Should I start teaching DD to read?

(17 Posts)
polythenespam Fri 07-Mar-14 09:20:36

Disclaimer – I am not claiming DD to be G&T; just posting here as wasn’t sure which section this should go in, and thought it would be read by people with bright children who have gone through the same thing. Hope that’s okay.

DD is 2.11. She has a real interest in letters and words, something which has developed naturally. She knows the alphabet obviously; she asks every day to “do typing” and can type about 5 words herself and read about 20 other words I type for her. At the moment these are mostly words she has seen in her environment - shop names, website names, words from food packets etc.

She is very observant with letters/words – for example spotting Scotland abbreviated to “Sco” on the TV and telling us it was similar to “Tesco”, or noticing “ee” in the middle of words like feet and wheel and telling me that’s where I got my phone from (I did!) This sort of thing happens all day.

She also loves books, so I think that in theory she could learn to read now. But my question is, how do I go about it? My instinct would be just to develop whole word recognition as that's where she's at already, but I’m aware that it’s all about phonics at school. I’m slightly loathe to go down that route as would worry I was getting it wrong.

My concern is if she learnt to read the “old” way, would it cause problems once she started school and was taught a different way from scratch? I just want to develop an interest which is there but I certainly don’t want to cause any potential problems or confusion for her.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 07-Mar-14 09:24:41

If she is noticing things like ee sounds she is already starting to understand phonics! Children that learn by whole word recognition end up working out the phonic code for themselves, otherwise they would never be able to read a new word. This is why it seems more sensible to teach it explicitly.

Phonics is not hard, you are unlikely to get it wrong imo. One thing I would mention is that if your dd is learning to read by keyboard she must be using capital letters?

Have a look at Jolly Phonics online for some ideas.

Your dd sounds v bright and lovely btw.

Gini99 Fri 07-Mar-14 09:39:26

My DD was very like that and essentially taught herself to read without me really realising. If it is a real interest and she has a flair for it then there is no need to do anything structured with her, just give her the opportunities (as it seems you are already). I think DD mainly learnt by repeatedly having the same stories read and then sitting with those books, looking at the words and working them out (this was something she did herself whilst I was dealing with her new baby sister).

When I realised DD was at the stage you describe I got some very very early readers from the library, the kind with just one or two phonic words per page. She realised that she could read a whole book she didn't know and was very excited by it. She then insisted on reading me a bedtime story every night after I'd read hers. I then got her a pack of early readers from the book people and she loved it. When she went to school at just 4 (youngest in class) she went straight onto year 2 books and was a free reader by Christmas. I hadn't pushed this at any stage, just read with her and found her books that interested her. Her teacher clearly thought I had pushed her when she started and made noises about whole word recognition being a problem but I think DD had worked out patterns of letters herself and was soon put up a year for phonics.

If you are worried about phonics then there are some nice gentle ways of introducing them. My younger DD loves 'pirate phonics' on the iPad for example.

MyGastIsFlabbered Fri 07-Mar-14 09:45:24

My DS has just turned 4 and can read fluently. We didn't set out to teach him, he just loved letters and kind of absorbed it! I'd say continue as you are, let her lead the pace & just encourage her when she does read. We started out with the Usborne very early readers but there were times when he wouldn't co-operate and we left it until he was ready again.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 07-Mar-14 12:35:29

I taught both of mine to read and one in particular liked to just learn the words but I really tried to do phonics with them. Phonics isn't hard, any phonics books or sound activities normally make it very clear what sound each letter/combination of letters makes so you can't really go very wrong.

We liked the songbirds phonics books in our house.

richmal Fri 07-Mar-14 18:49:00

I taught dd to read before she started school by sounding out simple words to her, then introducing more complex sounds and words. She will start secondary soon and loves reading.

It is important to start with lower case letters.

