Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Works for Me - Teaching a 3-yr Old to Read

I thought I'd try this meme....You can find all sorts of "how to" posts by visiting We Are THAT Family.

A couple of times I have mentioned the STRUGGLE Anna and I went through to complete the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons ... I had my hesitations in starting that method. We did learn how to work together and we got through it:) I Don't recommend that book or method.

I knew I was NOT going to use the same book for Christopher..... Christopher!!?? He's only 3!!!!

Christopher has know ALL of his letters (upper and lower case) and letter sounds for over a year now because of Leap Frog Letter factory DVD... it's an amazing video!! Then at church one night he was writing letters and he brought me his notebook with C A T written. He looked at me and said, "Mommy, I wrote the word "cat"." It was then I KNEW he was ready.

My homeschooling-mentor suggested I try using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise. By flipping through the book I realized how simplistically basic, yet comprehensive it is! I saw that in the earlier lessons there were concepts taught that Anna had never been exposed to in 100 Easy Lessons !
Christopher is a normal, active 3-yr old boy! So even though the lessons are short and cover just one concept, I've been taking it SLOW and used other tricks:)
  • We do half a lesson for 2 days and then review the next. I'm not sure if I will be doing this the whole time or not. But he's young and I'd MUCH, MUCH rather have him enjoy learning and REALLY understand before moving on. He's doing great:)
  • We use the magnetic letters almost daily! For him it's easier to use the letters to make the words and manipulate the letters than just sounding out the words in the book. And it's more fun and hands-on:) He's a boy!!!

  • He loves Smarties. So when he reads sentences or a list of words, he gets a Smartie.... hahhaa, a serving size is like 15, he'll get 5 or 6 at the most for one lesson. It gives him something to work for/immmediate motivation!

  • Make a game out of it!! I'll write the words on cards and then the ones he flips over he has to say:) he loves this:)
  • Practice during free time. While he's drawing or coloring, I'll ask if he remembers how to spell "jet". Or sounding out our words outside with chalk. Rhyming words that we are learning to read. Or making silly stories with the words and he'll try to spell with the magnetic letters!!
  • Make it a fun and relaxed environment!!! AKA.... be patient
  • Encourage him!

***For both of my kids, learning to read has also been a time of learning to work together and establishing the mommy teacher/kid student relationship. It truely is a journey! But I can't describe how awesome it is to hear Anna reading!!

***Keep in mind there are TONS of different reading programs out there. I am just so thankful we found one that "fits" us and the goals I had for my kids:) I love the SOLID program that Ordinary Parents provides for us! Thanks Erica!!


pucktricks said...

Thanks for posting this. I tried the 100 Easy Lessons and it wasn't working for me either. I had several friends rave about it, so I'm glad to see I'm not hte only one it doesn't work for.

Catherine said...

It's so cool to find a reading program that really works for your child. My son is dyslexic and just now reading at age 10. I just love watching him discover the joy of books. Enjoy your precious children!

Jenny said...

Great post! My daughter is almost 5 and she's so ready to read. We just need to find the right method.

I checked out 100 Easy Lessons from the library and could tell it wasn't going to work. I'm off to go check out the Guide to Reading book.


Gina said...

Thanks for sharing this-I've got a four year who's been ready for a while but I've never really worked with her-I'm going to check this one out!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Amazing! I cannot believe you have him doing this already---good for you!!!


Michelle said...

WOW! At three they just really love to learn. I'm teaching Mill her letters and the VERY day I teach her she knows it. She'll see it written somewhere and point it out to me.

And her verse. WOW! She can memorize so quickly.

Muthering Heights said...

Thank you for the tip...I will tuck this one away for the future! :)

Kate Wicker said...

Thank you so much for these tips. I have 100 Easy Lessons, and it had been going great with my preschooler. However, just recently she seems really burned out and we've been butting heads over her lessons and I was looking for some alternatives. Your post offers some great insight.


Sandy said...

Love the tips! I've been working with my 4 year old using word slides. I printed them off of the internet. I started with the ig and at words. He seems to really be doing well with them. It is so exciting seeing him progressing and he LOVES it!