What did you use to teach your children to read?

[deleted account] ( 168 moms have responded )

My 5 year old Step-Daughter is having trouble reading. It's not because she's slow or mentally challenged! My Husband and I only get visitation with her and, when she's at moms house no one takes the time to sit with her and show her how to do it or works with her. When my husband and I try and work with her at our house she figits, is easily fustrated and, wants to quit after a few words, She is also facing summer school and she's not even in kindergarten. If you could suggest methods, books, tapes or, games I would appericiate it. Thank you very much for your input.

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Jill - posted on 06/30/2010

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Hi. I am not trying to brag or anything. Yes. give her a treat or give her praise for getting them right and that is a treat to her and will build her confidence. I know we as parents want to look for some sophisicated ways for children to learn, but children still learn from the old fashioned way. I am a preschool teacher and I will share some of my treasures with you. I also use starfall.com and edhelper.com. They have a good package for beginning readers. I use it in my own home for my own children. The more you give her one on one before she goes to school she will learn most of it at school. Help her to start writing her name, telephone, and address. Learn the basic colors, even games involving rembering words and help her trace words. This will start her off before she gets to school. She will be fine. Some children are not there yet either. Work with her this summer and she will be ready when school starts. Make sure she can hold a pencil right.

Jameelah - posted on 06/30/2010

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My daughter has been reading since she was 4 she is 6 now. What i did i bought some index cards and wrote the alphabets with pictures on there and we sound the letters out everyday until she was able to sound them out herself. Then i got a sight word list and started to teach her 5 new words a week. Iunderstand your frustration as being a stepmom cause in my last relationship before i had my daughter i was doing the same with my stepson and his parents didnt care. When he came over he continued to show interest in learning to read, and I taught him it was hard, but I hung in there and now hes at the top of his 4th grade class! Dont get discouraged if she wants and willing to continue to learn how to read, you help her.

Amanda - posted on 06/30/2010

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Try the Leapfrog Tag Reading System. My son has it and loves it. You can also get a carrying case for it and she can trans port it back and forth. My son loves it. He picks it up and reads or listens to story.

Natalia - posted on 06/30/2010

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my son just turned two and since about 18 months he recognized letters and their sounds...we read to him a lot and also got lower case magnet alphabet letters and each day we sit and do the phonetic sounds together...and if we get through all of them some days great...some days we just do a few...no pressure...and now he loves it and can sound simple words on his own...also leap frog has excellent dvds that teach phonetic sounds of the letters to kids with songs that they can remember

Ann - posted on 06/30/2010

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my daughter just turned 6 on monday, She is reading at a grade 4 level. When she couldn't read we made a bingo game using sight words, we both had fun with this. We also read alot and when we were out we read sign eg. Stop signs and road signs. She also had a Tag reading pen. She still loves to play with this, You can hook it up to your pc to see what she has been doing with it. Hope this helps, make it fun and not like work and she will start to enjoy it. My daughter also enjoys going to the public library. Good Luck!

Jill - posted on 06/30/2010

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The type of books I use for my beginning readers are the Dr. Seuss books. They may sound silly, but the children learn from hearing words repetitiously. Phonic Awareness system like hooked on phonics, and flash cards with age appropriate words.

Cecelia - posted on 06/30/2010

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The website Anna-Marie Verner stated that is another good one! I used that one too Anna :D

Anna-Marie - posted on 06/30/2010

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If you have a computer a good website is Starfall.com, it's free & my son loves it because they do lots of songs & funny animations to help them learn their letters, words & helps them to start reading books. I also read to both my boys before they go to bed each night. (I know that will be difficult for you, so maybe reading with them whenever they are with you). We were lucky and got hand-me-down books from relatives as well as a few new books, and the kids love to go to the bookshelf every night & pick which story they want us to read. Books with rhymes are good. My boys know their favourite stories so well now that they finish each rhyme. Dr Seuss books and Hairy Maclary from Donaldsons Dairy books are the best (although if your in America you may not find Hairy Maclary). My son loves Dr Seuss ABC. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is also a good one to read & it teaches them to count as you read it as well.

