When should we begin teaching our daughter to read?

What Do Beginning Readers Need and When?

Today’s Mailbag Question comes from parents of a 4-year-old who ask a common question. Dr. Linda has great insights and a few suggestions.

when-should-we-begin-teaching-our-daughter-to-readDear Dr. Silbert,

Our daughter Megan is 4 years old. She’ll go into kindergarten next year. Should we start teaching her to read now so she won’t be behind?  Or is it better just to let the school do it. Of course, we want her to do well in school and will help her in any way that is appropriate. Thank you for your help.

Patti and Mike

Dear Patti and Mike,

Many concerned parents have the same question, wondering whether they should start teaching their kids to read at home.

Megan doesn’t need to know how to read by the time she gets to kindergarten. But as a beginning reader, it’s helpful if she has some basics down and is looking forward to reading.

If she really wants to learn to read now, that’s fine. She should be encouraged as long as it’s fun and not taking time away from playing.

Beginning readers play, run around, skip, sing, and imagine. They love learning new things about their world. They’ve got questions, energy, and enthusiasm.

Most, especially if they’ve been read to or introduced to books, look forward to reading themselves.

What they don’t have is a long attention span. Sitting still and being quiet for long periods of time is not their strength. Boring is out.

So what do beginning readers like Megan need? [Read more…]


Phonics Centered — Consistent with Orton-Gillingham — Multisensory