teaching her how to read?

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answers from Kokomo on

We are using Letter and Word factory dvds by leap frog. It is amazing how well it helped my daughter grasp the basic concept of how letters and sounds work. With these we work with her constantly all day in non formal wasy by just talking about the words we are using or of what we are doing.

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answers from Austin on

Go to the library and check out the first set of "Bob Books" I did this when our daughter was 4. I actually purchased them, on the way home, she read the entire set!
I had to turn the car around and exchange it for the second set. You will be amazed..

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answers from Houston on

www.starfall.com has some cute games for learning letter sounds. So does http://www.sesamestreet.org/

I second the recommendation for the bob books, and I know some parents like the LeapFrog letter factory video.

You could also talk to your librarian about what types of books would be best for a young reader.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

What a great big sister you have there! Congrats to her on exploring her options for more knowledge. My son taught himself to read just after turning 4yrs old. We have always had available the "Word Whammer" by leap frog, the leapster letter factory game and Starfall.com is a great solution also. If your daughter already learned letters, perhaps start by making sure she knows what sound each letter makes, then move on to combination letter sounds (ch, sh). Then try pointing to 3 or 4 letter words and sound them out with her. Also try books (typically for babies) that have a picture and the word below the picture or alphabet books. She will gain confidence in reading by being able to read those type of books to the baby.
Good Luck

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answers from Las Vegas on

There's a series of learning to read books by Nora Gaydos that really worked for my children. Here's a link to one of her books in the series:


Happy Reading!

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answers from Eugene on

Check out starfall.com It is used in Kindergarten classes and is fun.
I too would say Bob books

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answers from Albuquerque on

Hi J.,
I just took a pre-reading class for 4 and 5 yo's with my son. It worked so well, my 5 yo is now "reading" (so cute), and his little brother (3) is also "reading" to himself.

Pick books that have lots of rhyming, or predictable, repetitive phrases ("Cat in the Hat;" "Caps for Sale;" "We're Going on a Bear Hunt;" etc.) whatever you already have on the shelves.

Read them to your girl, then tell her to read the book to you. At this point, you still read most of the words, but let her fill in the rhyming words or repetitive phrases (you can coach her through this until she starts to learn them).

She can also start "reading" to her little brother right away by telling her own version of a story by looking at the pictures.

{{how cute!!}}


answers from Dover on

Try the Tag or Tag Jr system from Leap Frog. It will allow her to "read" to her brother quickly without overwhelming. If you don't know, it is a gadget that read the corresponding books while actually teaching the child different things (shapes, colors, emotions, etc.). My daughter took hers to daycare and read to the babies there (she's only 3)!

Then you can also get preschool books and read to your daughter and son together.. that is the best way to teach her to read.

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