Can i ask you a question? I’m a teacher (certified k-grade6) and i’ve been hired to educate a 3 year old. I thought it would be a similar process but I’m finding it extremely challenging to come up with lesson/day plans to work with him. I don’t want to force him to sit down and do literacy & math activities but thats what i’ve been hired to do. How did you get your daughter reading when the other option is play? I don’t know what is appropriate for a 3 year old

A lot of people don't realise just how many skills can be picked up through the simple act of reading to a child. Not only are you showing them how to sound out words, you're also building key comprehension skills, growing their vocabulary, and letting them hear what a fluent reader sounds like. Most of all, regular reading helps your child to develop a love reading, which is the best way to set them up for reading success.
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Early reader books use a limited number of words and are heavily illustrated. Most have a more workmanlike appearance than picture books. They often have no jacket and are slightly taller and narrower. Many are branded with names like “I Can Read” or “Step Into Reading,” and three or sometimes four levels. These are called “Leveled Readers” — you can always spot one because it will have a giant number or letter on the cover identifying its level. Your child is likely to encounter these in school, starting in kindergarten. For that reason, many parents shy away from bringing branded “leveled reader” books home, but there are plenty of early reader books that don’t create the pressured atmosphere those numbers can convey.
The lessons are all basically the same, but as the child progresses, they start to teach newer techniques such as "READING THE FAST WAY". Admittedly, we stumbled at first. It's a tricky thing to teach a young child to sound it out IN THEIR HEADS, and when the know the word, just say it fast. It took one or two days of frustration before he caught on....and now it's no problem! If you think about it, that's reading. We say the words in our head. This book just adds the step of having them say it out loud, too!
Early reader books use a limited number of words and are heavily illustrated. Most have a more workmanlike appearance than picture books. They often have no jacket and are slightly taller and narrower. Many are branded with names like “I Can Read” or “Step Into Reading,” and three or sometimes four levels. These are called “Leveled Readers” — you can always spot one because it will have a giant number or letter on the cover identifying its level. Your child is likely to encounter these in school, starting in kindergarten. For that reason, many parents shy away from bringing branded “leveled reader” books home, but there are plenty of early reader books that don’t create the pressured atmosphere those numbers can convey.
Make room for comics and manga. Don’t denigrate your child’s interest in this genre. Many of the most celebrated literary figures of our time not only grew up devouring comics, but also incorporate comics-inspired themes into their prize-winning novels: Michael Chabon, Junot Díaz and Jonathan Lethem, to name a few. Many children become avid readers through their love of comics. You may have even loved reading Archie, Smurfs or Superman before going on to read Gabriel García Márquez.

Thank you for the information and to everyone else with their questions/replies. I am a single parent who has just recently started reading heavily with my 5 year old. He is aware of the sounds and has a few of the basic words down, but struggles with reading. This really makes me frustrated, but after reading this post/comments I am glad to know that what I am forcing him to do is way ahead of his time. Pushing him to read every night and being angry when he doesn’t remember might hinder him from future learning and I definitely do not want to do that. He truly enjoys the last part of the night where we open the books together and I want that feeling to last forever. I greatly appreciate the advice and will completely back off of my son as he still has time to grow into reading whole stories. Due to a late birthday he is currently in Pre-K so I think the pressure of wanting him to do well in school, being a single parent, and my own childhood misfortunes are having a negative impact on me. I plan to regroup for tomorrow nights reading and take things a lot slower with him and make sure that he knows that he is doing a great job. Thank you so much for you have saved me from me in a way.
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I have been using this book with my 5 year old twin girls, and have such mixed feelings about it. We are half way through. Some things I love are the structure, it is scripted and somewhat rigid. That means less work for me in terms of figuring out what to cover. I love how it teaches phonics, which is incredibly lacking in the school system near us. I also like the whole brain approach the book takes. As a neuropsychologist, it's nice to see the integration of writing, sounding out, comprehensi ...more
"When I first began to teach kindergarten 26 years ago, we didn't even start the alphabet until Christmastime," says Carol Schrecengost, a teacher in Stow, OH. "But now I begin teaching letter sounds during the first month of school  -- in part because students are learning their letters earlier, but also because parents and administrators expect it."
Make it warm and cozy. Many parents fall into the trap of reading to their children at bedtime when they're exhausted from a long day. This often makes for an unsatisfying experience for both parent and child. It's far better for parents to choose a time when they're feeling fresh, energized, and involved in the process. Most importantly, they should make reading a warm and cozy experience: sitting under the shade of a tree, sipping hot cocoa by a warm fire, or cuddling together in bed on a lazy Sunday morning.

