Aussies Living Simply

Should I help teach him to read or not?

Home Forums SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE LIVING Home Schooling Should I help teach him to read or not?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
  • Author
  • #251920


    It’s not homeschooling but I’d like your thoughts. As I tend to be getting conflicting suggestions.

    My DD is at our local Catholic school and is doing fine.

    DS is in kinder this year and obviously won’t be starting school until next year. He is driving me and DH NUTS. The kinder he is at has a playbased programme and do not try and introduce reading/writing etc. They believe kids should be kids and I am more than happy with that as I really like what I see the teacher doing with all the kids.

    But he appears to be trying to teach himself to read. Not my idea other than reading regularly to the kids I don’t do anything expect answer his constant questions. I couldn’t care less if my two kids don’t/didn’t learn a single word before school.

    Do I encourage/help him or not:confused:. Below is an example of what he is doing.

    I’ve found him with ABC books reciting the alphabet to work out what the few letters he doesn’t recognise are. I know he recognises a few simple words. He quite often picks a word (not written) and breaks it apart phonetically to try and work out what letters are in the word often successfully. He will pick a word and then choose another half dozen to rhyme with it and ask my if they rhymed properly. They always do.

    He is probably better with his numbers and if he gets hold of a catalog will read me out the prices correctly (up to about 20) and ask me Mum can I have saugages they’re only $3. I’ve checked what his is reading it is right. Or Mum can I have the bananas with red on they are only $1 more. I’ve got to the stage that I tell him to work out which are the cheapest apples and to grab them to give me peace shopping.

    Is this normal for his age he’s 5 in May. My DD certainly didn’t do this and struggled to read for a quite a while really only picking it up well early in grade 2 after reading recovery and ERIC programme. He is a great kid but very extroverted and constantly at me with questions. Believe sometimes ABC kids is really my friend so I can get some work done.

    Ave a go

    I’m no expert, but if he wants to, then why not…. It’s not like you’d be forcing him….


    I think if he wants to do it why not help him and when he has had enough stop. Treat it like a game, like snap but with letters of the alphabet or go fish. Simple for his age but fun.


    I don’t see why you shouldn’t… from what you say your son is fairly bursting with desire to learn to read. An alternative may be to teach him something else. A lady I know taught her daughter to read music instead as she didn’t want her daughter to be bored in class while her classmates were learning to read…. Said daughter is now an accomplished violinist at 14 or 15… but I personally would just teach him to read books :D…. magical world that they are

    Judi B

    I’m no expert either………. go for it.

    My son had problems with speech and he was having speech therapy which included some reading and when his sister was old enough she was encouraged to join in.


    Have you thought about asking your DD teacher for advice? Maybe find out what is the way they teach them to read at that school so if you are going to teach him when he gets to school it won’t be much of a change.

    I think if kids like to do something, we should encourage them and help them to achieve what they set out to do.

    jennifer g

    I reckon if she’s interested then it’s time to do it. Kids show those signs and they’re prompts for you I think anyway. I try and go with it, when kids are interested, make the most of it. That’s just my personal opinion….


    If the kids are interested in anything I always teach them as much as they want. Never know where it will lead!:metal:


    My two are little sponges when it comes to wanting to know why and how and which is this, etc, etc. We play games to spot the letters (they’re 3 and 18 months) when we’re out in the car, looking at signs and billboards. T recently surprised us all by being able to count to 12 :jawdrop: (that’s the 18 month old) so I figure if your boy has the desire, go for it!

    Apparently I came home from school on the first day of Year 1, and when asked how I liked it, I said, “Boring. Just like pre-primary – and they didn’t even teach us to READ!” 😆 I’m sure I would have loved to have learnt before I did…

    Good luck and have fun!


    becca:lol: those were my DD’s words too. She reckoned it was a waste of time cos she still couldn’t read and they were supposed to teach her! she was most dissapointed but I coerced her to go again and since they talked about words and got a small book that day she was happy to go back then 😆


    I am an early childhood teacher and I am a great believer in teaching children to read if they are ready and raring to go. When doing this I would advise you to say the letter name but encourage the child to tell you the sound it makes, eg: this is a C but it make a c sound, if you know what I mean. Ask the child’s school to give you a copy of the letter charts that they use for early writing and then you can say this like , a for apple, b for baby, c for crocodile etc etc. Another thing you can do is provide him with paper and pencils and get him to help write you a shopping list, or an invitation to gran to visit, for example. Dont spell words out for the child as the child will become too reliant on you and will not be prepared to take risks in sounding out their own writing. Remember, it is rare for a child to have a visual memory developed enough to get their spelling correct before the age of 7 or 8. The child will begin writing with a mixture of unconventional symbols and letters and numbers and thats all part of the learning. The next stage is beginning to put in sounds that they hear in a word into their writing. The next stage is where they realise that writing has spaces between the words and will begin to do that. As they go along they will spell commonly used words correctly eg, it, and, mum, dad.

    I think by facilitating the child’s learning (by providing books, materials, and letter charts) the child take it upon himself to learn. Loads of encouragement doesn’t go astray either.

    When the child knows the letter sounds then he can begin to sound out reading words. Choose books that are short, have interesting illustrations that tell whats happening because in the early stages they use these as cues. Learning to read relies a lot on memory so don’t be put off if you think “he is just memorising it and not really reading”, also find books that are quite repetitive or predictable.

    The most important thing is NOT to make it a chore as he might get to hate it.

    Good luck and enjoy,



    if your child is interested to the point of trying to teach himself, leaving him to it might be a little unkind – especially when some encouragement and help could have such a positive impact.

    i have seen in my own son the negative impact of teaching before they’re ready, so i agree that children should be finger painting and playing for as long as they want to…but when they want to get into the guts of it, help them. the rewards will probably be great for both of you.

    i agree that it may be helpful to speak to the teacher first…but i’d do the above regardless. 😆

    good luck



    If they are interested tach them. I learnt to read at 3. I don’t think I have suffered from it. I always read above my age level at school as I had a head start on them.


    Thanks guys

    You’ve pretty much confirmed my thoughts.

    Will start playing some of the letter type games and other stuff that was encouraged when DD was in prep. He’ll either want to keep trying and figure it out or get bored and move onto the next interest. Either way he will be happy to spend the time doing something with Mum.

    I might ask the school about some of the basic stuff that they are using for preppies if he continues to show an interest.


    Gremmbles, my daughter was the same. Her maths though wasn’t as good as her english skills! My son liked doing arty things instead. Kerrieb, I think you’re son is awesome, knowing the “money” the way he does, is very advanced. My son (8) still has a few troubles with the deducing which is more when it comes to the dollar!

    Encourage him all the way, but when he’s had enough, leave him to it. There are some fantastic books now, and My daughter learned to read at 3 on the ladybird series of books. They have a lot of first readers, where there is a good picture and the word underneath. this site is brilliant, and has lots of stuff. I used them for occupying my son 😀 before he started school or pre-school after we moved. We even did pasting on of leaves on flower stems etc for petals. Just gross motor and fine motor skills stuff, but interesting al the same! He loved it and this site is FREE membership. Give it a look 😀

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.