Hi Let's Go Learn, My daughter is 5 years old and just starts kindergarten this year. Is it too early to teach her to read? If not, could you recommend some materials? Thanks.
Hello, Thanks for your email. I apologize for not returning your email sooner, this last week has been crazy. Here are my thoughts: There are several schools of thought regarding when to teach children how to read. I got an email recently from the mother of a 19 month old by who said her son loved books so much she wanted to begin teaching him. On the very same day I got an email from someone asking me about "delayed reading," a program that does not teach kids to read until age seven. My own preferences are somewhere in the middle. I certainly don't recommend teaching babies to read, but it is probably not necessary to wait until the age of 7. This is what was a wonderful and wise speech pathologist that I used to work with said to me: "A child who is ready to learn to read will show an interest in sounds. Don't ask the child to say the sound or to repeat after you. Say the sounds yourself and when the child is ready, he or she will start repeating after you." That really stuck with me over the years. Learning to say the sounds in isolation should be fairly easy for the child who is ready to learn. Phonemic awareness is the processing ability that allows us to learn how to sound out words. Most scientists say that this develops by age 5, some say 6 or 7. If you decide that she is ready to learn to read, what programs should you use? When choosing a program, remember that any good reading instruction should include these three things: 1) Learn to sound out words, 2) Learn to memorize words that cannot be sounded out, and 3) Learn to use contextual cues when reading. I hope this is helpful to you. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Tags: phonemic awareness, reading program, kindergarten reading