A, And and About

At age 2 1/2 (8 months home) my child had mastered the entire English alphabet. ?At 3 he could write his name. ?At 3 1/2 he knows the letters alphabetically and knows all the letter sounds (both soft and hard). ?At 2 1/2 he knew all of his shapes. ?At age 3 he knew complex shapes (diamond, trapezoid). ?At age 3 1/2 he knew many three dimensional shapes. ?At age 2 1/2 he knew basic colors. ?At age 3 he could verbally distinguish dark from light. ?We are working on complex colors (magenta, chartreuse, lavender).

People who know us well and know of the boy’s brain capacity have started asking about reading. ?Does he know how to read yet? ?Are you teaching him how to read? ?I will admit that reading has been scary for me. ?I am having a hard time figuring out how to teach him how to read. ?You see, he is a visual learner. ?I too am a visual learner. ?I taught him all of the letters, sounds, shapes and colors with visual tools. ?Lots and lots of flash cards (that’s how I taught him English too). ?I have those same tools for reading. ?I have a deck of sight words. ?My first inclination is to have him master the sight words on well… sight alone. ?However, my inner bookworm says wait a minute. ?He really needs the foundation of reading. ?Phonics.

Yes, he knows his letter sounds. ?He doesn’t know complex letter combinations yet (sh, ch, th). ?We are still working on those. ?I do have a set of phonics flash cards that I will pull out and work with in conjunction to the sight words. ?This is one of those things that if I work with him for a few weeks ?he will be reading in no time.

This morning we sat down to work on a few sight word cards (at the child’s insistence). ?I started at the front of the deck (in the a’s). ?I figured 5 would be sufficient. ?We made it to 6 words. ?We worked on identifying the letters in the word, the sounds the letters make and putting it all together. ?The words we worked on today are a, an, and, all, about and after. ?I like the cards, he likes the cards, but it seems very illogical. ?I would rather use a resource that utilized building on words. A to An to And, Be to Bee to Been. ?Trouble is the boy works very well with flash cards. ?He likes workbooks, but flash cards work better for him.

He and I made an agreement that we will work on a few words a day and for each letter that he learns by sight and/or sounding out he will earn a sticker. ?Earn so many stickers and get something out of the prize basket. ?Eventually we’ll up the ante (full sentences to books).

He does want to learn how to read. ?So any help from my wiser moms would be appreciated. ?What resources have you found handy in teaching your children to read? ?Even if your kids are older. ?The boy may only be 4 (almost 5) but is much smarter than your average 4 year old.

13 Comment

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  2. kristin says: Reply

    Bob Books. They are great. Help with blending. That is how Klaire began to read at 4. You can get them at any book store. They come in a set and start with very simple words sat sam etc. Good luck!
    Kristin
    Also google “movable alphabet” it is the Montessori way and also rocks!

  3. Lauri says: Reply

    We are using first readers library books and working on sounds & phonics. Our good friends are both 1st grade & kindergarten teachers so they have been helpful in pointing us in the right direction. Like Oleg,Olivia also shows interest in reading and has always been advanced.

    Why can’t a Mom say that without sounding like she is being boastful?

    We also do reader rabbit & phonics computer games & workbooks.I know there is a website my teacher friend recommends and they do hawk these programs that supposedly guarantee early reading.

    I focus on the sounds… because that is what is most important, keep it simple & fun.

  4. Emily says: Reply

    Visual learners will learn better with sight words. To work on phonics with Colten a friend recommended the website http://www.starfell.com It focuses specifically on sounding out words and phonics with several levels. Good luck, and you are blessed to have a go-getter in learning. I’ve got the slow starter creative one!

  5. Darn. I just shipped out our BOB books to a book moocher (BookMooch.com). They were great. I’ll send you a box of stuff but you will have to send me your address again, as I am way to dazed and confused to keep track of that stuff.

  6. In the box:

    LeapFrog DVDs — Letter Factory, Learn to Read, Talking Words Factory, Code Word Caper, and Math Circus just for fun. These are excellent.

    Open Court readers — we are either done with these, or we had duplicates. These have been very effective.

    Brand New Readers – Piggy and Dad — the kids LOVED the whole Brand New Reader series.

  7. Amy says: Reply

    FREE BOOKS here is a link to FREE sight word and word family books you can print! The sight words books build on each other by using known sight words and adding new ones. They even have lots of boy friendly ones!!! I work with ESL kiddos and have seen great progress using these books. I had kids that came in not knowing any letters or sounds and ended up knowind 20 sight words! Here is the link http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/printable_booklets.html

  8. DebiP says: Reply

    Griffin and the boy being sooo close in age (and both from Russia…aren’t WE the lucky ones) and making the same mile stones at the same ages I also suggest the BOB books and the leap DVD’s are fun.

