Questions about Teaching Kids To Read


Teaching Kids To Read

Posted by: mom23 Apr 19 2005, 09:19 AM

Did you teach your children to read when they were young (four, five or six)?

Do it in a "child-led" kind of way?

Delay reading?

How did you decide what to do? I taught DD to read when she was four. With my DS's, I wondered if I might just wait. I really liked the educational philosophies in A Thomas Jefferson Education (loads of classical reading, learning all subjects just through reading classics and maybe a formal math curriculum), but when I finally found a message board with moms talking about how they implement it in their homeschool, they were talking about how most of their children were much older when they learned to read, and it was child-led. I guess the benefit is that they would pick up reading much more quickly than a four or five year old. I started wondering what you other moms did. I guess the "norm" is to teach them at Kindergarten-age. I'm not to big on the child-led way of teaching, but I'm not necessarily an opponent of it, either.


Posted by: tagsfan Apr 19 2005, 09:40 AM

I started my daughter when she turned 5. She had learned all her letters and sounds before that, just kind of on her own. She was really wanting to learn to read. We used the Teach Your Child To Read book, and she did well up until the end of the book. It got too frustrating for her. So we put it away for a while and I didn't push. I just read to her and didn't ask her to do anything. One day a few months later I got out a Dr. Seuss or something like that and told her I wanted her to read a little bit and I would read most of it to her. She really surprised me and was reading words I hadn't taught her. So that is when we started back into phonics and trying to move on.

I'm learning that when she is not ready for anything, it is easy to figure out so we back off. But I'm always looking for ways to get back into it. I would feel really funny delaying reading, but I understand why people do it, and it makes sense. But I would just have a hard time with it.

My son will be 4 in about a month. I have started him with the same reading book I used for dd. He is always pointing to words and asking "What is that word?" or "What does that say?" or else I wouldn't be doing this. I think it is his way of telling me he is ready to move on.

Posted by: apples Apr 19 2005, 09:42 AM

My 3 yr old likes when we have our read-a-louds and has been trying to read on his own. He'll pretend hes reading while moving his finger over the pages in a left to right motion over the words while telling a story from his own books. Though he doesn't know what the words are he looks at the pictures and reads to me or the rest of the family and waits for our narration of what he has read and has even asked questions!

Sometimes, he'll ask what a word is. I am a firm believer in reading aloud it helps with vocabulary skills, and communication skills. Its a natural way of our learning here.

I don't force the issue, but for letter, number, shape, color recognition if he wants something, I have a game we play sometimes. I'll ask him to show me letter d or color blue or a shape.

In our game he has learned to count to 12 in German, days of the week, greetings, colors and will be working on shapes.

We started this in Spanish also. My dd wants to learn sign language too.

If we make a game of it all my kids and self have a better time.

Posted by: mtbriere Apr 19 2005, 09:50 AM

I agree. I think that we really need to concentrate on learning more who our children are and what works best for them.

This is my first year homeschooling and my kids are older, but I did teach my oldest dd to read when she was a young 5. She didn't start kindergarten until after she turned 6, but she always did well in ps. She is my self-starter, she is now almost 15 and gets her books out every morning before I am even aware that she has started.

My 2nd dd is 12 and I did not teach her to read bc I had gone back to work. I left it up to the ps and she was not reading until the 1st grade. sad.gif But, she LOVES to read. You hardly ever see her without a book - but a textbook? It takes a little more encouragement on my part to get her going.

And finally 10 yo ds. He STRUGGLED learning to read in ps. Then I found out that he had reversal issues. He is now in 4th grade and we're just seeing the signs of reading fluently. However, he despises to read. He despises schoolwork. I think that his reading experience would have been better if I had homeschooled from the beginning, but it still would have been difficult. It gets very frustrating for him.

Posted by: CelticMuse Apr 19 2005, 10:18 AM

it really depends on the child some children like to learn how to read early and other's don't.

