So many times over the years I have been asked how my kids have started reading so soon. Each of my kids learned to read when they were 3 or 4. Not startling at all for some, but an overwhelming achievement for many. But, here at home, it was no biggie. Thanks to some great tips early on from my sister-in-law and my mom, we were given the right tools at the right time. And, so I pass them on to you.
First, is my absolutely most favorite tool for learning to read. It's the LeapFrog DVD series, specifically LeapFrog: Letter Factory and LeapFrog: Talking Words Factory Both are exceptional. The Letter Factory teaches the letters and all of their sounds. The Talking Words Factory adds on that by putting the letters together to make words. I promise, your little one will be spelling words in no time. Starting around age 2, we let our kids watch these fun, entertaining videos. Within no time, they've got their letters down. Once mastered, we move on to the Talking Words video and within months, they know how to read three-letter words. If you've mastered that, there's the Code Word Caper, which adds in sh, th, ch sounds and the silent E at the end of a word.
I've recommended these videos to several people who had children struggling to read in kindergarten and first grade. Within no time, they were reading after watching these videos!! It's a must-have for the aspiring reader. Plus, you can get each video for about $5 on Amazon. You'll see there's a new version, but don't let that stop you. I've only used the old ones and they're amazing.
The DVDs, however, can only take you so far. Before long, you'll want your little one reading books. So far, the best books I've found are the Bob Books . They are simple books that use a variety of three and four letter words to get your little one practicing his/her reading skills. I hear that a teacher made them because she couldn't find a good enough resource for her class. Lucky her, many agreed that hers was the best and so they got published.
Best of all, the pictures are black and white so your little one can color them as they read them. This page is from the first series, but the books get more and more advanced as you move through them. They are the perfect books for your LeapFrog graduate.
And, finally, in today's day and age, it seems like technology is nearly as important as reading. So, why not mix the two? Jayden and I found the perfect website where he can practice all of his reading skills. It's www.starfall.com. Jayden is using the "Learn to Read" section of the website right now and it is perfect for practicing his spelling and reading. There are online books to read with animated graphics as well as games to test his skills. There's an easier level for practicing letters and harder levels for more advanced readers, too!
When you're done with starfall, I'd move on to the Lord of the Rings Series 🙂 Best of luck helping your little one learn to read!