Nobody is better equipped to teach a child how to read than her own mom and dad. That's because reading involves more than sounding out words on a page. At its most powerful, reading is an emotional undertaking as well as an intellectual one—an interlacing of the written text with one's own life experiences. If a youngster is lucky, she gets to experience it as a warm, loving time when she sits on Mom's lap and turns the pages, walks to the library with Dad for afternoon story time, and cuddles in bed with her parents on Saturday morning as they read her favorite stories.
Hi, my daughter is 3 years old (turning 4 in 2 months) she also knows the letter’s names and sounds, and some sight words, and she reads a lot of simple words, but with words that are not very familiar for her, she will only say the sounds of the letters of the word, but can’t actually say the word and sound all the letters together :-( like she would see the word “glass” and would say the sounds of each letter separately not being able to say the word.. Should I just tell her the words so she can try and remember for next time, or should I wait until she gets it by herself?
Hi :) First of all, that’s a bunch of useful tips you posted here Jenae! I have a lovely six-year-old daughter and I’ve been trying to start teaching her how to read for a few months now. I went through a lot of parenting forums and tried so many things, but what seems to work for her is simply playing educational games on our iPad ;) She’s got loads of them but the one she likes the most is called ‘Flincky Mouse’ and I’m even happier since we’re using Polish at home (my husband is British, but I’m from Poland) and the app comes in Polish as well. We’re also trying to read to her as much as possible and I hope she’ll appreciate it in the future! Anyway, thanks so much for the article and see you around.
The program provides instant online access to all of the materials on the computer, smartphone, and tablet for ultimate flexibility. Additionally, Sarah Shephard is offering two additional bonuses for a limited time, including the Reading Shortcuts book along with the Fun with Words book series that is included for free, a combined value of more than $500.
Award-winning and certified, Reading Head Start will eliminate the need for expensive tutors or developmental delays. And that in itself is worth the investment. Your child can become a leader in their classroom — and you can teach them how. Become more hands-on with your child’s willingness to learn, utilizing the guidance of Reading Head Start. The results will shock you.
North persevered. These days, kindergartners in Matuskiewicz’s class get a different kind of instruction than their older brothers and sisters did. During the first week of kindergarten, Matuskiewicz sits with each child and determines if he or she knows the letters and their corresponding letter sounds. The skill levels of the children are variable. So, class work in the autumn has to do with “sorting” — identifying letters and connecting them to sounds.
Wow! I've tried lots of things (6 or 7) to teach my kids to read and this is the only no-fail system. Yes, my kids hate this book after a month or so of it, but it doesn't make them hate reading. This is the only book they are successful at. Whenever I have them try to read the school reading assignments or Bob books or I see sam books, or reader rabbit, or starfall, they instantly stop progressing. Most of these other methods either introduce new information too quickly or discourage sounding o ...more
I’m a K teacher and it seems that you are more interested in blaming his former teacher for where he is in his development more than anything else. Since this is a whole year later….I’m sure that he has picked up reading. However, I just want to say as an educator of 15 years who has a reading specialist endorsement, that reading is developmental—and each child is in a different part of that developmental process. As a parent, you are truly your child’s first teacher. Please revaluate pointing the finger at the teacher–as I’m sure that there was learning taking place in his classroom after all!
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Hi TripleAMom! I am a big advocate of preschool reading and I have looked at Starfall myself. However, personally I found that it didn’t work that well as most kids I deal with are visual learners. For this reason I developed my own system “Teach Your Child To Read & Reading with Phonics” and have had some incredible results, both with my own child and with many others. Many kids are visual learners, including children with disabilities such as dyslexia and autism, and phonics reading doesn’t work that well for them.
​​​Hey Sarah, thanks for getting back to me! Yes Ellie has been doing fantastic with Reading Head Start. We just started level three on Tuesday and she's excited to get going. She loves your system so much that I'm not sure what to do next once she completes level four. You should keep making more levels lol. This has easily been the best investment I've made for Ellie to date and a bunch of my friends all picked it up for their children too. I'll keep you posted on her progress!" *Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.
First of all, I would recommend concentrating on making reading fun and enjoyable for both of you. He has plenty of time to get the mechanics, but will be turned off to reading altogether if reading becomes something he is forced to do and doesn’t have any confidence. Spend more time reading with him than having him read to you…model proper inflection and fluency. Read engaging stories together. I would also start to work on sight words and word families. Don’t stress. He will get it! :)
Project Read is used in a classroom or group. The program emphasizes instruction by the teacher. Lessons move from letter-sounds to words, sentences and stories. Project Read has three strands: listening, understanding and writing. All three strands are taught at all grade levels, though the emphasis differs by grade. The program is sometimes used in general education classrooms where many students are struggling. In schools where most kids are on track, the program is often used by special education teachers or reading specialists to give extra support.
According to Shane Michaels, “The entire premise of Reading Head Start really just makes sense—like how babies learn to speak by listening, Sarah Shephard uses the same principles of teaching kids how to read by having them listen to the sounds the individual letters make, rather than them just memorizing the association between words and certain images, the method most kids learn to read by in school. But perhaps what is most impressive about this system is that it is designed in a way to get parents involved with their child’s learning process in reading, so their child gets much more of a benefit than simply learning how to read words. They get a complete learning experience that is positive, encouraging, and gratifying.”
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