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What is the best age to teach a toddler how to read using Phonics?

(92 Posts)
Beth1234 Sat 16-Apr-11 23:06:56

Hey all again

Just wondering what the best age is to start teaching a child how to read? Is 3 a bit too young? While I believe it is still very young, I've also heard about kids being like sponges up until a certain age and so no harm in introducing it to them, especially those who seem to be interested. At that age I believe the best way is to make a game out of it, only for about 10-20 mins a day, 3-4 times a week. Anyone taught their kid how to read at such a tender age? If so is it a good idea? Of course bearing in mind, let a kid be a kid and do as they please the rest of the time.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks heaps in advance

Beth xxx

notnowbernardImBoilingTheBunny Sat 16-Apr-11 23:10:54

I never thought to teach my DC to read tbh

1 of them started showing an interest in letters before she started school, and she was 'mark making' ... but I just encouraged that, didn't sit down with her to 'teach' her to read

The other didn't know any letters, couldn't write any either before school... 7m later she is doing really well with reading and is starting to write independently

I think enjoying books and stories prob the best way forward

Headsdown Sat 16-Apr-11 23:11:24

When they show an interest
Should always be fun
Stop before they get fed up each time( takes good intuition to judge when to stop)
Don't make it a chore and too much of a lesson. Vary activities and encourage all sorts of fun learning.

Headsdown Sat 16-Apr-11 23:13:07

Agree enjoying books, listening to stories and sharing ideas is all very important, well before individual word recognition.

blackeyedsusan Sun 17-Apr-11 00:14:54

follow the interest of the child.
read books to dc if they want or are interested, if not talk about the pictures with them.
plenty of rhymes and singing

cat64 Sun 17-Apr-11 00:35:18

Message withdrawn

Malaleuca Sun 17-Apr-11 02:13:21

My niece has taught her toddler several letter/sound correspondences, as they crop up in every-day life. Once a few are known, it is relatively easy to introduce blending cvc words with those ubiquitous letters that stick on the fridge. A colleague on a reading list-serv is a child-minder and regularly teaches the children in her care to read. Most are just under 4 years old.

squidgy12 Sun 17-Apr-11 05:27:25

Message withdrawn

Parietal Sun 17-Apr-11 05:37:09

Leave it to school or the child will get bored as soon as he/she goes to school.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-11 07:07:24

I personally wouldn't go down the structured teaching route with all very young children but some children are ready to learn early and if they are interested then why not but it should be the child's choice
you might want to look at www.phonicsinternational.com/trs.html

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 17-Apr-11 09:04:21

I really wouldn't bother. I've just posted on another thread about feeling under pressure to get DS reading and writing before school and how I resisted the pressure. He is doing really well at school now and has done from the very beginning.

From personal experience, and I know that schools have changed a lot since I went to school, I could read at 3 and it really hasn't done me any good. In fact I think it was detrimental as I was so bored at school.

Enjoy books by all means but leave it until she starts school, she has years of formal education. This time with you is precious.

KatyMac Sun 17-Apr-11 09:08:08

Best age to teach a child to read is about 7 imo

Best age for them to learn by themselves is when they want to

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 17-Apr-11 09:14:14

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Malaleuca Sun 17-Apr-11 09:34:11

I've not had many, but certainly quite a few very young children who have been very keen to learn all about letters (and numbers often). It should not be surprising, given that our world is saturated with these symbols, and children see adults reading and writing quite frequently in some cases, that quite young children should be keen to imitate! Why should it be seen as a big deal, or worse 'getting ahead'?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 17-Apr-11 09:38:58

Malaleuca the OP does insinuate that her child is taking an interest but doesn't actually say so. From the tone of the post "I've also heard about kids being like sponges up until a certain age and so no harm in introducing it to them" and "the best way is to make a game out of it, only for about 10-20 mins a day, 3-4 times a week." it does seem parent led and not child led and more like formal learning.

