Suggestions for 4 1/2 yr old about to read


Our son is on the verge of reading…any suggestions on how to help him along? He is in PreK now & I will be homeschooling next yr…



If you’ve been reading to him, ask him to read bits to you – easy words, etc.

Write out easy words or make them out of alphabet letter blocks, magnets, etc., and have him read them.

Get those cool word flipbooks – the ones with a syllable like “at” at the back, and single letters that flip up to make different words – one flap with a ‘b’ so the kid reads “bat”, one with a ‘c’ to make “cat”, and so on. Those are really good. You can also play with running through all the possible rhymes, including nonsense words.

Teach him to write easy words, also. Big fat pencils or big fat crayons!


Read to him all the time. When you’re out with him, point out signs and read them to him.

When sitting with him, point at the letters as you make each sound, so that he gets the connection between the letter combinations and the sounds they represent.


Dr. Seuss’s Hop on Pop is great for a new reader. And it’s silly enough to amuse them at the same time! :thumbsup:


Most Dr. Seus books are great for beginning readers. I am guessing he knows the Alphabet song - try singing it the way the letters are said in words a phonetic Alphabet song.

Keep reading - let him see you reading as well, books and magazines for learning as well as just for fun!

Write words on large note cards and tape them to the objects - “chair” on a chair, “couch” on the couch, “television” on the t.v. set (or “t.v.”) etc. These will become sight words for him.

Put up a set or two or three of magnetic alphabet letters on your fridge, make words there.

Brenda V.


Yeah…flip the card again and really confuse him. ‘e’ “eat”:smiley:


This is a perfect opportunity to show him how the different letter combinations work - if there is only one vowel, it sticks to the consonant that comes after, not the one that comes before. If you have two vowels, the second vowel causes the first vowel to stick to the consonant that comes before it (if there is one), and also causes it to become “long” (flattens the sound).

c at
b at
m at
s at

e(a) t

a t (e)
la t (e)
wa (i) t


I taught my son to read. I mostly used Sing Spell Read and Write which is a set that covers everything you need, even prizes and progress charts (“race cars” and its a very thorough program. That or any of the other top recommended phonetics reading programs would be good.

Especially with a boy, its important to spend a bit of time every day as much as possible, rather than have long sessions here and there. Sometimes when he wasn’t focusing well, we’d divide up the work to various times of the day.

Teachign thh alphabet phopnetically matters a lot. Instead of “A,B,C” you make the sounds, soft “a”, “b” (not “bee” or “b” and “Ka” for “C”, (not “see” which is easy to tell fromt he letter name). The SSR&W program explains this as will any phonetics program. Phonetics is the very best way to teach reading.

Once he knows the letter counds, I really reccommend "Bob books! They ar excellent first readers and compliment any reading program. My son enjoyed the cartoons, and he felt so accomplished reading “whole books” when he only knew a few letter sounds.

They are cute little booklets in a box, and are at Barnes and Nobles (also try, and there are three or four boxes of different difficulty for emerging readers.


I think the number one most important thing as your child is learning to read is to continue to read to him every day. By listening to your fluency as you read out loud to him, he will begin to understand the rhythm and flow of reading and he will also learn to anticipate what comes next, an important skill can be overlooked if your focus is on phonics.

As far as developing his phonics skills though, I had good luck with my kids with the Now I’m Reading packs. They start out very, very easy and quickly build upon their skills. I think that because they start out at such a very basic level, it really helps kids develop some confidence.

Here is a beginning pack:


Don’t push him whatsoever, and don’t boast to your friends about his reading or invest too much of your mother ego in the fact that he might read early. I’ve seen too many mothers fall into that trap. The other kids catch up by grade three or four, and sometimes surpass the early readers.


You might like Little Stories for Little Folks from

**It’s Catholic and phonics based, but it gets right to reading, which gives them a great sense of achievement. This is esp nice for students who get frustrated with workbooks. Very reasonably priced too. 2 of mine went straight from it to 2nd grade readers without any problems.:thumbsup: **


I agree! I read outloud constantly to my son, and plan to through high school. I read to him through my crisis marriage break up - i was so stressed out but reading gave us together-time when my focus wan’t much good for conversation. I remember sometimes not kowing even what I was reading as I read - but my son did - he’d let me know. Now his comprehension is really excellent, and he really follows a story line, and that has a lot to do with the reading outloud, I think.

Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook was a big inspiration to me, and he has a ReadAloud book for reading to your teens, which I’ll read someday also.

I also reccommend having your child learn poetry - A line or two a day, added to the previous days’ lines learned, and in short order he’ll have a whole long poem to recite for listeners and be real proud of himself. This is a reccommendation of Laura Berquist.


I used these cute little paperback books called “Bob Books.” They were recommended in The Well-Trained Mind. Both my kids who have learned how to read loved them. They start of with really easy short vowel sounds, and then move on to more diffcult stuff slowly.

We found them in the kids section at Barnes and Noble. They come in boxes of 10 or 12 little books.


Yes, good words of advice, thank you… I try not to boast about him in terms of his intelligence-he’s brilliant & I’m pretty sure he knows it without me telling the world!! (and most folks catch on pretty quickly in conversation w/him…)
Our 9 yr old daughter did not read early & now devours books.
I’m not too worried about our son reading early or being surpassed later-hopefully no more than normal on most days!! I do want to make the most of his eagerness & readiness. I try not to push him or our other children, but do, I’m afraid, from time to time, trying always to make amends & do my best to be what they each need.

Thanks for all suggestios, he loves Dr Seuss especially & I love the flip chart idea, simple, easy, fun.


Wise Mother! I second the Read Aloud Handbook by the way :thumbsup:


I second this. We used it this year for my 4 year old, who we started homeschooling kindergarden. She’s now reading the books from the program and loves it. The program is cheap, reusable, and Catholic.


I also used Bob Books with my daughter. I would recommend buying one set at a time. Depending on how fast your son catches on to reading, he may not need all the sets of Bob Books.

We bought all of them when our daughter was on the verge of reading (a little over 4 yrs old) but only the first set got used much as she went from reading single words at 4 1/2 yrs old and was reading mid-second grade books by 6 yrs old.


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