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Thread: How to teach reading

  1. #1

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    Default How to teach reading

    How do I teach DS how to read? ATM he can recognise all the letters of the alphabet and knows the phonics of most of them. I am not sure how to progress onto words though.



    Also, how do I get him to hold a pen correctly? He is holding it at the top like you would hold a knife in a stabbing motion. He can write a couple of letters but I am sure he would find it a bit easier if he held the pen better.

    TIA

  2. #2

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    I used to just correct DD's grip and show her how mummy did it. Now she is great at it. Those pencils in a triangle shape are good, they encourage correct grip.

    As for reading..... sorry! By reading to him, he'll start picking up words. My SIL is a prep teacher and i noticed she always points to words as she's reading. i do know that there are also phonics type teaching programs available. Have a look on that modern teaching aids website.

  3. #3

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    Send him to school and someone trained to do it will teach him!

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    Once he gets to school he will certainly start to read. With DD1, we follow the words on the books with a finger and Nina watches.

  5. #5

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    DD#1 knew her alphabet and was writing phonetically (ie, really dreadful spelling - "I love you" became "I luf joo") before she started school. She had sight words from school on little flash cards. Simple words like 'the', 'of', 'big' etc. I read to her from simple books every day and whenever we hit one of her sight words I'd ask her what it was.

    Sounds good? Hell no. She REFUSED point blank to cooperate, she REFUSED to read her sight words off cards OR books OR when we found them on common objects ("Big red" on the tomato sauce) and tried to bribe her to get her to read them. She argued with me no end when I pointed to words in books as I read them out, because I was apparently reading them wrong, or they were spelt wrong, or she didn't agree with what I said. Trying to teach her to read was a truly horrible experience and the daily savage arguments almost brought me to tears. I was supposed to do all this stuff with her after school but with such an argumentative child it simply wasn't possible - way to make you feel like a failure.

    She ended up just deciding on her own she wanted to read just before she turned 6. She went from being totally illiterate to a 8yo reading level within a year, and is currently 9 with a 15yo reading level. She changed schools last year and because she is such a good reader the teachers assumed she had been reading since she was 3 and gave me a look of total disbelief when we said she'd only learnt to read at the end of her first year at school.

    DD#2 on the other hand is just absorbing stuff like a sponge, she knows most of her alphabet already and can count, and she likes being read to. She can remember what was in her books so she'll sit there 'reading' them out loud by rote, running her finger along the words. She's never argued with me about anything other than bedtime or the number of biscuits she can have while DD#1 argues with me about EVERYTHING (except bedtime and the number of biscuits she can have). I'm fully expecting DD#2 to be reading sometime when she's 3, maybe earlier but I'd be surprised if she does that early.

    Edit: I should mention we have around 400 children's books in this house (plus adult books too), with a range from 1-15yo reading level, sorted on the bookshelf with the baby ones at the bottom and the teenage ones at 9yo height, so our toddler just helps herself to books and makes us read them to her
    Last edited by deletedit; July 20th, 2010 at 09:48 AM.

  6. #6

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    I think it's more important to teach your children to enjoy books and reading that to teach them to read. They will have teachers at school who can teach them to read.

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    So as parents we are supposed to teach our children about the world around them, encourage their curiosity about their surroundings but deny them literacy? When he spells out a word and asks what it says, should I just tell him to wait until he is five and his teacher will tell him?

    I wasn't asking for opinions on whether or not I should teach him to read. I was asking for help so that I can teach him effectively. I see teaching him to read as the natural extension of his interest in letters and books. I would be very interested if someone could give me some actual evidence that it is beneficial to not teach literacy until a child is the government approved age for educational funding and that being taught by a stranger will be better for him that being taught by his mother in his own home.

    As it happens I was at a coffee group this morning and one of the ladies is a teacher who gave me some very helpful ideas (explained sight words, basic maths exercises etc). She thought it was perfectly fine to get him reading before school since he is already familiar with the alphabet and sounds.

    Junglemum, thanks, I will have a hunt around for those triangle pencils

    Rumpled Elf, my DS sounds a lot like your DD2

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    You could try flash cards with small words on them eg At, On, The, Hat, etc (you'd be able to make them yourself)
    Pointing to words as you read them & as well as just saying the words sound them out IYKWIM
    The Cat in The Hat is supposed to be a good learning book because it is made up of only simple words.

  9. #9

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    If he spells out a word and asks what it says obviously you're going to answer his question but personally I don't see the point in making any great effort to teach children to read. If they love books then reading will come in its own time.
    For those interested in the two different approaches and their critics and supporters, google hothousing.

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    Artechim, I think asking a qualified teacher is probably the best way to go. My mum is a retired primary school teacher and she does some work with DD1 when she has her one day a week around her reading. However, even she says that since she retired things have changed in the way that they teach kids to read at school. She asks her friends who are still in the system what the current reading/writing curriculum is as she doesn't want to be doing things that then have to be un-taught next year when DD1 goes to school.

    I do a few things that she tells me to do otherwise I wouldn't know what to do and where to start really. I wouldn't do it on my own though as I have no idea how to teach kids or what the current thinking is on methodologies if that makes sense. Maybe speak to some kinder or prep teachers and ask what they recommend as activities, first steps etc for learning to read?

  11. #11

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    Hi Artechim
    before having DS I worked as a private tutor on the side whilst at uni, at one point specialising in pre school and young primary school children. It is perfectly fine to encourage them to read before starting school...a few of the pre schoolers I worked with were excellent readers. As long as they are willing and eager to learn (which it sounds like he his) it will be a fun experience for both of you

    The first step is learning all the letters of the alphabet and their sounds which you have done, next start combining two letters in common sequences. Start for example with Ba, Ca, Da, Ea, Fa etc once he's mastered them move onto B and so on. With each combination use a word example lika Ba- ball, Ca- Cat so he can understand the context. Visual aids are always great, you could find some flashcards at and educational bookshop perhaps?