asdx2 Sun 17-Apr-11 09:41:14

Some children learn to read very early through choice I think. Three out of my five did but I didn't actively teach any of them and didn't do anything different with the ones that learnt and the ones that didn't.
I just read lots of books to them, stories and information, listened to them when they "read" (told me information from the pictures) books to me. Pointed out signs and words when out and about and we went to the library every week.
Two out of the three who learnt to read early continue to be bookworms the other one only reads as much as he has to to get the information he desires.
For mine it didn't hinder them at school as there were a few of each of their peers who could read too and the school seemed to cater for all abilities from the earliest days.
I would just enjoy books with your child and make reading something that's worth knowing how to do. Ds may learn to read or he may not but you'll both have had fun in the meantime.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-11 09:42:49

As a teacher working in a Foundation Unit I often had nursery aged children join my phonics sessions. Some came to sing the songs, some stayed for the full 15 mins, some came everyday, some were just occasional visitors and some never came ...

Rosebud05 Sun 17-Apr-11 09:43:34

I remember reading something about Maria Montessori's observation that children have a 'sensitive period' when it comes to letters and numbers and that's a good place to start. This definitely happened with my dd; she was obsessed with numbers for ages (I thank Numberjacks!) and then letters. Constantly running up to car number plates ' "there's an O for Orlagh" type thing. I haven't pushed it at all, but at just turned 4 she understands completely the ideas of reading (ie that different letters make different sounds and that different sounding words look different on paper etc) and can sound out quite a lot of words. She also 'writes stories' on pieces of paper.

messybessie Sun 17-Apr-11 09:46:37

DS could recognise a few letters before he went to school and could spell his name (4 letters). The first term was spent learning phonics and he loved it. Loved coming home telling me the new letter song. Loved the books in his book bag. He is very bright (I think) and loves school.

The children in his class who could read already were bored rigid and quickly became disruptive. The ones I know of did not settle in as well.

I always found it more important to instill a love of books and storytelling. Talk about The story, teach her to look at the pictures, guess what might happen next, how characters in stories feel There is a lot more to reading than knowing your letters.

mrz Sun 17-Apr-11 09:50:12

Children who arrive at school should not be bored

BertieBotts Sun 17-Apr-11 09:54:03

I would wait and see if she expresses an interest. Once DS had mastered numbers he started asking me what number is this? but pointing to letters. I did some research on phonics at this point so I had the correct pronunciation, but other than that I've left it up to him. We don't do any formal exercises but sometimes when reading stories at bedtime or when walking along if we come across a street sign or manhole cover or numberplate he often asks me what the letters are, and now he's been doing it a while I sometimes ask "What do you think it is?" I do think it's important not to push things as you can turn them off the subject, and as others have said, it might cause them to be bored when they start school.

But what will I do when he learns to read? shock I won't be able to mumsnet about bumsex in front of him any more!

dikkertjedap Sun 17-Apr-11 10:30:00

Personally I would leave the real teaching of phonics to teachers. They have had extensive training and know which methods to use. I would focus on reading books together, discussing pictures and stories, jigsaw puzzles, shape sorters and talking about shape. There are so many other things you can do with a three year old and these are also things which will teach her all kind of things which will be handy when she starts school. Also, dressing up etc as it would be good if she can dress herself when she starts school.

LawrieMarlow Sun 17-Apr-11 10:41:38

I get worried when I see people saying that DC who could read when they started school were bored. DD could read when she started school and has never been bored. There are phonics sessions but they last for a short length of time and there is a lot more to reception than reading. She was given books to take home appropriate to her level as are all children in her class.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sun 17-Apr-11 11:28:08

I've thought about this, DD is 3.3 and adores books. I am a bookworm and I'm really hoping she is the same. I know she will love to be able to read when the time comes but for now I decided that the best thing I could do was to continue to help her love books and make them a part of her life. She knows and can write 'H' because it's the first letter of her name and that's it

squidgy12 Sun 17-Apr-11 13:27:31

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