My daughter is 3 and really wants to learn how to read. But I just don't know where to start. She can say her ABC's but dosen't know what any of them are. Every time I try and sit down with her to learn them I maybe get 5 min. I have phonic books for later but they look really advanced for her. So my questions are how do I get her to sit long enough to get through the alphabet and learn the letters? Or do we just teach her a couple a day? Start with ABC in order or vowels? Also the same thing with learning what numbers are. She is a smart girl and loves having stories read to her and she will pick up a story and will make up her own story with it. And I don't want to discorage that at all. But we go to the library every week and she wants to read herself a story. I just have no idea where to begin with this process of my child's life. Thanks for all the help and sorry this is so long. SL.
I have been teaching public Pre-K and kindergarten for a total of 24 years and can tell you that you are doing so many of the right things. The reading to her, trips to the library, having her make up her own stories based on the pictures, etc. are GREAT things to do and very helpful. She has the desire and the motivation to read and that proves that you have done the right things to encourage her. Her attention span is normal for her age though. Most three or four year olds are not ready to sit and drill letters, sounds and words yet. Get some plastic, magnetic alphabet letters and let her play with them. Get her a placemat with the alphabet on it and play around with that informally when you are at the table. When you read to her point to the words from left to right as you read. Sing and recite a lot of nursery rhymes. Those are great for something called phonemic awareness, which has to happen before a child can learn to read. Talk about the pictures in the book as you read. Let her predict what is going to happen in the story before turning the page or getting to the last page. Let her try to predict what the story will be about before beginning to read. These things all help with comprehension later on. Talk a lot. The more vocabulary she has, the better reader she'll be. Encouage social dramatic play (house, store, doctor, etc.). Research has actually proven that children who have the best social, dramatic play skills by kindergarten have the highest reading and language skills test scores by the time they reach fourth grade. There are also lots of fun and exciting videos out there with famous cartoon characters like Clifford which help teach letter sounds and recognition, along with building phonemic awareness skills. There are great computer games out there too and they usually love playing those. Most important, have fun with her. I can tell you that when she is developmentally ready to read, she'll read and based on what you have said, it will not be a difficult task for her since you have done such a good job preparing her and encouraging her.
Thank you so much Nancy. I am feeling very encouraged now from that post. Oh and today she wrote her name for the first time and can say all the letters in her name and point out which one is which. So I don't think it will be too long before she knows the alphabet. She asked how to spell her cousins name (Harmony) so we are goingto work on that tommorow some. I am going to get some nusery rhymes from the library this week. Thanks again Nancy, I feel that I am doing something right now where I was so lost before. SL.
It sounds like she is doing GREAT! I wish I had more children who came from homes like yours. Our jobs would be sooooooooooooo much easier! I get children sometimes from homes where the family doesn't even own a book! If everyone just read to their child for a few minutes each day learning would come so much easier for most.
My daughter has always loved books. We read to her a lot when she was very little. I remember her pointing to a "2" in a book and saying "two" when she was still two. She'd learned her ABCs -- upper & lower-case -- by about the time she turned 3, or just after. By the time she was 3 & a 1/2, I was telling people that if she wasn't reading on her own by the time she turned four, I was going to go insane. She would read the letters off everything from cereal boxes to billboards and ask me what they spelled. She was reading by the time she turned four, and now at six can still be found surrounded by a pile of books.
One thing that I think helped quite a lot was computer storybooks -- mostly the Living Books series from Broderbund ([url]http://www.broderbund.com)[/url]. I don't think they make them anymore, but you can still find them. Joy would sit (at 3 years old, mind you!) for as long as 20 minutes a page, clicking every word. She pretty much taught herself how to read.