how can i start teaching my 4yr old child how to read???

Anna - posted on 04/10/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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i dont know how to start on teaching her how to read..what i usually do is i read the word first then she repeats it....but i notice she`s not learning it doesnt work...pls help give me tips...

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Kellean - posted on 04/10/2010

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The sooner the better. I bought these Disney books when my children were little. They were really cool. With each page of the story they listed things that were in the picture. For example they would talk about throwing around a ball and the ball was on that page. So you would do word associations which is really important for a child's learning. You read as often as you can. You can never read too much. While reading you can ask where is the ball? When she points out the ball you can ask her what color it is and so forth. Do this with every visual book you read. I read these books over and over again every single day. If you have her watch videos make sure they are sing a long video's with the words at the bottom of the screen. It helped with my children. By the time my daughter was 3 she was reading, knew her alphabet and could count to forty. She also could write her name. If you have the time, take as much time as you need. Help make learning fun for her. What a great age. I hope you are enjoying it! They grow up so fast! If I can find out the names of those books, I will let you know. We are all here for you!

Holly - posted on 04/10/2010

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We homeschool. My oldest, who is eleven - learned simply by a strong will. She made up her mind that she was going to do it and she did. My four year old (middle child) decided last September that she wanted to do school too, so we bought Abeka's Kindergarten for five year old's even though she was only four. We began in September and by Christmas she was reading books. AMAZING!



They had us start with the alphabet of course, but concentrated only on vowels to begin with... A says a, as in Apple, A says A. A, A, A. E says e. As in Elephant, E says E. E, E, E. and so on and so forth. after that, we introduced consenants. Then blends and blend ladders (putting a consenant with a vowel) Then gradually went for special sounds and longer blends. It was amazing to watch!



If you'd like to look at Abeka's cirriculum, check out www.abeka.com



Good Luck, and have fun!

Kelly - posted on 04/10/2010

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Well, she first needs to learn to identify the letters of the alphabet. After she can name them all well, teach her the sounds they make. Then you can start teaching her to sound out words by putting the different sounds together. Some schools teach reading this way, and to me it seems to work best. Others teach reading by memorizing individual words (as you have been trying to do). Some words can't be sounded out, so really you end up using a combination of both methods, but I would start with sounding out. Just curious, though, why you want to teach her to read? I only ask because one of my older kids was really advanced (learned to read completely in the first two weeks of kindergarten, read off the charts after that), and he was always so bored in elementary school. He was never challenged enough, and I just am not sure why all the attention is now on "teaching baby to read". I just don't see any reason for them to learn any younger than kindergarten. But I'm not trying to tell you not to if that's what you want to do, just curious is all. Good luck! : )

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Carol - posted on 04/20/2012

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I loved Hooked on Phonics for my son. It takes all the guess work out of it. Every lesson builds on previous lessons. e-bay has some good deals on them - get the ones with the CD's though, rewinding and forwarding would be a bear. My son went from not knowing the alphabet when he was 5 to finishing their K,1,2,2,3,4,5,6 (there ar 2 second grade levels) before he turned 6 - 9 months for all of them. It doesn't help with the reading comprehension, but it takes one more thing out of the picture that kids have to worry about. It's pretty hard to comprehend something or follow directions when you can't even read it.

good luck

Carlie - posted on 04/20/2012

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Ahhh...thank you Elaine! Same to you-and if you aren't yet-then you will be. I say this with utter confidence, because you were able to recognize the honesty behind my post. Thank you for the compliment. I have my "mom" moments as well however! God bless ya. :)

Elaine - posted on 04/20/2012

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Carlie, you are SO RIGHT about how you have to start fun and end fun! Emotion and learning are critically linked. Negative emotions (boredom, anxiety, anger) shut down our ability to think and remember. By contrast, positive emotions (amusement, surprise) seem to cement memories and concepts into our brains. Teaching works best when the child doesn't even realize they are being "taught" something; they thought they were just having fun! It's kind of like when they eat a yummy muffin and don't realize that there is almost an entire serving of fruits and vegetables in that muffin, LOL. :-) You sound like a wonderful mom!

Carlie - posted on 04/20/2012

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Teaching your child anything also involves teaching yourself something as well. She is learning from you, and you are learning from her, correct? CORRECT.



How do you start teaching her to read? The most basic and most important lesson of all: PATIENCE. Patience while doing so, and she will learn that it's ok if she doesn't get it the first time, because mama has enough PATIENCE to support me in my endeavor, so that we can learn TOGETHER.



I INTRODUCED my daughter to reading at birth. My daughter had the tone and speech pattern of a 5 year old-when she was a year old. Amazing right? Yeah, to me too as well. By INTRODUCED, I mean that I started teaching her at birth. Actually, I started earlier than that, because I would sit in my little rocking chair while I was pregnant, whip out a book or two-and read to her while rubbing my belly with the other hand. Is this why she accomplished so many things earlier than her peers? I do not know. What I do know, is that the earlier you teach them, the easier it is for them to REMEMBER. It doesn't always mean that they will learn faster than another child-it just means that you have given them the correct MEMORIZATION TOOLS to do so, should they decide to make that decision.



