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Learning to read books- 4yo

(184 Posts)
LilaGrace Thu 02-Feb-17 06:30:24

My DD (who'll be 4 in May) is showing great interest in learning to read. Can anyone recommend a great series of books which have simple words for her to read herself (with my help) along with a story? Ideally ones where the books in the series gradually get harder. I remember the Peter and Jane ladybird books from when I was a child and was hoping for something like those (but more modern!)

mrz Thu 02-Feb-17 06:35:37

She will be taught to read using phonics so using whole word books like Peter and Jane now will confuse her later.

PandasRock Thu 02-Feb-17 06:42:33

The Songbird phonics series is good. Or there's an Usborne set - can't remember what the series is called, but it includes books like Big Pig on a Dig, and Sam Sheep can't sleep (not as accessible as the Songbird ones imo, my dc vastly preferred those)

Read, Write, Inc also does a good first phonics reading series, but harder to get hold of.

CripsSandwiches Thu 02-Feb-17 06:50:03

Read write inc and songbird phonics are great.

Since she's so young and if she doesn't know the main graphemes (e.g. ee, ar, etc) it might be better to start her off on finger phonics (seven books that introduce the main phonetic graphemes) that have some words for her to read or jolly phonics where the main story is read by the adult but the child reads a few words. If you're teaching her at home it's important you use phonics so it ties in with how she'll learn at school.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 02-Feb-17 09:01:22

Guide her into other things, so much of school is about learning to read, even the most successful school at differentiating won't be able to change how your DD interacts with the school.

LilaGrace Thu 02-Feb-17 09:03:30

Thanks all- some good ideas there.
Sirfred- not sure what you meant about a school not being able to change how she interacts?

irvineoneohone Thu 02-Feb-17 09:14:37

Sir, I disagree.
When the child wants to learn to read is the best time for child to learn to read, imo.
My ds was able reader before school, but never got bored when he started school. Enthusiastic learner find the way to entertain themselves quite easily, I think.

BWatchWatcher Thu 02-Feb-17 09:16:29

Songbirds are a great series. You can get a good deal on them from the Book People.

Pengweng Thu 02-Feb-17 09:29:35

Songbirds are fab as are the biff, chip and kipper ones as you get some phonics ones that you read together and then some story ones that they read to you. We have these ones

And these activity books

My DT are in reception but are Aug birthdays so started to learn to read a few weeks after they turned 4.

Also try listening to the jolly phonics songs on youtube. They give you the right sounds for the letters.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 02-Feb-17 10:37:24

Above level one the biff and chip aren't fully phonic.

alwaysthepessimist Thu 02-Feb-17 10:41:03

Do the songbird phonics or the Biff, Chip & Kipper lot. Also look at Usborne - they do phonics flashcards which our DD used and loved. If you know which school she will be attending you can always call them and ask them what phonics method do they teach and then go from there. There is a fabulous website (free to join) called Twinkl - it's an education one but you can download lots of free resources for you DD off there - it is basically for school teachers I think & you can join & pay to get more content but the basic stuff will more than suffice.

LilaGrace Thu 02-Feb-17 19:26:47

Thanks so much everyone. I'm going to visit DD's future school tomorrow morning so I'll ask them which method they use. Really appreciated!

LilaGrace Fri 03-Feb-17 14:57:17

Spoke to her school and they said they use the Oxford reading tree. There seem to be 6-8 books for every stage of the "tree"- is this correct? How long does it usually take a child to complete each level? And does stage 1 reiterate phonics before starting to move on to actual reading...? Sorry for all the questions!

CripsSandwiches Fri 03-Feb-17 15:08:39

Be careful with the ORT some of them aren't phonics (lots of sight words). Personally I sometimes find there's an advantage to choosing a different reading scheme at home to the one used at school - otherwise she'll just bring home books you've already read.

The ORT books begin with just pictures, the 1+ books have short stories with simple words. There are definitely more than 6-8 books in each level. It can vary in how long they take to move up but they should be reading with fluency and only stopping to sound out around 5% of words before moving up a level.

OxfordOwl is a very good resource and if you join up (free) you can access free ebooks for learning to read which helps give you an idea of the different schemes and which to buy.

To reinforce phonics I would suggest Finger phonics or Jolly phonics; once she can blend competently choose any phonics based scheme that she enjoys - that's definitely the most important thing! You can also get jolly phonics fridge magnets on amazon which are brilliant because you can do just a word or two until she gets bored - little and often is definitely the way to make progress.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 03-Feb-17 16:29:42

Yep loads more than 6 to 8 per level.

mrz Fri 03-Feb-17 16:58:51

*"*^*And does stage 1 reiterate phonics before starting to move on to actual reading*^*"* phonics is actual reading hmm

LilaGrace Fri 03-Feb-17 17:18:39

Really Mrz- talk about splitting hairs. And because a child knows that "S" is pronounced "suh" does not mean that they can read 🙄

MrsMarigold Fri 03-Feb-17 17:22:04

Hi LilaGrace my DD loves Biff, Chip and Kipper and we are doing some flash cards with sight words. It's very much driven by her. Hope the school visit was good. winks

Isadora2007 Fri 03-Feb-17 17:25:17

Phonics should say ssssss like a snake for S. Not "suh". Key issue for parents helping children learn is they don't really understand phonics themselves...
If a child is truly ready for reading they will be able to do so without much in the way of teaching. So basic flash cards or even a set of the CBeebies alpha block figures (each one is a letter or some are a pair like ch or sh) son your child can put them together to make words is probably better than actually embarking on "learning to read". It is a gradual process that stops and starts at an early age and one way to put a child off is to take over in your own keen way which actually pushes and puts them off.

mrz Fri 03-Feb-17 17:36:03

I would hope that no one teaches a child that s is pronounced suh!confused it isn't!

Hopefully they will be taught that s is the spelling for /s/ in stop and /z/ in his and /sh/ in sugar and /zh/ in unusual and the sound /s/ can be spelt s or ss or sc or st or se or ce or c or cc or ps or sce and to apply that knowledge to read and spell any word they encounter

LilaGrace Fri 03-Feb-17 17:38:09

Hi MrsMarigold!
I've ordered the Biff, Chip and Kipper books his afternoon. That's what one of the mums at "the school" said they were using 😊
Were you there....? It was great. Impressive and v organised, as always.

mrz Fri 03-Feb-17 18:26:56

" and we are doing some flash cards with sight words" oh dear hmm

LilaGrace Fri 03-Feb-17 18:46:28

Mrz seems to be on a mission to make people feel inferior. Oh well, it's good that there are so many genuinely helpful people out there.

Feenie Fri 03-Feb-17 18:54:25

Really? I think she's on a mission to help parents who want to help their children read - as she's done every day. For years, actually.

Feenie Fri 03-Feb-17 18:55:45

FYI - sight words on flashcards is definitely NOT helpful advice, however well meant.

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