If you encounter resistance or an unhappy child I wouldn't teach reading. BTW, whether you teach your child to read at 4 or 7 most children even out in skills at about 9. So it really doeons't matter if you teach early or late. Of course this is dependent upon if there is any dyslexia or other reading issues.

I taught my older son to read at a young 5, he hates to read now. Noah, 7 who is dyslexic on the other hand can't wait until he can read to himself. Go figure......

Posted by: Sherinova Apr 19 2005, 10:27 AM

We didn't exactly do child-led reading...but it was definitely "child-ready". I don't think there's much difference between the two, except that a ready child might not want to learn yet.

I started both my ds around the age of 5. I used 100 Easy Lessons w/my oldest and we started the book 3 times before getting through it. I mixed in Explode the Code, Bob Books, and Pathway Readers. I even tried Pathway's workbooks, but they were just too much. He was really quite easy to teach reading. At first I thought I tried to start him too young, but I think he just needed some time to truly absorb all the phonics he had learned before pressing on. He reads above his 3rd grade level and has excellent comprehension. I don't really think the curriculum I chose had anything to do with's just his natural ability.

My youngest has been quite different. I waited until he said he wanted to read and then started him in 100 EZLs. It was a struggle after the first 10 or so lessons and we restarted the book twice, maybe 3 times. He was also doing the pre primer Explode the Code. I suspect he had some tracking problems. So we stopped for awhile and then I bought the R&S phonics. It was OK at first, but he tired of the work....resistance & tears I stopped that program. He's 6 1/2 now and we're using Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading...and it's working! clap.gif He is easily frustrated so I try to be very attune to this and gauge how much we cover on a daily & weekly basis. I have read Ruth Beechick's books on reading and any article I can find written by her. Her writings are so practical and so encouraging to me. This child loves to be read to though and doesn't hesitate to ask anyone older than him to read him a book. He also has such a gift with the spoken word biggrin.gif that I never thought reading would be a problem.

To be honest...I guess I don't know what approach I've used. I personally don't think 5 is too young to start reading. But, then if I would have waited, maybe the process would have been easier and taken less time. dunno.gif

I chose 100 EZL because of it's reputation as a successful reading program. It is not a phonics program, but the child learns how to read and read phonetically. So I knew I would need to supplement, thus ETC.
I chose R&S because we like R&S materials. I will have my youngest read the readers, but will probably start him about 1/2 way through the first year reader this summer.
Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading is a wonderful thing. I wish it had been around for my first ds. We roughly follow the WTM classical ed model. I've used SOTW and First Language Lessons from them as well and it's all been good IMO.

Boy, am I rambling on today or what!

Posted by: Donna Apr 19 2005, 01:28 PM

My daughter (the younger of my two kids) was six when she had a daily reading lesson. I had tried earlier when she was still 5 (which was before she started kindergarten.) When we started kindergarten she was "all for" having the daily lessons. I don't know if it was readiness or the environment of being in kindergarten. Prior to kindergarten she just wanted to play (which was fine with me) and wouldn't have anything to do with a sit down type lesson.

Her kindergarten year was the first year we homeschooled, her older brother spent his k-2 in ps. Had I homeschooled him for k-2, it is possible that she may have wanted to be like him and have school too and it is possible that she would have been willing to have a sit-down reading lesson at an earlier age. dunno.gif

Another factor with my daughter is that she when she was between 2 and 4 she did not especially like being read to. I would try to read to her, but she would grab the book out of my hands and hug the book and say, "mine!" rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Melanie Apr 19 2005, 01:36 PM

My son started learning to read at three and was reading fluently by age four. He was very interested in reading from the time he could hold a book - he was fascinated. My daughter has always been a reluctant reader, but she started learning around age four/five so she could start playing board games with the rest of the family. She's six now and is just starting to read for pleasure. We did not use any programs; I taught them with a notebook and pencil and made it just a nice time on the couch with Mom - no rush, no pressure.