Cecelia - posted on 06/30/2010

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I started out with some easy 2 letter words then worked my way up to the 4 letter words. I started my daughter with those easy books that you can buy at Lakeshore Learning Store (www.lakeshorelearning.com). Basically you want to go to a teacher resorce store they have it all. It is very expensive but what I have done it read some of the games and flash cards, when home and made them myself. It's really easy. My duaghter losses interest real easy so when she starts loosing interest I try to make it fun with those leapfrod learning blocks changing the spelling of things and each time she got it right and we read it together I gave her a treat. Or my favorit is the flash cards with pic I made myself. Before I knew it she knew what they were by memorising the words. Once she got there then we started working on the harder words like sh..... ea.....vowls and silent words...But don't do that untill they can ready those easy books like the ones that don't make sense to use dick and Pam ate sed and wak. They sound funny to use but really help them out alot of them are not even words. I hope this helps.

Lisa - posted on 06/30/2010

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I wouldn't worry too much if she's that young. My son struggled with the "phonics method" they used to teach reading in kindergarten. But during first grade he started to catch on and was about in the middle of his class as far as reading level. But of course all the exposure she can get to reading is helpful. I'm sure there are books, tapes and methods that help but we didn't really go that route.

Suzanne - posted on 06/30/2010

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BOB books, books on CD & DVD that your child can read along with are great... Interactive books that are familiar stories (classic fairy tales) can often be found at Costco or other discount stores... and are very helpful... when my daughter (4-years old) has a tantrum I've been successful putting her in her room and turning on the CD... 5 minutes later she is giving her dolls and toys a reading lesson...

My boys: ages 6 (just finished Kindergarten) and 8 (just finshed 2nd grade) have both had struggles and now thrive with reading. My oldest took well to some computer programs and just this year it all clicked. High frequency words (you can get a list from the library or on line) are important... use those for flash cards... but like many of the previous posts... make it fun and not a chore. Keep it to 5 or 10 words a week.

I got post-it note style words from Toys-R-Us / Staples / Office Depot (they all sell them).... and randomly select words that we use every day...

Please, Thank you, Yes, No, and then also words around the house (television, chair, table etc) and labeled the house... soon the kids were writing and labeling everything...

When we have friends over, we often start with "reading a story" as a group too...

good luck, she is a lucky girl to have you!!!

S.

Kanthony - posted on 06/30/2010

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I have use www.headsprout.com to teach both of my children to read. This is a really great program.

Robin - posted on 06/30/2010

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Kids always want to do what their parents do, do you guys read, make sure she see's you reading for fun...not work. I'm a big reader and my kids are too. don't make it "work", reading can be an adventure to another place. Take her to the library, they have story time for little kids of different age groups and seeing the other kids listening and enjoying it will help too.

Heather - posted on 06/30/2010

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I use Bob books. I also recently bought Leap Frog Sing a Long Read Along and my son likes it.
How can she face summer school if she's not in Kindergarten? I think she will learn a lot of how to read in Kindergarten. I have read that it is more important for children to get physical exercise that stimulates the part of the brain that is used for reading.
She also might benefit from pre-reading activities like rhyming games. Does she know all the sounds that the letters make? Also, just read to her, that is vital in learning to read. Talk about what you read and let her answer questions and make guesses. She might not be ready to read yet. I would not pressure her too much or she will hate reading. She is still young! Don't push it and understand that attention span might be only 15 minutes at best.
Try posting words on common objects with cards and tack them on to objects like "door" or "table." Make sure she identifies lower case letters and their sounds. Most reading consists of lower case letters.
Easiest games might be matching uppercase and lower case letters (buy flash cards with both at almost any store). We also play Go Fish with alphabet cards. Teaching reading can be challenging. She will learn in Kindergarten and if she doesn't she might repeat it but I believe she will learn. Please do not stress about it yet!

