My 5 year old wants to know how to read!

Hello everyone! So my DD is 5, She has been telling me for a couple of weeks that she wants to learn to read! :slight_smile: Wonderful! I am excited. She loves books, she looks at them all the time, she makes up the story to go with the pictures, or sometimes just makes up new stories while she is “reading” the words. I am trying to decide what would be a good program to help teach her to read. She knows all her uppercase and lowercase letters, and all her letter sounds. She knows all her book parts, and understands that the words make sentences that make the stories. She know where we start reading, and how to follow along from left to right and to go from front to back. I have been considering AAR, but I want to know what other programs people have used, loved and had success with for beginning readers! We are not in a hurry to teach her to read, but since she is asking to learn I want to encourage it! Thanks!

We’ve been using Easy Peasy with my oldest. He’s been doing really well with it and the best part is it’s completely free! (Which doesn’t mean it’s a poorly written program – the Easy Peasy site meets the standards of Pennsylvania’s homeschooling laws, which are fairly strict compared to other states) If your daughter already knows her sounds then I would suggest starting on the McGuffey Primer portion of Getting Ready 1!

I am currently also using AAR but in the past I have used CLE Learn to Read program it’s a pretty inexpensive and solid program. The only reason I switched to AAR was because my younger DD was different. It was working but was a little more painstaking for her.
CLE Learn to Read includes spelling, writing and reading. I really liked the program though and plan to finish it up as my DD gets a little older.

The short answer is that mine are 7 & 8 and I’ve been considering switching to AAR because of all of the rave reviews, but I haven’t because using the much less expensive Explode The Code along with Phonics Pathways has been working great for us. If we run into gaps I probably will switch though.

I had just pulled my son out of kindergarten when my 5 year old preschooler wanted to learn to read. I tried 100 easy lessons and it was beyond painful for both of us. So much that within a week she said I don’t want to learn to read anymore. I tried The Well Train Mind’s reading program too, but again it was so much repetition of things like poems for learning vowels that we gave it up. Honestly I think I’m too legalistic to use any programs like those Then I asked everyone I knew and they all seemed to just be using Explode The Code and reading books with it. So we tried that and have been using that for a few years. We now supplement it with Phonics Pathways and it is not only pretty solid, but very inexpensive (phonics pathways is $22 and that’s for up to 4th grade and each ETC book is about $6.50).

Thanks! I will check both of these out. I have never heard of either one and well you can’t beat free! If I try it and it doesn’t work out then there is no loss!! Thanks for the suggestions. :slight_smile:

I will check into CLE, I don’t know for sure what will work best for our DD. One of the reasons I came looking for advice from others who have used all these different programs! Thanks for your imput!! :slight_smile:

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Im so glad you replied, I have also been considering 100 easy lessons (I was looking at just checking it out of the library because it seems to have very mixed reviews) and ETC is another one that I have been looking into. It seems to be very popular and most people seem to like it. I was under the impression that it might be more for slightly older kids as a reinforcement instead of a compleate “program.” Although it sounds like you had success with it with your child that was just learning so I will have to look into it more cloesly. I will also check out Phonics Pathways. I have heard of it but never really looked at it closely as we have not been in need of reading curriculcum until now. :slight_smile: Thanks for your suggestions!

I know I’m late in the game, but all my children LOVED Hooked on Phonics and Explode the Code! Amazon now sells the levels separately and it’s reasonably priced. HOP - Level 1
HTH! :slight_smile:

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Hey! Thanks for your imput! I have not gotten anything as we just welcomed our third and we are on a bit of a break :slight_smile: But I have really liked what I have read about ETC, and it seems to be quite popular so it will be one that we try a few levels of at some point! :smiley: and are both free and wonderful.

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My son just started this game:

It’s fun and FREE also! :slight_smile:
It seems to move at a good pace too.

Here’s some fun games I played with my oldest, who had early interest too:

  • Since she knows her letter sounds, using magnet letters start practicing blending with her. Show her a simple word, read the letter sounds slowly to her and then read it all together, then have her pick a letter to replace one of the letters to make a “silly word” and do the same thing…read all the sounds or have her read all the sounds, then say the words.

  • Get books that have “expressive” fonts…books like “The Monster at the End of this Book” where some of the words are written in a different font. Read these tracking the words with your finger. After reading these enough times that she’s starting to memorize it, pause and see if she’ll fill in what comes next on some big or unusually written word (these stick).

*When you’re reading, replace certain words with something silly and see if she catches it. Memorizing really does help later reading.

Love Explode the Code here too!

Thanks for the game ideas, we do the second one a lot already when we read. She actually has several books memorized that she also likes to “read” to her little brothers, or dolls :slight_smile: I almost always have to track the words because she says “point to the words mommy” :slight_smile: I will have to try the first game with her, we do a lot with magnets but have never done it that way! Thanks for the ideas.

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So far I’ve taught 2 - 4 yr olds to read and this is what has worked great for our family. My now 7 year old reads at 3rd grade level and the current 4.5 yr old is still working with my program below but can read about 6 Clifford books on her own and is very excited to keep reading:

  1. Taught the kids how to sound out letters.
  2. Take a plain notebook and start with some easy sight words like “I”, “a”, “the” “and” “at” “cat”.
    Write these words on a page, some she will be able to sound out and some you will just have to tell her what the word is BC it doesn’t follow the sound rules.
  3. Next page write Easy sentences
  4. Keep adding a word or two on the next page and some more sentences on the following one. Have her start at the beginning of the notebook each day and read through up until the new page then add it.
  5. Then get some really easy readers like “Clifford phonics readers - At Bat” then I have them read the phonics reader “hello, Clifford”.
    Most of the words in these two books they will be able to sound out and also encourage her to use the pictures to help with any difficult words like a name. If my child has at least tried to sound out the word and still can’t get it then I will help a little more.
    Then go to the library and find some easy readers like truck buddies and keep continuing with the Clifford phonics readers.
    Keep doing the sight word notebook a few times a week and then start teaching common blend sounds the “th” “Sh” or other chunks like “ee” “ow” “ar” as they advance.

I found with some of the program readers like bob books and such are so dull

and my kids did not like the pics, heck I even hated the pics hahaha.

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The above post words got cut short some - my kids didn’t find curriculum readers enjoyable and the pics were dull and boring. And Sorry missed a few pics, we LOvED these Clifford readers!

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Thanks for your ideas! My kids love clifford! Where do you get these readers??


I bought ours from Amazon -

But I’m sure you could find them on eBay too. And I’ve seen they have more sets after you finish this first set, I didn’t see them a few yrs ago so j might try to get those too!