My four year old is showing an interest in reading

My four year old is showing an interest in reading: sounds out words, following along in books, looking at words and “reading” what he thinks it says. My question is whether I should pursue this curiosity with some sort of organized teaching or just let him keep exploring. He does not sit well, so if we did something it would need to be very interactive or short, sweet and to the point. We are planning to officially start school next year and as of now I’m planning to use the Learn with Homer app for phonics. We have played on it in the past and he enjoyed it.

Any words of wisdom from someone who has been here?

If you already have the apps you could start at his pace as he is interested in working. My son started reading without any lessons so we used a computer-based phonics program that he enjoyed doing. It worked well because he was ready and interested. It sounds like you are in a similar situation.

At that age I would do whatever he wants. If he wants to sit and have you explain things, do it. If the next day he wants to try on his own, that’s fine. When my son was younger he had a learning computer that did letters and sounds that he loved to play with. Plus we made it a point to answer his questions whenever he wanted to know what something sounded like or spelled. Learning the names of the letters is pretty easy, so you could start telling him the sounds of the letters at the same time when he asks what something is. That way he learns them together. I would also read to him a lot (which you are most likely already doing) and maybe even help him write stories by transcribing them as he tells you what they are and draws pictures for them. That will make it a fun process and help you teach him without him realizing he is even learning!

My almost 4-year-old is similar. We started All About Reading Pre-Reading and she’s loving it. I’m going to go with her interest and take advantage of her desire and curiosity.

A fantastic website that kids enjoy that teaches basic reading skills is I would also recommend using music for learning phonics/letters/blends, etc. so your child can learn in an enjoyable way without pressure. I made some playlists for letters here, and you may want to use the phonics list and some of the online books. And keep reading aloud to him! :slight_smile: