View Full Version : How did you teach your kids to read?

08-20-2012, 08:12 PM
Just kind of a general poll, out of curiosity :)

Stella M
08-20-2012, 08:28 PM
Dd14 taught herself :)

Dd13 - we did this weird kind of learning, which I later discovered is a technique for adult learners. We wrote books together about all sorts of things in her life and she learned the basics of reading from that, then just took off with the chapter books. Successful - 3 years between being a non-reader and reading LOTR, but time consuming.

Ds8 - Basic, boring phonics. Ordinary parent's guide to Reading. Easy, no thinking involved, effective.

08-20-2012, 09:12 PM
Phonics. We used K12 PhonicsWorks.

08-20-2012, 09:29 PM
Mine are largely self-taught. The oldest learned the letters and their sounds just by listening to us read. He also learned a number of words the same way. He watched LeapFrog Talking Words Factory a couple of times and just took off. I was worried that he was sight-reading so I tried using Phonics Pathways. He refused - he said that he already knew how to read. We did make it about 3/4 of the way through Reading Pathways and through book 6 of ETC by calling it spelling instead of phonics. He also played on Starfall.com.

The youngest sat in on his brother's lessons and played on Starfall.com. He has had no formal phonics lessons. His wanting to read the same books his brother is reading is causing turmoil in our house right now.

08-20-2012, 10:14 PM
My boys are almost 8 yo twins.

BalletBoy mostly taught himself those early steps. We played lots of sounds games and played around with letters a bunch and had plenty of easy readers on hand. I used to make little games for the kids and write little "books" for them when they were around 3 - 4 yo. He just soaked it up and started reading. He wasn't super early, but by the time we started K, he could read really simple things and could sound out longer words pretty successfully. We mostly just kept reading together, doing a lot of alternating pages. I started him on ETC workbooks to make sure we covered the phonics bases. He flew through the early ones, but slowed down. I actually stopped him so that he could go through book 8, which covers prefixes and suffixes, a little more slowly so he's not quite done, though he's reading chapter books easily and he reads aloud pretty well.

Mushroom... Oy. He had the exact same but took a lot longer, I think because he had minor speech issues (for example, he had trouble making the "th" and "l" sounds - though he's now basically fine). We mostly just kept plugging away at phonics. I used Blend Phonics as a guide for myself and made games, and slowly taught patterns. Progressive Phonics's method was useful for us for awhile. And he also started ETC and is up to book 7 now. He also reads chapter books, but a little slower and he stumbles a lot when reading aloud. He's not a careful reader and I'm constantly having to make him go back and pay attention.

08-20-2012, 10:26 PM
My 11 yo didn't learn his letters until midway through K. I tried to teach him, but he had no interest! By the middle of first grade, he was reading early chapter books. I don't feel like I had much to do with his learning to read. We read together often, taking turns reading.

My 7 yo got interested in Starfall when he was just under 3. I bought some sight word books and read them to him. Oh, and he loved the Leapfrog Tag reader when he was 3 1/2 and played with it a lot for about a year.

08-20-2012, 10:31 PM
We worked on letters then went to sounds. We had some very basic books with 2 and 3 letter words and short sentences with large bold letters. Dd would watch me say the words, she would even put her hand in my mouth and watch my mouth and tongue while I read (ick! lol). I was finishing up school at the time and her daycare teacher was a great help as well. I still have the very first book she read. Sometimes I think for her they were easy sight words. However there were certain words in the book she would try to sound out. I believe it may have been right before or right after her 4th b-day when she took the book on her own. We moved on slowly from there.

08-21-2012, 12:29 AM
kid1: starfall, hooked on phonics (my sister-in-law let us borrow her levels 1 and 2), and then we transitioned to opgtr.

kid2: whatever's he's picked up from his brother, a tiny bit of starfall, and we'll be starting from the beginning of opgtr next month.

christina in lawrenceville

08-21-2012, 01:31 AM
100EL. With the last 2 added other stuff for fun and reinforcement, but the real learning is all 100EL.

ETA: I believe *most* kids (not all) will learn when they are ready. Reading is a lot like potty training -- you can start earlier on YOUR schedule, but you're gonna get done on THEIR schedule. And like PT, there will be some kids that will show readiness, but won't instigate, and will need you to take the lead. But it's a lot easier to give it some time (months to years) and give your child a chance to "click" than to try to drag a kid into reading (or PT) before they are fully ready.

08-21-2012, 03:56 AM
A combo of Hooked on Phonics, Progressive Phonics, Starfall, other random web stuff, and just reading to/with them.

08-21-2012, 05:05 AM
Gavin was a late-bloomer.

We started with letters at 4 and I tried phonics at 5. We went through a few different programs (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Phonics Pathways were both busts). I just kept reading to him and tried to turn common daily sights, like road signs, into teaching opportunities. I gave up on the phonics.

Then we tried The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading when he was 7. Something clicked in his mind and he just started reading one day at that age. Out of the blue, he was reading anything and everything to me. "Look mom. Half off assorted tools." "Elizabeth. Hey, that's my friend's name." "Mom, that sign says 'Wait Until Your Number is Called'".

I personally think it had less to do with my attempts to teach him and that it was more of a timing thing.

His potty training was totally the same way. Gentle encouragement and demonstration on my part, but he didn't do it until he was ready. He also self-weaned from breastfeeding, his pacifier and my bed within a month at the age of 2 1/2. So he's definitely the type to just do things when he's ready, regardless of my actions. Naturally I've spent years listening to "He'll never sleep in his own bed. He'll never want to stop breastfeeding. He'll never give up a pacifier. Why isn't he potty-trained yet? (At 2 and 3 - he did it a month after his 4th birthday) Why isn't he reading yet? You were reading at 3. His father was reading at 4." Blah blah blah. Then when he did all of this on his own, I had to hear "He was self-taught." As if I just left him to his own devices. *shakes head* And, sorry. I know I'm full of digression today.

I think when it comes to learning, all I do is basically give him the information, tools and how-to demos, and he sorts it out in his own way. That's what he did with reading.

08-21-2012, 05:36 AM
Both of ours taught themselves. They were reading well long before they started kindergarten, especially youngest. They watched a lot of PBS and played Reader Rabbit on the computer, and of course we read to them a lot and had the obligatory magnetic letters on the fridge, etc.

08-21-2012, 06:09 AM
DS is pretty much self taught. He learned his letters (upper and lower case and all the sounds) before he turned 2; he loved Leap Frog and watched the videos over and over. By 2 1/2 he was reading labels at the grocery store, and at 3 he was reading simple books like Hop on Pop. In K, he would read his new books from Scholastic book orders to his class. But, he didn't like to HOLD his own books, so his reading didn't *really* take off until he was 6 1/2, when he found a book series that just somehow clicked. I remember how freeing it felt to not have to sit next to him and hold his book while he silently read! lol

08-21-2012, 07:24 AM
Mine were also self-taught at about age 5. However, they spent TONS of time being read to, going to the library, and being surrounded by reading material.

08-21-2012, 01:31 PM
Both kids learned the alphabet around age 2--that's kind of a blur. For reading, it was rhyming games, making words with magnetic letters on the fridge, lots of Dr. Seuss (and reading to them in general), and the Electric Company. My kids still sing the "Silent E" song.

Both of my kids learned very easily and I don't remember putting in a lot of work into it. It almost doesn't seem right for me to take credit for "teaching" them.

08-21-2012, 04:31 PM
Starfall.com, BOB books, and just reading to her. I started out using the book Alpha-Phonics, which is great, but found we didn't really need it past the first few pages.

08-21-2012, 04:43 PM
We are in the middles of this now. It has become painful for us all. We do starfall, t4l, and we are looking into 100 easy lessons. Our problem is that he just wants to be able to read already. He doesn't want to put in the effort. Hopefully it will all click soon. I don't like seeing him frustrated. It also doesn't help that he is taller than my nephew who is going into second grade, so family often forget that our son is younger.

08-21-2012, 05:50 PM
DS 12 taught himself to read when he was two, a product of being hyperlexic. We picked up Hooked On Phonics after a bit but it was mostly just a fun game for him.

DS10 Learned around age 4/5. We sat and read books with him often, used beginning readers to sound out words. We also used the first two levels of Hooked on Phonics with him when we remembered we still had it.

08-21-2012, 07:02 PM
I think is was mostly the simple phonics books in the Calvert K curriculum (Cat on Mat, that sort of thing). What really motivated him, however, was his interest in Yu-gi-oh! cards when he was around 6--he desperately wanted to play, but needed to really learn how to read in order to know how to play the cards.

Accidental Homeschooler
08-22-2012, 10:54 AM
We are in the middles of this now. It has become painful for us all. We do starfall, t4l, and we are looking into 100 easy lessons. Our problem is that he just wants to be able to read already. He doesn't want to put in the effort. Hopefully it will all click soon. I don't like seeing him frustrated. It also doesn't help that he is taller than my nephew who is going into second grade, so family often forget that our son is younger.

This is us too. It is happening, just slowly. Dd has zero interest in the books she can actually read. We are doing Language Smarts and Reading Eggs.

08-22-2012, 01:02 PM
DD only went to PS for kindy and part of 1st grade (grade one was at home but still through the PS, we were in CA). She could only read about 1/2 of the site words by the end of the year. She was really discourged with reading 1/2 way through kindy when the kids in the class went to library one day and she picked out a 1st grade reader book (or so the teacher called it). She was told by the teacher that since she could not read "kindy readers" she could NOT check out that book yet because she had to be able to able to read her site words first..... (:rolleyes: really???? I'm not capable of reading it to her since she had a intrest in the book and it just might encourage her)???? Whatever. I digress (I can do that a lot)! lol

The first five months of first grade was through CA (the first year MO. offered this through the public school system). Ugh... the first couple months were tough, Mslksdh.... I cant totally understand your hair yanking, been there. I worked on phonics and used some Jumpstart programs and really just took my ques from her and what she liked doing related to reading and then one day it "clicked" and she started reading everything all at once it seemed. Looking back, like another poster said, she did it or it clicked when she was ready.

I had bought her brother the first Leapfrog reading system when it came out and she really like that.