I found out that I was getting the phonics wrong by saying "duh o guh" rather than "d...o...g...", but she could read really well by the time she started school, so it didn't matter.

polythenespam Fri 07-Mar-14 23:33:19

Thanks all. Will have a look at braving phonics!

youhavetogothroughit Sat 08-Mar-14 10:01:01

My DS was very similar to this (although not quite as young as yours at this level of interest). I too worried about getting phonics wrong, but SiL, a teacher, said that I couldn't really and I am so glad that I went along this route rather than whole word recognition, because phonics drives spelling. We did Jolly Phonics and DS absolutely loved the DVD.

I would also say that it is a good idea to start writing (as soon as she is ready), rather than too much typing, because DS preferred to type and we found that his writing lagged his reading by 2-3 years, at one point. With sound phonics knowledge, and the interest you describe, you will find that reading will race ahead and DS currently has a reading age 8 years ahead and NC levels 6 years ahead, eventhough he has never been 'taught' at this level. Most importantly, he has a passion for reading and loves drama. I even had to prize a book from his hand that he was insisting on taking to a sleep-over party recently! blush

tess73 Sat 08-Mar-14 10:09:01

My dd1 was like this, reading well before she was 3
I didn't actively teach her to read, just read lots to her and unlike most kids that age she will track the words and learn them by absorption.

The brainy baby ABC DVD is good - it teaches the letters and the letter sounds really well.
Also watch alphablocks on cbeebies.

tess73 Sat 08-Mar-14 10:10:29

Be careful with phonics, it is easy to get it wrong. l for lolly for example is not sounded as "luh" but more "ulll"

gfrnn Sat 08-Mar-14 15:14:48

DS1 also started reading before 3. If the child is interested/ready then I don't think there's a reason not to.
magnetic letters and high frequency words for the fridge are good.
He really liked the BBC fun with phonics DVD. For books, we also got songbird phonics and also Bob's books.

My MIL and SIL were adamant that my son would be confused when he started school because he would be taught to read a different way. He was a couple of months behind your dc - short of him spending a year with a paper bag over his head I couldn't see a way to stop him reading (not that I wanted to). He read everything, the sides of cereal packets, street signs. We didn't use staged readers because I didn't know there was such a thing.

When he started school he was a confident reader and knew how to break down words that he hadn't seen before. It was not a problem for him or for his teacher.

Does your daughter have a library card? We got through a lot of books (including some phonics ones) and in my authority children's reservations are free so we could pull in books from all over the county to our small village library.

nicename Tue 11-Mar-14 19:27:08

I think the ELC do the jolly phonics, which seems to be the way they teach kids these days. If she is keen to learn, why not?

I learned to read before I went to school, and was reading Winnie The Pooh and Enid Blyton before I was 4 (I remember because I used to take the books to show my primary 1 teacher). I was bored stupid in class though, because - and I still remember this one instance very clearly - we had to stand in groups and read out our lines in turn from a story book (the ones with the little pictures in the front of the dialogue to say who was talking), I had to wait until every one else had their turn and my line was 'carrot'. The things you remember...

I'm with those who say that if they are 'into it' they will just teach themselves. No need to set up with phonics or anything, just read to her, help her sound things out if she asks. It will come in its own time.

polythenespam Wed 12-Mar-14 08:41:47

Thanks everybody.
ea is her new thing since starting this thread - she spots words with ea in them everywhere and says 'looks like Ikea' smile

I take on board the typing / writing thing and do agree...she definitely wants to write - when she draws she does a series of little lines at the top and says it's her name smile She can write the first 3 letters so I'll encourage that as well as the typing.

Yes she has a library card and loves going - I'll have a look for the early readers. I think we'll just do a combination of things moving forward.

sanam2010 Wed 19-Mar-14 22:37:32

Wow it sounds like you can't stop her anyway ;-). Have a look at the readingbear.org programme, it's free and you can use it to teach reading via phonics. Also the Jolly Story books and Jolly Songs are quite useful (also check out jolly phonics songs on youtube).

Normanpriceisnotarolemodel Thu 20-Mar-14 13:08:11

Another vote for pirate phonics on the iPad here.

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