Angela - posted on 06/30/2010

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I use flash cards as well...when she's older, you can turn it into a sentence game. This is what I do with my 7 year old.

Karen - posted on 06/30/2010

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read to her as often as possible, simple repetitive books, point to the words as you read them. Words written on cards/paper that you play games with eg can you show me this object (read the word to her) and can you put this on (and read the word). make it fun hunting for the words, playing games with the words etc. do it together and get her to take turns hunting/ doing the action. in time she will pick up more and more reading/language skills. remember.... be patient...it will happen in her time!

Tammy - posted on 06/30/2010

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What worked with my children is Dr Suess books. They can learn to read them easily, it builds their confidence, and they wanted to read more. They also have Dr Suess board games. Well, that's what worked for my 4! Good Luck!

Catherine - posted on 06/30/2010

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Hi Amber,
Your step daughter sounds like my daugter. Mine is a bright girl but when it comes to reading, it was a chore. Have done a couple of things. Disneydigitalbooks.go.com has helped a ton. It's interactive and you can choose the appropriate level. My daugter loves computer games so we have several applications on our iPhones , SuperWHY, Sight Words, Early Reader and Reading Bug all fell to her like games, but she's reading. There are tons of sites that will allow you to print out phonics worksheets if she is still at that level. One piece of advice that my daughters K teacher gave us, when we sat with her at parent teacher conference....You need to view reading like a baby walking. When you baby first starts to walk, you can take them by the had and walk them around all you want. But until they are "ready" to walk, they can't. Reading is the same. Just don't give up. Any time you spend with her will help.
Sincerely,
Catherine

Lorraine - posted on 06/27/2010

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I know it sounds odd but,set the subtitles on all of their favorite dvds that they regularly watch then turn the volume lower with every couple times they view it.It helped my son with his reading.They already have the dialogue memorized and they will start to match the words on their own.

Nadia - posted on 06/27/2010

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Hi Amber!
I could tell you a lot of tips, but maybe I just refer you to the forum I've been contributing to http://www.brillkids.com/ra.php?8270 It talks a lot about babies reading but has a section on educating older kids as well. Reading to her I think is a key! It helps to lead your finger under the words as you read them as unobtrusively as you can, and there are lot more ideas there!
cheers,
Nadia

Alba - posted on 06/26/2010

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I home school and had an amazing experience with this. I read to my boys everyday and eventually they started asking me to run my finger under the words as I read. Next thing I know, they are reading. I did also have them read to me the level 1 reading books and then move up as they got better. No expensive programs!

Rosemary - posted on 06/26/2010

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Sound like u are in the USA. Flash cards are good but u need something that is going to get her. is she at all into comeputer if so the read along books the ones with the pens it's something that she can do for herself after u show how to use it.

For People in AUS there is a wonderful book. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ IN 100 EASY LESSON Author is Siegfied Engelman my oldest was reading before he hit prep.

Ma - posted on 06/26/2010

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sight word flashcards - after she's familiar with a few make games. My son loved hopping to certain words (skipping, jogging,etc.). I also put the words up on the walls/doors and we'd go on a word search together - we also did this using his play equipment outside. Dr. Seuss is fun also as are easy ready books you can find at the bookstore

Cyndie - posted on 06/26/2010

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Sounds silly, but I used crayons. They have the color written on the side and show the color which she probably already knows. Once they put two and two together, it just flowed. That words MEAN something special was all they needed. Good luck.

