Teaching my 4 year old to read, any tips?

Hi all.

My son is 4 (turned 4 in December) and I think he is quite behind in his alphabet skills and writing for his age.

He is a very active child and just doesn't have a long attention span at all which does cause us problems when I am trying to teach him

He knows his numbers to read and write up to 10 and he can write his name, but doesn't know hardly any letters to look at. He loves me reading to him but I just don't know what plan of action to take to get him started. He has also got a thick Jolly Phonics book that he enjoys going through but nothing really seems to stick!

I haven't a clue what stage he 'should' be at but I am sure my daughter was more advanced at this age, but then she was easier to teach LOL!

The best way I find to teach him anything really is to get out his Aquadraw mat and use that so we can just sit on the floor and it is more 'physical'

Apart from that, I just don't know how to go about teaching him, like should I just do a few letters at a time?

Hoping some of you fellow parents won't mind sharing some tips with me!

22 Comments

Banned

my daughter could read and write at 4, my son couldnt read or write when he started school at 5, he showed no interest in either, within weeks of being at school he was reading and writing, so much so that he had finished all the words and books from the reception year in 3 months, he now reads books for any age and hes 6, so dont worry, he will pick it up when he is good and ready not when you want him to

My boys 5 and started school in september. Before he started I met his teacher and said that he knew his numbers up to 20 but didn't know his alphabet although could write his name. She said this was 'very good' and that she wouldn't necessarily expect them to at his age. He is now top of his class for reading and has to go and collect his reading book from a year one's class! Wot I'm trying to say is I don't think you have to actually worry about the stage he is at although obviously any help at home is always going to get him on the right tracks:thumbsup:

It would be a good idea to pop into the school he will be going to and find out which phonic scheme they are using, and ask for tips so you don't confuse him.Generally letter sounds are taught first rather than letter names.The first letters usually taught are:s,a,t,p,i,n,
Its great when children can read and/or write their own name when they start school.

hiya hun, i have 2 boys 4 and 2. my friends girls seem to be more advanced and apparently this is the case with girls and boys..... the way i taught my 4 yr old the alphabet was taught him the 'alphabet song'
A B C D E F G, H I J K LMNOP, Q R S, T U V, W X, Y and Z, now you know your ABC won't you sing along with me :-D never took that long to remember and then wrote them down so he could follow when saying them..... don't worry about what 'stage' he is at..... all children are clever in their own way :thumbsup:
and he will pick things up at school too

Banned

i taught my son ABC and the school wasnt impressed as they teach them abc (phonics) so when he used to sound a word out he couldnt because he sounded it as ABC not abc, hope that makes sense, really if he isnt interested i wouldnt push this on him, find other stuff he enjoys, painting, counting pennies, wildlife outside, etc,etc

Original Poster

Thanks, I must I say I do worry that he would be expected to know his alphabet and that by the time he starts reception, as I know I could and my daughter could. Also, when I see some of his friends writing their names, though I do understand all kids are different.

I didn't want to force him, never have done - justthought I should probably try and move him along a bit., just don't know which path to take.

You have both eased my worries a bit, though - thanks.

My son wouldn't even do drawing until a few months ago, but is now drawing quite nicely - 90% of his pictures are cars/monster trucks LOL!

EDIT: Sorry that was for the first 2 posts LOL!

Original Poster

kt21;4679161

It would be a good idea to pop into the school he will be going to and … It would be a good idea to pop into the school he will be going to and find out which phonic scheme they are using, and ask for tips so you don't confuse him.Generally letter sounds are taught first rather than letter names.The first letters usually taught are:s,a,t,p,i,n,Its great when children can read and/or write their own name when they start school.


Thanks, I will do that - his reception class is about 20m away!

tinkerbell28;4679162

Very good advice there, also boys tend to be "slower" tp pick thing up so … Very good advice there, also boys tend to be "slower" tp pick thing up so I have been told. I have 3 boys


I have heard that many a time - I had the shock of my life with my little monster boy after a cutie little girl! :giggle:

lyndsbowes;4679174

hiya hun, i have 2 boys 4 and 2. my friends girls seem to be more … hiya hun, i have 2 boys 4 and 2. my friends girls seem to be more advanced and apparently this is the case with girls and boys..... the way i taught my 4 yr old the alphabet was taught him the 'alphabet song'A B C D E F G, H I J K LMNOP, Q R S, T U V, W X, Y and Z, now you know your ABC won't you sing along with me :-D never took that long to remember and then wrote them down so he could follow when saying them..... don't worry about what 'stage' he is at..... all children are clever in their own way :thumbsup:and he will pick things up at school too


My son is very bright, very aware and is always asking questions. He just about knows the alphabet song but as I am trying to teach him to read I am going for the phonics option at the moment.

sassie;4679184

i taught my son ABC and the school wasnt impressed as they teach them abc … i taught my son ABC and the school wasnt impressed as they teach them abc (phonics) so when he used to sound a word out he couldnt because he sounded it as ABC not abc, hope that makes sense, really if he isnt interested i wouldnt push this on him, find other stuff he enjoys, painting, counting pennies, wildlife outside, etc,etc


I get what you mean, Sassie - I am going for the phonics option as it makes the most sense for getting them reading and writing fluently

This year no child started our class reading so don't panic!
The best things to do are to talk, share an interest in books, play games etc.Sounds like you are doing all of these so he will have the language needed to progress.
You can do things like sounding out words such as c-a-t and seeing if he can blend it to make the word, that is a big skill children need.

