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Suggestions on Teaching a 4 Year Old to Read

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My son is four. He knows & can write all his alphabets and his numbers up to 100. He can write all of our names. Practically any word he sees, he can write. He knows his shapes and he can count in Spanish up to 15 and he can knows his colors in Spanish.

I don't have him in preschool, but he'll start Kindergarten next year. I'd lke to have him reading before he starts school. My husband bought him a LeapFrog and so he has learned most letter sounds. What can I get him to help him start reading?

When my daughter was younger (she's 20 now), I bought her Hooked on Phonics. That seemed like it really helped her reading skills. But I gave it away long before I thought I'd have more children. Anyway, what do you all suggest?
post #2 of 13
The only thing I ever did was just read to them. dd started to recognize the common words like: a, I, the, we, etc. I really did nothing other than read to them. Once she started recognizing the common words I started to annunciate very slowly. my oldest was trying to read at 2 and was eager to copy the words I said even though I never asked her to repeat. She actually got made at me b/c she couldn't read yet, she was 2 at the time. I know in school they do alot of sound groups, not necessairly phonics. maybe Newlywed0610 has better advice since she is a Kinder teacher.
Ohhh, just remembered dd used to sing songs about the words. T- H- E is the.
post #3 of 13
Wow sounds like he is doing great for 4 years old! In our schools they concentrate on writing skills in K and not so much reading until the 2nd half of the year. I would recommend learning sight words and getting simple books that may contain pics as part of the sentance so they can link the word together. Someone else posted this website before but it lists sight words for Preschool and K (can be printed out as flash cards) and has ideas to help with reading skills. Dolch Word List
post #4 of 13
Learn to Read at Starfall - teaching comprehension and phonics is great, my 4 yr dd went from reading easy Bob books to reading early reader level 2 books thanks to it. Just read read read outloud alot everyday and make sure they have alot of beginning readers and Dr. Suess around at home.
If you want something you can try How to Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, my dd hated it so we did not use it with her, but I taught another child to read from it and it was very easy. There is also the Explode the Code series.
But really she taught herself with Bob books at 3 and at 4 we discovered and from there it has grown naturally. Just in case you are looking for a handwriting program, Handwriting without tears is GREAT! She loved the Leappad from 2-4 years but hasn't played it much lately.
We also play alot of language games and have a sight word board hanging in our school room.
Most importantly: Just make it fun, it is more important to have fun and build a love of books and reading at this age than to sit down and do formal book work!
post #5 of 13
Yes, is a fantastic website for kids. Otherwise I just suggest to read to him often and even use your finger to follow the words so he can start recognizing them. Then just work on the sounds of letters. I agree that it shouldn't be a "teaching" thing, just making reading fun. He'll pick it up quickly.
post #6 of 13
We use Frontline Phonics to teach reading. It's a kit that comes with flashcards, books, workbooks, a cd, and we love it! It's kind of pricey, but it works for us. Also, has been great for reading. It's $20.00 a month but my son works at it for over an hour at a time. It also has math, social studies, science and language arts extensions.
post #7 of 13
Wow! This is some great info! Thanks for sharing! I didn't even think about working with DS on reading yet! I do read TONS of books to him though. I think I'll definitely check these sites out! Thanks ladies!!
post #8 of 13
When Matthew was 4 and ready to read, I took post-its and wrote words for everything in our house and stuck them on the item. (who knew I could have made money on that idea 5years ago???) He had one on his door, window, bed, jacket, floor, books, etc. It helped him to visualize what the word stood for. He went to kindergarten as an early reader, and by first grade, he was reading third grade books. Now that he is a 4th grader, he reads big books, like the Eragon series. He LOVES to read anything he can get his hands on.
post #9 of 13

Start with some sight words.  Once he learns 15 or 20 of those, get some easy readers at the library and he'll be able to "read"!  If he knows most of the letter sounds, you can work on sounding out words phonetically, but I recommend sight words first.


My kids love the Meet the Sight Words DVDs - got those from the library as well.

post #10 of 13

This is an old thread, but as a former pre-k teacher, the easiest way for my kids was to teach them what sounds the letters make first.  There is a song..."A says apple, B says Ball, C says Cat and D says Doll...". We sang it daily...and then talked about the different letters each week and how the "A" sounds in different words.  Then I started with small words....BAT...CAT...etc.  By the time we "graduated", at least 2/3 the class could read small words.  


Also, another thing is that I labeled EVERYTHING.  That way they could look at the object and the word..and tie them together.  It really seemed to help when they started putting together the small words themselves.  :)

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