Stella - posted on 06/26/2010

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the best way 2 teach a child 2 read is by first like my 4 yr old,let him be so familiar with his sounds,start teaching the child letter formation,from 2 sounds to 3 sounds n then n from their he'd be able 2 join word n make simple sentes n read all thru,

Becky - posted on 06/26/2010

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Make sure she has a thorough understanding of the letters and sounds before you push words on her. She should easily recognize each letter and the sound it makes before she begins to read. Then start with sight words, if, and, but, can are good easy one-syllable words. You can search for sight word lists on the internet. As soon as she can put together these sight words, she'll be ready for easy phonics books (found at your library.)

Peggy - posted on 06/26/2010

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I read to my children a lot from the time they are babies. They all love this and they love books. My 8 year old can read almost anything and I am still reading to him. My four year old can recognize some words and knows there is a connection between letters and words. She knows most of her letters, but doesn't know the sounds that go with them yet. We also play lots of word games. My children think reading is fun. I used The Phonics Game with my oldest son and also "Bob books". We have also used Explode the Code. We recently received Hooked on Phonics as a gift and my younger son is really enjoying it. It is more appropriate for younger children than the Phonics Game.

[deleted account]

Phonics works. Teaching the sound for each letter instead of the name "aaa" for A and "paa" for P. My daughter learnt an action for each sound in her English school e.g. for a she uses her fingers to pretend ants are crawling up her arm and c is her fingers doing a tick tock movement. Once she knew her sounds she can work out most words. The actions also make it fun: she giggles when I get it wrong an she loves to correct me, so much so I get it wrong on purpose some times. Using this method my 5 year old daughter is now reading at a level for the year above her.

Robyn - posted on 06/25/2010

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Hi :) i have a 7year old boy, who loves to read.I read books to him at night, just as my mum did and find him reading in the mornings.I was thinking, even though you don't get much time with your step-daughter, give it a try! at first just read to her and let her become enthusiastic about the story-you never know the power of encouragement, try not to be too critical of her reading as she might be feeling that at her Mums place..strangely enough, my boy has trouble writing, but is an excellent reader!

Julie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I'm a kindergarten teacher, kids don't come to me reading, but they leave reading. If visiting you is infrequent she may just want to spend quality time not feeling pressured to perform on something she's uncomfortable doing. Let her shine in what she is good at, pull in fun and games pointing out environmental print. If she's not reading by 1st grade, her teachers will give more clues on how to help her. Children in many European countries don't start learning until age 7, Montesorri starts at 7 to teach reading, in the end most average out.
Read to her and have fun with it. If she enjoys books, she'll figure it out, and let her school teachers help her learn.

Amy - posted on 06/25/2010

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i do agree with ms, Kristi Bernard.. make sure she doesnt have dislexia, a factor often neglected.. and if dislexia is not an issue then i would suggest books or flash cards with pictures..my soon to be 2nd grader started with d toy which plays phonic sounds like d leapfrog when he's 2yrs old. knowing the letter sounds first helps him get started into reading and writing simple words.. another that may help is to read aloud to her every time you get a chance specially before bedtime, 5-15 mins is good...let her pick the book she wants... and a especial trip to the bookstore with her will probably help as well.. :)

Dawn - posted on 06/25/2010

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my daughter has a leap frog click start, it hooks to the tv and looks like a keyboard, you get games to put into the console that teach all kinds of skills. it taught my daughter how to read and do basic math at 4 years old.

[deleted account]

Read to her, read to her, and read to her some more. Choose chapter books with shortish chapters and suspense--we did well with the Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books and My Father's Dragon at first. Associate it with love and attention and together time, not forced drudgery. And relax.