    As well as reading to him lots, find a few really simple books and a get him to repeat after you, pointing to each word as you go. As for the pen...as JungleMum said, invest in a triangle pencil, they're great. Encourage him how to hold the pencil properley but at that age it isn't a big deal if he can't. Dot to dots and tracing lines are a great way to encourage dexterity and writing skills.

    Hope that's helpful if you have anymore questions let me know. It is most definitely not just up to teachers to teach reading and writing. If you ask me it a first and foremost a parents job to encourage and nuture these skills. So good on you for taking an interest

    ETA: saw that someone mentioned Cat in a Hat...Dr Suess books are a great learning tool as all the rhyming is a great way to teach phonetics.
    Last edited by allycat06; July 20th, 2010 at 02:03 PM.

  12. #12

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    Definitely keep reading to him. My DS who is 4 is taking to reading like a duck to water. I got hold of the Ladybird Key Word series (you know.. the Peter & Jane books) and they are pretty much sight words that they learn.. I think it's based on the 100 most common words.

    I've also got him doing the Reading Eggs program on the internet.. he LOVES it and wants to do it every day LOL. This has definitely got him understanding the concept of reading.

    I haven't really done anything in particular with DD yet (she's a couple of months younger than your DS by the looks) because she hasn't shown a real interest in it yet. Loves books etc, but isn't asking what things say or sounding things out yet. Once she does that I'll get going with more "teaching" stuff. She watches DS on his program all the time tho, so she'll probably pick it up quickly too.

    I'm not sure that reading would be something that would need to be 'untaught'.. as you either recognise words or not, or know how to sound them out or not. I can understand writing of letters etc can be taught 'wrong' but I would think if they can read, then they can read. Apparently I was reading fluently before I started school, mum reckons she didn't 'teach' me.. just read to me a lot and did those Peter & Jane books with me. I think if they are ready to read, then they will learn it quickly and it won't be something you have to 'hothouse' them with, cos as you say, it's the next step to their interest in letters and books.

    Have fun with it

  13. #13

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    You say tomato. I say tomato.
    You have to imagine that out loud.

    You tutored pre-school children?! Why on earth do pre-school children need tutoring?

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    Hi Artechim - I recently attended a workshop for early Literacy run by Dr James "Jim" Thomas - also known as the Toddler Icon. He runs sessions in regard to choosing books for babies and toddlers, and also workshops for librarians and storytimes. He had some fantastic ideas in regards to beginning to read. He recommends labeling everything in your house, ie, a sign on your table that says "Table", one on the fridge that say fridge etc. His website also has a pdf file called "The apple and the ant". The file is huge but well worth downloading and printing. He said alot of people print it and put it into a folder with the plastic slip in pockets, and it is one of the books that children always pick up. It is basically a fun way of teaching the alphabet and letter recognition. I don't think I can put the link on here but google the "Toddler Icon" if you are interested. The downloadable files are on the right hand side of the page under "Handouts".

    I definiately agree with allycat that it is fantastic that you are encouraging the interest. I work in a bookshop and we have so many parents come in with children that need to be forced to read, or even some who have only just realised their child has slipped through the cracks and cannot read properly (I kid you not, the latest was a boy in year 10 whose mother came in to buy him some prep reading/writing books to start him from scratch because his literacy skils were so bad).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onyx View Post

    You tutored pre-school children?! Why on earth do pre-school children need tutoring?
    Not all children fit nicely into the education system...some are ready to learn reading and writing before the age of 6, others struggle and need extra help (primary schoolers). The preschoolers I taught were (mostly) incredibly smart and getting bored at kindy. Yeah there were some who were there because their parents were pushy, they were told their children aren't ready and sent on their way.

  16. #16

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    Hi Arte

    I began teaching J and Z before they started any formal schooling, because they were ready for it. I began by buying them some early reading workbooks - you can get them at any supermarket. They match beginning sounds with pictures etc. It all just stemmed from there. They really enjoyed sitting with me doing the books as well. When Z became interested in reading, i made a book with photos of her in it, and typed up a story with simple words that she could sound out. Have to get the girls from school, but i'll catch up with you soon

  17. #17

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    Onyx, LOL, I really don't think that I am hothousing - he really is interested and I don't see any harm in indulging him. I am sick of talking about how the earth turns to make day and night and rotates the sun to make seasons, he already knows more about bugs than I do and I have absolutely no idea how a car's engine works! This is something that he enjoys that I can actually teach him.

    Thanks for the ideas!

    I will have a look at the Reading Eggs and Toddler Icon things. I haven't heard of the Peter and Jane books, but I shall google.

    Allycat, thanks, I will keep the combo's in mind.

    Mrscricket, that is a good idea to label things around the house. My brother was one who slipped through the cracks, he was about 8 when someone realised he couldn't read at all and was memorising books on the first read through and then repeating by rote.

  18. #18

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    I wrote my post from the POV of a teacher. I currently teach kindergarten, I have a child in my class who was taught to read before she started school- great you might think! NO!! because although she can read she cannot recognise rhyming words, she can't think for herself about what to do in any situation ie can't find the correct book box, can't find her scissor etc she hasn't even the skills to put up her hand and ask simple questions but hey she can read!

    I agree don't deny him if he asks but there is so much more about learning than just letters and numbers. Can he find his own bag at preschool? can he ask someone else to play with him? Can he express his needs to other adults other than family? Can he tell what rhymes with what?

    Children are young for such a short time please let your kids play in the mud, paint pictures, run around like lunatics and have FUN while they still can, they have many many years of schooling ahead of them for work.

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