    We realize that in the beginning, what is really happening IS memorization. That is how it all starts. As time goes by he “knows” them readily as he has been exposed to them so many times it becomes natural. We read everywhere…using the sounds that he knows so easily and learning the words through that. He reads all sorts of signs when we are out. At home every night he reads with his dad the bob books and all the easy reader books we have with the Backyardigans http://store.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?Nav=com.endeca.navigation.Navigation%4051736d57&jspStoreDir=SSOStore&ERecs=%5Bcom.endeca.navigation.ERec%4061beed57%5D&searchTerm=backyardigans&productId=12884&catalogId=10051&Usq=N%3D0%26Ntk%3DSS_SI%26Ntt%3Dbackyardigans%26Ntx%3Dmode%252bmatchallpartial%26Nty%3D1&ERecsSize=1&langId=-1&SearchString=Ntt%3Dbackyardigans%26Ntk%3DSS_SI%26storeId%3D10052%26Ntx%3Dmode%252bmatchallpartial%26searchTerm%3Dbackyardigans%26N%3D0%26catalogId%3D10051%26jspStoreDir%3DSSOStore%26Nty%3D1&productName=The+Backyardigans+Phonics+Reading+Program&storeId=10052&Ntk=SS_SI&ddkey=SearchEndecaCmd# and such. Scholastic http://store.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/HomeView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10051 can be a great resource. Sorry for the long links don’t know how to fix that. We also have a ton of read along books and Griffin has his own ‘boom box’ that he loads and reads with the story. Good Luck we truly are blessed with these smart boys!

  9. I like the First Readers. But, having said that, given how smart he is, he may just do it. He may just read one day. I know that doesn’t sound very helpful right now but he literally may just know how to read one day. Do you do things like when you’re driving in the car and you see a light you say, hmmm….light…l…l…what letter makes that sound? Because it seems to me he is going to move very quickly from what letter makes that sound to combining letters.

  10. reeciebird says: Reply

    I am with Rebecca. We read lots, talk about letters everywhere and then the memorization of a few words… voila! He’s trying to sound them out! He can sound them out! The boy is so smart (and you know I totally know what you mean), that he will still be reading way ahead of the norm.

    And you can also check out Bob books at the library. No limit! But we found that once it clicked he was reading books he already had, kids library books, and generally wanting much more interesting stuff.

  11. Nat says: Reply

    My son is also 4 almost 5, adopted at 20 mos St.Pete. BOB Books are magic. Once they know their letters and sounds they are good to go. Book one is as easy as “Sam sat” on page one. They can sound out every word in book #1. On day one he’ll be able to read the whole book by himself which is super motivating! With each book they start increasing the complexity of words/adding new sounds/adding sight words. The pics are simple but funny. He was reading 5+ word sentences within a week. He happened to be assessed shortly thereafter and they said he was reading at a 1st grade level- this was a few months ago at about 4 1/2. I have been preaching Bob book to everyone ever since. **The thing I found difficult before I found these books was that “beginner reading” books were just printed big, but weren’t made of words that could be sounded out. I ended up making my own books for my kids so they could actually sound out the words and be successful in reading a book- done for you with Bob books. Love ’em. I can send you set #1 if you’d like. Glad to have someone else use them. Although I might beg to make a trade for one of those cool stuffed guys like you made for your little man 🙂

  12. Lauren says: Reply

    In kindergarten and in first grade our school system used sight words but also would group the words around a common beginning, ending, sound, etc. I believe if you search on line for sight words you will find all sorts of lists by grade. You can always start with the kindergarten words and build from there.

    If you need more examples let me know. I am sure I have the lists somewhere.

  13. Lea says: Reply

    We are using The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. It provides scripted lessons but I don’t use those. I too am doing flashcards and they sound out the words but I use the book to know what order to introduce the sounds….although they already know most of them just from playing. I’m still going through it to reinforce and to follow the order in which they introduce new words and also sight words.

    In addition to that, we are using the first set of Bob Books. They are great because the child can start reading right away.

    Ben will be 4 at the end of September and he can sound out the words and ‘read’ some of these books, even though we have only played around every once in a while with blending letters into words. Nick can do it also but not quite as well as Ben. Nick will turn 4 in mid-November. If I actually sat down and did a lesson with them each day (10 to 15 min), I know they would both be reading by now. But instead, we are just playing, although they have been asking to “do school” so I am planning to do a bit more starting in a couple of weeks.

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