Advanced search

Teaching my DD to read - where do I start??

(14 Posts)
Learningtoread101 Mon 18-Feb-13 18:36:42


Im looking for some advice. My DD is 3.5 and I think she's ready to start learning how to read. She knows all of her letters and their sounds, she can already decode some simple 3 letter words (car, dog, bat, bee etc) by sounding out the letters and then stringing them together. Id like to start to teach her to read, but I am clueless re where to start.

I know phonics is the way that is taught most often, but do I teach the phenomes first, or reading books, or is there a workbook? She is in nursery, but it is very play based and they dont really do any formal learning. Believe me, Im not pushy - I just think she really is ready (she asks me what words say etc).

Any advice on steps would be most appreciated


teacherwith2kids Mon 18-Feb-13 19:28:56

I bought the Jolly Phonics Teachers' Handbook (this was before I trained as a teacher).

It taught me the basics of synthetic phonics ... though I have to confess that DS beat me to it and taught himself to read without any help from me other than me reading to him all the time and answering every question he asked me as fully as I could.

If you want some genuinely phonic readers for her to get that first taste of 'wow I can read this' from without 'running ahead of herself' and this you having to give her words as wholes before she has the phonic knowledge to decode them, the Songbirds series by Julia Donaldson are great. Many good public libraries will have a selection of early phonic readers for her to try, as well.

However, absolutely the most important thing is for you to read to her, lots and lots, and to give her a genuine love of books ... and also not to teach her 'non-reading' strategies like 'guess the word from the picture' or 'memorise the shape of that word' or 'that word begins with a p, what might it be?'...

teacherwith2kids Mon 18-Feb-13 19:32:32

Oh, and magnetic letters on the fridge. Give her s a t p i n and see what words she can make and read back to you, then add others as she becomes more confident. Great for checking that she genuinely decodes the word (I had to do quite a lot of covert 'checking' on DS as he has an exceptionally good memory so for ages i thought that h had memorised whole words parot-fashion rather than genuinely being able to decode. Playing with magnetic letters showed me that he genuinely knew his phonic sounds and could manipulate this knowledge to read unknown words.

ELC used to do ones with the common digraphs (e.g. th) as single units, which was quite fun as you could throw them in as a single unit as soon as that digraph is learned.

learnandsay Mon 18-Feb-13 19:39:18

Watch Seseme St getting ready to read on Utube. I wrote words on pieces of paper, poo, moo, wee, pee (etc) and my daughter would run across the floor and pick them up as I called each one out. Then I added small real words and so on until we ended up with our first sentence. (The first sentence took a while.)

simpson Mon 18-Feb-13 19:43:21

Let her watch alphablocks on tv.

You can buy a pack of songbirds books on amazon or the book people which are fab.

DD also liked her foam letters in the bath.

It's worth checking out your library. DD's first book was a library book. "Run Rat Run" (think Rat ran, dog ran, pig ran etc). It was a phonics corner book and can also be found on amazon.

Pozzled Mon 18-Feb-13 19:43:38

Spend some time reading cvc (consonant- vowel- consonant e.g cat) words and two- letter words like 'am' and 'at'. Make it play-based as much as possible- magnetic letters, letters on coloured cards, write a word in shaving foam!

When she's confident with odd words, move on to short sentences using easy words e.g. 'It is a big cat'. My DD has a whiteboard that I write 'secret messages' on for her to read in the morning. Gradually introduce more phonemes e.g. 'ee' 'sh' etc.

Share loads of books and encourage her to read as many words as she can, so long as she's enjoying it.

There are also lots of good websites to check out- phonics play has some good games, and my DD really likes Reading Eggs, although you need to subscribe to that.

Tiggles Mon 18-Feb-13 19:43:50

With DS1 he knew all the 'simple' phonics c, s etc so I showed him how to blend simple words like cat, dog. He grasped that straight away so I started letting him help me read a simple story. When we came to a simple word I let him read it. When I wanted him to learn a new phoneme e.g. 'th' I would tell him the phoneme at the beginning of the story and then when we came across a simple word with his new phoneme he would decode it. He learnt to read very quickly, and I was probably fairly lucky that once he learnt to read a word he knew it next time around.

Learningtoread101 Mon 18-Feb-13 20:36:31

Thanks for all of the responses. Much appreciated.

allchildrenreading Mon 18-Feb-13 20:37:42

I would second most of the above. 3 1/2 is young but sometimes children are ready. If you want books with lots of expression, which encourage fluency, story discussion, stop guessing in its tracks, and only introduce a few sounds at a time, have a look at

AbbyR1973 Mon 18-Feb-13 20:51:28

Both DS's started reading around that age. They had been able to recognise letter sounds and decode some simple words before. Because they loved books and always wanted to know what things said we got the Jolly phonics books to start with to look at the basic phonemes. They seemed to get along quite well with sound plus an action and also I had heard a lot of schools used the system.
I bought a pack of Songbirds from Book People and also some ORT read at home but we have loads of books at home and they both also liked to pick out words they recognise at their bedtime story. Some of the Dr.Seuss are quite good. We read everything everywhere e.g. Push/ pull signs when out and about etc.
DS2 is now 3 years 9 months and currently reading equivalent of stage 2 ORT books. He is super keen but I think mostly because he wants to do everything DS1 does and was very jealous when DS1 went off to school in Sept.

Wintermelonsoup Tue 19-Feb-13 12:17:08

I’ve found the old fashion nursery rhymes’ books are the best for my dd when she was that sort of age. She already knew the songs so she was able to follow the individual words to form association and recognise the words over times. Does it make sense?!

maverick Tue 19-Feb-13 12:24:03

I suggest Phonics International Teeny Reading Seeds (free at the moment)

PastSellByDate Tue 19-Feb-13 13:56:01

Hi learningtoread101:

I'd recommend starting with advice guidance from Oxford Owl:

Under expert help there's all sorts of videos, ideas and suggestions to help you get started with reading.

In terms of helping with sounding out letters (phonics) - Alphablocks (from CBEEBIES) has really catchy tunes and seems to get through in a fun, light and entertaining way: The shows themselves are short and sweet - but really get sounding out ideas through.


Thewhingingdefective Tue 19-Feb-13 22:31:12

I would watch the Jolly Phonics song videos on YouTube ('a a ants on my arm' etc), get some Sesame Street DVDs, let her trace/draw letter shapes in a tray of sand, play on the Hairy Letters app, point out words on signs eg in the supermarket so she begins to recognise word shapes, enjoy a range of different books together including a few simple phonics books and maybe introduce a few flash cards with simple one syllable words using the first few phonics sounds. Just keep it relaxed and go at her pace.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now