Darlene - posted on 06/25/2010

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I agree with Heather. I'm a former teacher and always looked for ways to make learning fun and inviting. Take her to a library and (while in her reading level of books) see what types of books she gravitates to. Find a comfy place at home - bed, couch, bean bag chair - and enjoy some reading together. You read to her at first and if its a book she can read, she can read to you. If she is hesitant then alternate reading to each other. Dr Seuss books are fun for kids and the Bob Book series is great for beginner readers. Bob Books may not be at your library, ask the librarian. If not, try Barnes and Noble. You can also try an incentive plan such as read flash cards and get a treat as Michelle suggested, or read for 5 minutes with me each day for a week and you get a special something such as a day at a water park or a game she has had her eye on.
The other Moms have great suggestions so give everything a try. I have also liked the Reader Rabbit programs. PBSkids.org is a great site for readers. Make sure that the games she is working on is on her level or it just gets frustrating. I also agree with Sylvia. At 5 most kids are not readers. When I taught first grade, many kids had the alphabet down (but not all), most had a few sight words, and very few were readers. Everyone progresses at their own rate and its our jobs as parents to advocate for our children. Summer school for a five year old is unneccessary unless there are significant delays.
Good luck!

Carla - posted on 06/24/2010

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I used the 'Dick and Jane' books for my kids. I found them at Wal Mart. The repition is great and the pictures help them to figure out a word they may get stuck on!

Anonymous - posted on 06/24/2010

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We bought the hooked on phonics for our first daughter and it worked wonders. However, we tried it with our second daughter and she could care less. Try flash cards or even a photo album where she could pick the pictures and together you could write simple sentences using common sight words such as "the", "it", "we", "and", etc. We also labeled things around the house with the help of our daughters so that they felt involved and it became a game. There's also a website called "Starfall" that both of my kids liked. Finally, go to a book store and have her pick out easy readers. First read the book to her and then have her pick words that are familiar throughout the book. If you make it a game, she may respond well and eventually start to recognize the words. From there, you could have her read simple sentences from the easy readers and work up to paragraphs. Well, I hope this helps. I spent a lot of time getting my kids to read but it's well worth it. Good luck!!!

LaSondra - posted on 06/24/2010

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The love of reading is modeled and acquired, not forced. I am a reading teacher, and my most avid readers are those that enjoy it, not those that were forced. Children learn to read until grade two, and after that, they read to learn. Allow her to go through the process. Make reading and learning fun. Set the atmosphere: choose many books from various genres, read everyday materials - menus, newspapers,signs etc., talk about books and current events at the table, and finally, take her on field trips and then find books or magazines that tie into the items that piqued her interest. Before you know it, she'll be asking you to read!

Karen - posted on 06/24/2010

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I personally think that there is almost a switch that flips some time between 5 and 7 where they just "get it". Our librarian says that it's not unusual for over half the kids to be non-readers at the start of 1st grade, by the end they are all reading. Some of it is that she is not read to, but much of it is her age. My 6 y.o. is a huge reader but just started reading to herself in the last 6 months. She still loves to cuddle up and be read to, we do it every night, even though she can read an entire American Girl book herself. Some of the things we did were intentionally mess up a word to see if she was paying attention, it ended up being a great game. Mainly, read to her as much as you can, take her to the library and have her pick out books that she likes, read what interests her, but most of all, don't stress out about it. I think Summer School, unless there is a pressing academic need (learning disability, etc.) is overkill and could burn her out. Also, make sure she has a reading area stocked with a nice chair (take her to pick it out), rug, and have books at her eye level that she can go get whenever she wants. If she at least sees you guys making it something that everyone does and that is made special for her, it will come in time. Another idea that comes to mind is to cook with her and have her read the recipe to you, she'll be reading and not even know it and the words will make sense to her because she'll see them become something else.

Kris - posted on 06/24/2010

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my daughter is 5 and will start kindergarden soon we are working with her. Start with sight words then move on to flash cards. My daughter has learn alot of words that way but practice makes perfect.

Kristi - posted on 06/24/2010

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Check to make sure dislexia is not an issue. Other than that, let her read favorite books by looking at the pictures. Soon she will recognize words. Repetition is key.