If not, then again.....patience is key. I started reading books to Cooper when she was but a wee bud, and I continue to do so to this day. I also have always spoken to her like she is an adult. Baby talk? Parents should smack themselves in the face for speaking to ANY child, let alone their own, this way. Baby talk does NOTHING to help your child learn to speak correctly. When I speak to Cooper, I ENUNCIATE my words and I repeat how to pronounce big words or any word she questions. Then I ask her to repeat that word. For example:



"Cooper, I am feeling sooo EXHAUSTED right now." She says, "What does that mean?" I tell her it means that I am really tired. I then ask her if she can say that word, and then I tell her to look at my mouth and repeat after me: EX-ZAW-STED. Now say it again. And what does it mean? Right. E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D. Yep I spell it for her too.



What does this have to do with your question you may ask? Alot actually. Because when a parent teaches a child in this way, you are introducing DIFFERENT patterns of words and speech to them, thus enabling them to learn to recognize words by sound and sight for future use. This is a great start to reading.



Continue reading to your child until she learns to read on her own, and even after she does, because she will still be learning-and looking for-how to read "expressions and tone" from you.



Backtracking a bit.....Go to the library with her now, if you have not previously. Most local libraries allow children to have their own library card at 5 years of age. I know my local library does-and what a great priviledge it is for them. Teach them the proper way to handle books: with respect. Teach them how to look for books. VERY IMPORTANT: Ask your child what she wants to read about today? Not what YOU want to read about or what YOU want them to read about. It's not about you mama. It might be the most boring book known to man. So be it. Because even if it is, you as the parent, have the power to CHANGE it (change your tone when reading the book to her, use facial expressions, knock on the book if it mentions someone knocking on the door kind of thing, say silly things like: "my what big ears she has" , and then: "the better to hear you" i guess huh...then lean over to your child, put your ear next to hers and say, "WHOT WHOT DID YOU SAY"...kind of thing-BE SILLY).



Important lesson because you will NEVER get your child to read if you make it about you-or if you FORCE her to read something she does not want to. IT HAS TO BE ABOUT HER ALWAYS.



My daughter just turned 5 years old in mid-December 2011. She learned how to swim at age 4-much later than her peers (and this doesn't bother me)-but she also learned how to hold her breath, open her eyes, and swim without a life jacket (with me in the water and close nearby) in 3 weeks-all just by teaching and role playing pretty much-because even though I am almost 38 years old, I still hold my nose underwater and all I can do is doggy-paddle (I'm a sight let me tell ya). I did not force her to learn. What I told her was this:



"I know you are afraid to jump in the water. You don't have to until you are ready ok? But I want you to think about something for me. I want you to tell yourself this, alrighty: Tell your brain that "you can do it!" And right after you say that last word...DO IT. Jump in, don't think anymore...JUST DO IT (nike would be so proud). And she did. She jumped right in. I was a witness and it was a beautiful thing to watch on her little face. :)



A lesson such as this should be applied to your child. Introduce her to reading, but don't ever force her to, or you will REGRESS in your efforts and you will be back to point A again.



Introduce the parts of the book to her. One thing I've always done, but only really see a handful of parents doing, is reading the title of the book before they start, the author's name, and the illustrator's name also. Now your child isn't gonna remember who they are again for awhile, but over time and more books from the same every once in awhile, and they will. What's more important is to have them repeat back to you the words "illustrator" and "author" and to have them tell you what each one does in relation to the book after you tell them: the author writes the words and the illustrator draws the pictures. I also continue doing this with my daughter, as well as the dedication. Almost every book these days has a dedication. Pronounce the word, enunciate it, define it...then ask your child to repeat it back to you. Other parts of the book: the spine, the summary, the cover, the author, the illustrator, the dedication, the bar code, the words-these are generally the most important-because they will also learn these book parts in Pre-K or Kindergarten.



Cooper is barely 5 years old right now. She does not know how to read yet. All I ever do-and have done-is continue trying to do so. I make attempts, and when she gets bored or says "I don't want to do it that way anymore" then I stop and IMMEDIATELY. I don't want her to EVER not want to do it because it's not FUN anymore. And at some point it won't be-that's when you STOP and save it for another time.



I mention her age AGAIN :) because even though she cannot read at this time, I know she will be able to shortly. How shortly I do not know. But she has advanced far...so far.



I "spell" words out loud when speaking to other people in her presence. This is a challenging game for her. A game she enjoys and one I enjoy as well. She sounds out the letters of the word I spoke and then "guesses" what it is. She is almost always correct. When I read a book to her, we snuggle together, and I run my finger under each word as I read it. This is sight seeing and reading. She recognizes and remembers what that particular word looks like at that time. I also ask her questions about what I read or what she thinks is going on in the picture. This is reading comprehension. Recently, I started reading and skipping over a word. Meaning, for example: "Pinkalicious is feeling blank today" (insert the word "terrible" for blank) and then I have Cooper sound out the word to figure out what word it is. The thing is.....it gets boring and irritating for them if you have them sound out more than one or two words a page. I do one or two words every other page usually.



