Some more tips I'd suggest:
Talk to your children's preschool and/or kindergarten teacher(s) to find out about any particular reading challenges for your kids. Take them to the library and encourage them to check out their favorite books. Read together every night. Practice reading while doing everyday activities, such as reading cereal boxes together at the grocery store, or reading signs on the way to the store. Other JustAsk members have also suggested that you start with the alphabet and then move into reading. See reading Q&A here: http://www.education.com/answers/learning-to-read/
It's wonderful that you're taking an active role in your children's education. Kudos to you for that!
Emergent readers are great little books that are short & simple that will greatly help. I've included some links below that you can use to print free emergent readers. Print them in black ink, and your 4 & 5 year old can also color the pictures.
Next, do a picture walk, not just with the emergent readers, but with all the books. Just turn the pages and discuss what is happening in the pictures. Then read the book, afterwards, read the book again and have your child repeat the words after you, read the book one last time. This is another reason the short emergent readers are so helpful. You will be surprised at how they will start recognizing the words through the repetition. Use the emergent readers over and over to reinforce the new words.
I used teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons when my son was 4/5 and it worked great. Took some patience and time and effort but was sooooo worth it! Search for it on amazon it's only $15 and it's all you need to teach both your kids to read. They say by the end they are reading at a 2nd grade level. I don't know if that was the case for us but he can read very competently that's for sure, but I don't know how to gauge exactly what level :) I guess it doesn't really matter as long as they keep learning, and I know he's ahead of most of the kids his age that he knows.
Hi Latisha, This site has some excellent material that will help you, personally I am a devote believer in phonics in teaching your children to read. I bought a package from http://educationalplay.info that I taught my daughter with, I started her as soon as she started talking. Shes 3 and a half now and can read basic children stories by herself, it was also a lot of fun teaching her, but then I'm a wee bit of an obsessed daddy.
Blimey! where to start.
What Country are you in? What sort of system is currently in place in the schools they attend? How much 'spare' time do you have to devote at home? What about finances? do you have a level of money that you can invest? or are you after some free resources?
Let me know a bit more & I will try my hardest to point you in the best direction.
I have detailed a couple of websites below that might be of use to you depending on your answers above.
It is great that you are taking an active interest in your child's education; too many parents today think it is the school's responsibility to educate their children without any help from parents. If parents were to take an active interest in their child's education by following the school's curriculum and then reinforcing the school's efforts at home, then the children would benefit greatly. Remember, nobody cares more for your child than you do, and expecting a teacher to show individual attention that every child deserves to a class of 30 or more children is just not going to happen. I have listed 3 programs below that can help with reading, math, recognition etc for your age children. Good job.