Learning to read, need help!

Kylie - posted on 08/08/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a four year old son who starts prep next year and he is just starting to learn to read. We are starting on sight words and are doing 4 words at a time.

My problem is he is having a lot of trouble remembering them, he is making guesses of just any random words. I was hoping someone could help me with ways i could help him remember the words and help them stick. TIA :)

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Jennifer - posted on 08/09/2012

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Are you reading to him a lot? That's a biggie!

What kinds of words have you started with? My daughter started recognizing different words in the community - the name of the grocery store we frequent, STOP signs, that sort of thing. We work to sound out words together too.

If you have them printed on cards, you may tape them up as labels on things. For example: chair, table, door, bed. This will help him associate the word with the object.

Let him lead. Do it in the general course of the day. Does he like to help cook? Help him sound out words in a recipe. Does he like books? Let him help "read" along with you with the familiar books. You read most of a sentence and let him finish with the last word. If he watches TV, the shows Word World and Super Why are really good. They are cute, and teach in a gentle and engaging way.

Good luck!

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Jenn - posted on 08/09/2012

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Site words are merely introductory for 4&5 year olds. True reading should begin with phonics. Learning the ABC's is one thing but the letters generally do not sound like their name. Site words is to help encourage memory retention and word recognition but it isn't going to do much for actual reading. Kids have to understand the sounds letters make and many letters have different sounds in different words! My daughters learn using SAXON reading program at their school, it is also commonly taught by homeschools. Your son also needs to be ready. Some kids take to learning to read early and most aren't mature or interested enough to really grasp it until 5 or 6.

Pocket phonics is a great phone app we use for my five year old.

Also, let me add that I think writing should be done simultaneously. When my kids were four, I would write and they'd copy, then we'd read it again together. Thank you notes, holiday notes, simple letters to grandparents, etc. Writing letters in words as opposed to just ABC's was very helpful.

Dove - posted on 08/09/2012

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There is way more to reading than memorization. All of my kids have started with learning the ABC's, then their sounds, then sounding out words. Sight words are good to know (especially since a LOT of English words do not make sense), but I wouldn't start there. Most of the words you are starting with can be sounded out anyway. Teach him that part first and the rest will follow in time.

Amy - posted on 08/09/2012

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I would wait till he has the abc's down before you you try and get him memorizing site words, that way if he doesn't know rather than guessing he can sound out a word. But it's really not just enough to know the alphabet he needs to know the sounds a letter makes. Last year my son was in kindergarten they spend the first 4 weeks going through the alphabet and learning the sounds. So he would have home work and we would have to say 'b' says bah. and than he would practice writing the letter.

Kylie - posted on 08/09/2012

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Thanks for the help Jennifer. I love the idea of pinning words on the item that's such a great idea. Yes! I read to him all the time he loves me reading to him. I read his fave books the most as he knows half the words so he can read along without really read (if you know what i mean).

We are starting with: Yes, No, Stop, Go, Big and Little. I know he understands them as he has his moments where he will get them all right but other times where he wont. He is slower then other kids his age in his speech which interferes with his learning. He has a lot of trouble with sounding his words out (due to his speech difficulties), i will sound them out and he will copy. But i can see it frustrates him if he cant quiet say it so i just let him work at that at his own pace.

Hes still working on his ABC's. Should i wait till he gets his ABC's before we move onto reading?

He does recognizes names of shops like: Kmart, Target, Woolworths and shops we visits often.



Thanks again for your help :)

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