Camilla - posted on 06/24/2010

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Magnetic letters that you can put on the fridge to build words. I use that at work (I'm a teacher) and the children like it a lot! And I must say that she's only 5 years old, it will come to her when she wants it to, you can't force someone to read unless they are ready. But show her fun ways and she might want to start learning. I'm sure she will learn how to read in her own pace.

De-anne - posted on 06/24/2010

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Before my eldest daughter started preschool we had Alphabet Farm on the computer. I was trying to teach her the alphabet myself and wasn't succeeding. The program helped. You can also get Jump Start programs for different age groups and school levels. I have found them very helpful. Reading to her helps too. She will get there. What about a reward chart? When she completes a page or a little book, she gets a star on a chart? In grade 1 my daughter had rhymes that they sang to do with the letter sounds. "Ants on the apple a,a,a".

Traci - posted on 06/23/2010

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When my daughter was done with kindergarten she was really bummed she was not taught to read so my mother bought "Hooked on Phonics". We worked for about an hour everyday and by the time she started 1st grade she was reading at a second grade level!!! It was wonderful!!

Amy - posted on 06/23/2010

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I wouldn't push. That turns them off. BOB books are great. Read to her a lot and point out a lot of environmental print and letters there. Maybe do flashcards for the site words. Most kids do not start reading until about half way through kindergarten so just having a good grasp on letters, letters sounds, etc. will help. And read to your child a lot.

Rebecca - posted on 06/23/2010

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my youngest child is 5 also & he can't read anything! What's the rush, she's only 5! Just read together a lot. Point to each word as you read & stick to fun, rhyming books when she is visiting you but don't push. Get some of those books with reading along tapes like we had as children so she can also have reading time alone. But I really wouldn't worry that a 5 year old can not read yet, I know I am not worre\ied about mine. He is extremely intelligent & will read when it is his time. Relax.

C - posted on 06/22/2010

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you can start by giving her toys with alphabets on them, like blocks or flash cards with pictures. then from there shes able to identify words and sounds of phonics. then give her some books with 3 letter words, there are books with cds that teach kids how to read.

Eileen - posted on 06/22/2010

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My first child learned to read quickly and well. My second child wouldn't read until she was 10. I didn't pressure her, but I did emphasize that anything she liked would be in books. I homeschool, and one of the things that homeschoolers pay attention to are the different developmental stages of different children. Not all are ready to read at the same time. We were more concerned that our daughter would develop a life-long love of reading, so we didn't pressure her. We concentrated on math instead. Now, at age 12, she doesn't just read book, she reads entire series of books.

Another thing that helped her read were ironically, video games. We made sure that the ones she had required reading and decision making to play. Cartoons and comic books are another way to get older children to read. Younger children like yours may simply be unready to process the visual messages.

Karen - posted on 06/22/2010

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I am a teacher, and really, her mom is doing her a huge disservice by not reading with her. You don't need to teach her as you read together...just READ together! Make it a special time, cuddle up on the couch like someone else said. She needs to see the pleasure in hearing a story, talking about the story, giggling with you at a story. What some people said about turning her off to reading can be so true. Don't cram it down her throat. She IS only 5. Many kindergarteners come in not reading, but it breaks my heart when they come in not having been read TO. Take her to the library, have her pick out books she wants to hear read to her. As you're reading ask her things like what she thinks will happen next or if she's ever had something like that happen to her (just by talking you're getting at important comprehension strategies without it seeming like teaching). When the story is done ask her what her favorite part of the story was. After she's heard a story a few times (and yes, read the same ones over and over!), let her "read" the story to you (she doesn't even have to read the words yet, just telling the story as she remembers it and uses picture clues to remember)...But again, don't push it. Make reading enjoyable. It might also help for her to see you reading and enjoying it.

Brandie - posted on 06/21/2010

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Take her to the library and try checking out books of things that are of interest to her. My son reads way above his reading level, but my daughter only wants books read to her of things that are of interest to her. I have to read the title of the book to her and than show her the book. She really enjoys this and we go to the library every other day.

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