How do you determine what to teach your PS? — The Bump
Pre-School

How do you determine what to teach your PS?

My 3 year is doing great academically.  I want to push her forward, but I don't want to go over too much too fast.  Over the past few days, she has been showing interest in reading.  She knows how to pronounce all of the letters, but she can't figure out the word.  For example, she can pick up a paper and say "huh aa ttt", but she cannot figure out that the word she is trying to read is hat.  In order to help her out, I was going to start going over small sight words with her, but my mom thinks that is too much for a 3 year old.  What would you all do?

BTW, she knows all of her letters by sight (upper and lower case), her letter sounds, how to write the entire alphabet and how to write her name.  It seems to me that reading is the next step, but I don't want to pressure her!  Sigh.... the things we worry about as mothers!

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Re: How do you determine what to teach your PS?

  • I would just read to her every night - not sit down and teach anything like in school setting manner.  Read easy books and point at each word as you go.  My kids love working in workbooks like they have seen their cousins do so maybe get some of those that seem to be at her level and let her play with them.  I would not do anything formal with her - she is 3 and sounds like she is very smart and she will pick things up.  With my kids (now 4 and almost 6) we never sit down and do lessons - they both go to preschool/PreK full time.  We do read every night, we work on our letters and sounds of letters and numbers all the time but casually - out driving we play games of finding letters or signs or numbers - we sing the ABC's and work our way through letter sounds in the car.  We count how many cars are in front of us in line, we read the words on the bottles of foods on the table.  We do basic math with our food - if I eat these 3 beans, how many are left on my plate.  What I'm trying to say is to keep it fun and part of daily life - not a let's sit down and work on reading.  My kids love to read and they are very interested in learning, we are just showing them how to make it a daily part of life and not a must be sitting at a desk and studying type of thing - they have plenty of time for that in the next 12+ years of school.  Kids need to play and you can add all the learning into a play experience for this age group.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • I agree that reading is the best way to go. But if you want something she can learn to do on her own that might challenge her, I suggest the Leapfrog Tag books. They have some simple books that are written just for the company, but also regular books. You have to buy the books all over again, because the wand works by scanning a code in the paper, but it's a great investment. (actually, lots of the Leapfrog stuff is great). Several of them have games at the back, and the really simple books would have the kind of games you're looking for.

    Honestly, it sounds like she's a the point where she needs to start recognizing sight words, and more exposure to print is the best way to do that. (btw, I say all this as a reading teacher) Whatever you do, don't get flashcards!

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  • Obviously reading and doing plenty of it- I would point to the words as you read- and read slowly.

    Maybe also check out the starfall website-

    my DD is a little older than yours and has picked reading up (ridiculously) quickly. We started with basic sight words and she seriously just took off with it. The last 2 months I have seen a ridiculous jump in her skills- she can easily read books on her own now. (step 2 books- with little interference)

    I say- just follow her lead and if she is interested in learning- run with it. No pressure- just fun learning.

    I also ditto the Leapfrog stuff- G  has had the Tag Reader since she was 28 mo old and I know it has helped her tremoundously.

    While not flash cards- I wrote basic sight words on foam cut outs (seasonal stuff- leaves, christmas trees, snowflakes, hearts etc...and added to her vocab as we went on) double sided foam cut outs- i would put a sight word on each side and just throw them in a bowl and left it on the kitchen table- whenever the mood struck her she would go through the bowl and sound them out and learn new words. (was a great activity while I was making dinner).

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  • I started with writing DS's name, and mommy and daddy and having him pick out the words and give them to the right people.  We also use grandparents when visiting he loves that game.  We also started reading signs stop, Publix,  he likes picking out were we were going.  

    Also, when reading try going to look for books that have certain words in different font.  The Froggy books,  and we found a beginning reading book about trucks and it had Zoom and Boom is different font so he "reads" those books.  Also some books about colors write the word in the color or have pictures of the color so he reads those.  Also, counting books have good picture clues. 


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  • Thanks so much for your advice!  I tried letting her write words based on letter sounds, and it was a hit.  You ladies are awesome!  Oh, and I got the message -- NO FLASHCARDS!  Smile
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