I have mentioned quite a few ideas of how you can start teaching your child how to read. They are all excellent ideas that can be used together or separately. I would start by first teaching her what the letter "sounds" are: A is "ay", B is "bee", C sounds like B...."cee" and they rhyme!" kind of thing. Don't worry so much about the different sounds for each letter. I would start with the traditional and basic sounds first. You can teach A is "ah" also after she gets the basic sounds down first. Flash cards are good too. Then you can do A is for "alligator" and "apple", B is for "booger" Eeew gross! (who cares right? FUN and laughing while you teach will make her want to learn more)



Again, all of the above are good starts to teaching her how to read. You have to START FUN and END FUN. Patience will teach her that you are ok with her learning at her own pace and that you love her enough to support her efforts. Praise her for trying. Each time she tries-she has made FURTHER effort right? RIGHT.



Good luck. Sorry for the length of my post. I'm gonna catch heck for it I know. :) You can do this, and together, nothing is impossible....!

Elaine - posted on 04/19/2012

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For any child to learn how to read, he or she needs to develop something called "phonemic awareness." In other words, children need to learn that words are made up of sounds, and that each of these sounds can be represented on paper via a letter or a group of letters. So first, they learn the alphabet (the names of the letters). Then they learn the sounds that each letter makes (there are some great phonics songs on YouTube). Then you can point out that we can "build" words by listening to the sounds we make to say it and writing down the corresponding letters as we hear them. Use very simple words that can be easily decoded (hen, pen, pig, box, bug, rug, cat, dog, run). Then you can go backward and "pull apart" the word after you write it down (look at the word HEN and let's sound out each letter - /h/, /e/, /n/ - Hen! You just read a word!!!!! YAY!) By this point, this is MORE than enough for a 4-year-old to know. Later you can focus on onset (the first sound of a word) and rime (the rest of the word). Cat, bat, hat, and rat have different onsets but the same rime. Have her point out which word starts with the sound /b/. Which one starts with the sound /r/? And so on. As she gets even older you can tackle more complicated words by focusing on word families. For example, words that end in -ight. She will learn that "-ight" is pronounced /ite/, so now she can read the words fight, right, might, light, bright, etc. Some words can't be decoded, so we just memorize them. These are called sight words. You can find a list of high frequency sight words such as "the" and "are". There is method to the madness, LOL! Just have fun with it, play lots of games and sing lots of songs involving letter sounds, and you'll do great!

Anna - posted on 04/14/2010

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since i am a full time mother...i`m not working..it is best if i advanced her to learn to read and write...thanks for the tips...

Melanie - posted on 04/12/2010

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i wud start sounds of letters.Also teach her the two letter sounds like "th" and "sh".then once she knows them i wud do a word tin or something with 1-3 letter words and common like "the",mum,dad,no etc.get some magnetic letter and put on the freezer and randomly encourage her to spell words.

Jeramie - posted on 04/11/2010

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I know you have to be involved for them to really learn, but to supplement the teaching... Whenever my television is on so are the closed captioning subtitles. If I let my kid watch tv, maybe they will soak up some reading at the same time..

Jess - posted on 04/11/2010

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The book "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" has worked wonderfully for all of our children so far.

Nina - posted on 04/11/2010

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I agree phonics is key to learning how to read ..some of my children had a hard time with learning at first and our school started phonics with letter and sounds with an action to help them to remember and it has been a great help..For example the letter Aa short sound action is wiggle your fingers above your elbow as if ants crawling on you, and say a, a, a! Then go over short words or names of people she/he knows with that letter is effective. Once she has mastered all of the letters and sounds move onto sight words which are common words like the, a, it , is etc. but start off with the small ones first and only a few words at a time until she's mastered them then move onto some more ..until she has mastered them ..There are websites that will give you lists of these common words or just ask her school if she is in school if not there are some good sites for learning phonics... For many children it takes a lot of time and effort for some as long as gr.2 to master reading ..So lots of reading with your child and daily practice of the letters and sounds will help her to develop into a great reader!! all the best !!

Theresa - posted on 04/11/2010

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I think its most important to instill a love of reading. Read to your little one often and let her see you enjoy reading on your own too.

Taralee - posted on 04/11/2010

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When your little one is ready to learn words. A fun way to start words is to label things in the house using large printed letters. Especially things you use everyday, because you will say the word repeatly over the day...so "Refrigerator", "Washing Machine", "Bed", "Milk", etc. When she begins to identify some words, and she is not afraid of dogs, many community libraries have a read to the dog program. My one dog is a therapy dog and we do this program. The children take five -15 minutes and can read...even just words to the dog. Children find it a blast and there is no stress, just them and a loving pup. What a fun time for you!!! good luck :)

Jackie - posted on 04/11/2010

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I agree. she needs to learn the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes. then by reading to her a book anight she will start reconising the letters/words and sounds

Jacquie - posted on 04/11/2010

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Phonics, phonics, phonics, I cannot stress that enough!! Start with her letters and move on their sounds. I home school my daughter, and the book I found most helpful is Phonics Pathway by Modern Curriculum Press. I plan on using it again with my second daughter.

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Start teaching him what sound each letter makes after he learns that then teach him to sound out the words blending the sounds together

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