Posted by: cosmo373 Apr 19 2005, 09:38 PM

My ds just stated learning to read this school year he turn 7 in Oct. I was so glad that in the state of TX you do not have to start until the age of 6 and on top of that his birthday let me wait another year. Until this year I could not get him to sit down and even listen to stories or work on anything for that matter.

Dd on the other hand, we tried to start at 5 because she wanted to learn to read but we ran into a few stumbling blocks. She had some vision problems, letter reversal, and just all out dyslexia. Now at 9 she reads beautifully and loves to read that is all she wants to do in school. Last year she read the entire beginner Bible in about three months.

So I guess my beat advise is trust your instinct and your children will let you know.

Posted by: TerriLynn Apr 19 2005, 09:56 PM

QUOTE (apples @ Apr 19 2005, 08:42 AM)
My 3 yr old likes when we have our read-a-louds and has been trying to read on his own. He'll pretend hes reading while moving his finger over the pages in a left to right motion over the words while telling a story from his own books. Though he doesn't know what the words are he looks at the pictures and reads to me or the rest of the family and waits for our narration of what he has read and has even asked questions!

We started using now I'm reading, pre-reader by innovative kids and this is exactly how they have to you it. You read it several times moving your finger and they copy and when they can read the picture, they get a sticker and you move on to the next book but go back to keep the other books fresh. Each time they make progress in a book they get a sticker.

My 4y/o really likes it a lot and gets encouraged by the stickers.


Posted by: MomofBunbun Apr 19 2005, 10:34 PM

QUOTE (cosmo373 @ Apr 19 2005, 08:38 PM)
Last year she read the entire beginner Bible in about three months.

clap.gif Awesome job!! clap.gif

Posted by: carmatlock Apr 25 2005, 02:28 AM

My oldest started asking me questions like what does that start with or what does that say. . .so I started teaching him. He now is done with a whole K portion of reading I got from someone. Then I have 1st grade reading only. . .so may start with that next. I have reading K,1,2,3 grade stuff. . .all kinds of little books that are small, leveled books. . .I got tons of those. . .we are reading poor. . .haha But that is a good thing. So anyway with oldest he just started seeming like he was ready and was reading 5 months before his 5 yo bday.

With the twins it may be another 4 years. . .ha They are so much more delayed I notice than older son. They do like to snatch the book away and say I am reading. . .The other day I got one of the K readers and read slowly and they were copying what I read. . .I was excited that they did that. . .Maybe it will be just 3 1/2 years instead of 4. Just kidding. . .But I do think one of the twins may be in our remedial department and one may be in the Gifted and Talented and one may be in our just plain normal department laugh.gif laugh.gif

i can ask one of the twins. . .

OK--this is green---what color is this????? He looks at me like I am crazy. I guess he figures--look lady you just told me what color it is so why do you need me to tell you what color it is. . .you must be crazy. . .were you dropped at birth or something. . .I'm smarter than that. . .

or is he????? Then I worry---will I be able to handle this one. . .????? So I may have all extreme cases and one in between. . .I may have my hands full once the twins get going. . .

Oh well. . .God gave them to me to teach and help. . . .so I know if he asked me to do this. . .then I am up for the challenge. . .prob this twin who I think needs remedial---will prob be a dr or something. . .he is prob just thinking "what is my mom talking about. . .!" I would love to know what kids think sometimes when we say silly things. . .

dunno.gif dunno.gif dunno.gif


Posted by: mtbriere Apr 25 2005, 10:43 AM

QUOTE (cosmo373 @ Apr 19 2005, 07:38 PM)
She had some vision problems, letter reversal, and just all out dyslexia. Now at 9 she reads beautifully and loves to read that is all she wants to do in school. Last year she read the entire beginner Bible in about three months.

Did you use any special programs or was it just a desire in her? My son has reversal issues, but by the time we had him tested (age 9), he had learned enough words that he could compensate and still read at an acceptable level. They would not label it dyslexia or learning disabled. He can read, but hates it. Maybe it's just a "boy thing".

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