education asks:

Can anyone recommend books or a reading program that will help my child learn to read?

My son will be 4 in July. He recognizes all the alphabets and knows most of their sounds. He loves being read to. I feel he is so close to being able to read adn would like to help him. Can anyone recommend books or a reading program that will be of help?  
In Topics: Helping my child with reading
> 60 days ago



Sylvia HS
May 3, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Education,

It sounds like your four-year old son may learn to read easily, as you say that he's learned the alphabet and the sounds for the letters.

Reading to him each day will help him to become more and more familiar with common words that are found in children's books.  We never know how many times a child will need to see a word before they learn it.  For some children that can happen when they're four years old (or earlier).  For others, if takes more exposures to the same word.

And we never know how many exposures a child needs to a particular word.  For example, because the word "the" is used so frequently, perhaps a child will learn it first.  However, that's usually not likely because the word "the" is really quite a meaningless sequence of letters and it doesn't relate to any concrete object.  Usually, children learn other words more quickly and easily, e.g. mom, dad, cat, dog, red, etc.

If you and your child sit side-by-side when you're reading, and you sometimes point to the words you're reading, then your child will notice the words as well as the pictures, and this will help him to start reading the words.

If you pick books that have repeated sentences and phrases, this will also help him to pick up the rhythm of language and to see how this is shown in words, phrases, and sentences.  Take a look at books by Eric Carle, for example "Brown Bear, Brown Bear", for examples of this type of reading.

When you're reading to your son, you could read part of the material, but have your son "read" the repetitive parts.  Nursery rhymes are wonderful for this type of written language.

If you'd like, you could make cards and place them on common objects in your house, e.g. "door", "pen", so that your son will see how oral language is printed.

I don't feel that any reading program would be needed or helpful to your four-year old.  He'll likely learn to read with you, in these enjoyable ways.

Sylvia HS,
Reading Specialist, Author

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Additional Answers (1)

torri77 writes:
Go to your public library and ask the librarian.  They usually have a section in the childrens books that are by levels for reading.  There are so many different books, and that way, your son would be able to choose that ones that look appealing to him.  I alwasy let my daughter choose a couple and me choose a couple that way you know there are at least a couple you think he would do good at!  You can also just start with having him lear sight words.  Those are the words they will see alot of and don't necessarily look how they should sound.  My daughter just finished up Kindergarten, and that is how her teacher did it.  here are a few of the sight words they used....the and like she he play ...etc, words like those.  Then you could start on a "family" of words, for ie...the AN family, and have him ad letters to the fronts of An, for ie....Can, Man, Fan...etc.  It worked for my daughter, just finished Kindergarten and is reading on  4th grade level!

Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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