Original Poster

Just found some good ideas ]here in case anyone else is interested - sounds like the kind of things my son would enjoy

Mrs.Z;4679188

Thanks, I must I say I do worry that he would be expected to know his … Thanks, I must I say I do worry that he would be expected to know his alphabet and that by the time he starts nursery, as I know I could and my daughter could. Also, when I see some of his friends writing their names, though I do understand all kids are different.I didn't want to force him, never have done - justthought I should probably try and move him along a bit., just don't know which path to take.You have both eased my worries a bit, though - thanks.My son wouldn't even do drawing until a few months ago, but is now drawing quite nicely - 90% of his pictures are cars/monster trucks LOL!EDIT: Sorry that was for the first 2 posts LOL!



I'm sure he'll be fine:thumbsup: Also, I help out at my son's school quite a bit and have seen the difference in the kids there - by the sounds of it u really have nothing to worry about hun. ;-)

I think girls are just smarter than boys.... lol... My daughter was reading Roald Dahl books at 6. at age 4 I spent about 2 days making her flash cards with one letter of the alphabet on each and a picture Aa - apple etc... she could tell me the letter and the sound it made within a day, even if i hid the picture, and never forgot them... lol. She makes up for it now by being the dizziest plonker I know.

I agree with the advice about asking the school what system they use, it will help in the long run. Also agree not to push it, my daughter just absorbed everything I taught her at that age, but each child is very different so best not to force it, or compare and then start worrying.

Original Poster

ChipSticks;4679301

She makes up for it now by being the dizziest plonker I know.



LMAO! :giggle:

Hi, sounds like your doing the main thing right and thats being interested, as long as you show that he will eventually too:) I must say though that I do agree with the whole girl boy thing, my lad is 15 and has never, to this day, been much good at reading and writing yet my 6 yr old daughter is just a whizz at both and I can definately say they have both had the same input from me. Just have patience and dont stress or they will feel it and feel pressurised He'll get there eventually

Original Poster

michelleleemoo;4679344

Hi, sounds like your doing the main thing right and thats being … Hi, sounds like your doing the main thing right and thats being interested, as long as you show that he will eventually too:) I must say though that I do agree with the whole girl boy thing, my lad is 15 and has never, to this day, been much good at reading and writing yet my 6 yr old daughter is just a whizz at both and I can definately say they have both had the same input from me. Just have patience and dont stress or they will feel it and feel pressurised He'll get there eventually



Thanks loads guise, feeling much better now for our input

gonna get off for the night now before my eyes fall out of my head, will check back in the morning! :-D

I wouldn't be too worried. At 4 years old the best way to learn anything is through play. Some of the countires with the best educational levels don't start any formal education until 7 years old. Until then it is learning through play that is best. Just take any opportunity that arises to discuss letters and words. Don't force the kid to sit down and practice, this could switich him off of education at a young age. If the child picks up on your anxieties then this will make him more liely to get wound up and add to attention problems. Most of all, whatever you do, make it fun; kids get enough pressure piled on them once they get older anyway. (So speake a jaded primary school teacher)

Mrs.Z;4679327

LMAO! :giggle:



Oh seriously, you have no idea!!!

How can a child that showed such amazing potential turn into the thing that grumps around the house saying the stupidest of things? being 15 must eat away at IQ levels.

Banned

ChipSticks;4679501

Oh seriously, you have no idea!!! How can a child that showed such … Oh seriously, you have no idea!!! How can a child that showed such amazing potential turn into the thing that grumps around the house saying the stupidest of things? being 15 must eat away at IQ levels.



know the feeling :thumbsup:

I recommend the following strategy. Have lots of books me might find interesting and it is likely he will pick them up.

My son couldn't write his name when he went into reception but within weeks he was reading, and writing. He is now in Year one and is at least a year ahead on the reading curriculum - being sent to the year aheads section to choose his books.

My daugher is now 3 and we practise just one letter a week at the moment. We definately use phonics, as mentioned before singing the ABC song can confuse children learning phonics. Though I have sung this to my children frequently - I don't emphasise the letter names when talking about them - I always use the letter sound! c c c cat, a a a apple, etc..

Just keep reading to him, sit him close, and let him watch you turn the page and point to the words as you read... Children also need to learn that books are read from front to back (they learn this first) then that you read the left page from left to right, top to bottom, and then the right page... It seems obvious to us, but to a child it isn't.

Our school also asks us to talk to the child about the book before we start reading it - look at the picture on the front page, and read the title, and ask what they think is going to happen.

They also encourage children to tell their own stories from the pictures on the pages.

I bet your son is doing just fine, but it's natural as a mother to worry. Keep up your good work!

my son-now 9-knew our phone number, could write his whole name, a couple of words and read a few words before he started school-my 3 year old (4 in June) n the other hand can only master the first letter of her name ! She is bright in every other way-and has a huge vocabulary which the health visitor picked up on. She has also only just mastered being dry in the day (whereas my son was 26 months and he asked for the loo i didn't even try to train him!)! What i am trying to say is-they are all different-the first year of school where i live is more learning through play-so don't worry-they all catch up to their level in the end. Keep bits about, read stories, talk about things-recognise letters when you are out (we look for 'curly c's' on car number plates, then 'e' etc though her name) etc - it will all come together - just keep it fun and they will learn.

You are a great mum even worrying about it - so enjoy your time with him !

My 3 y/o (December) has been saying the alpabet, counting to 10 and knows all his primary shapes the past 4 months. In saying that his communication skills are not as good as other 3 y/o's, He manages to string three word sentances. He is very good with a computer browsing his nick Jr Parent and learning website which I have to say has been a real help in his development. He uses this also at his creche. He shuts the computer down correctly and has very good hand to eye coordination. I just think that kids develop in their own unique way. Thats what makes them so different

mine loved to read using the letterland bus and alphabet desk. v-tech do many electronic reading aids. flash cards are good too. Available in poundland....
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