When Did Your Child Start to Read?

readingI just googled "average age for kids to learn to read."

The answer appears to vary widely, anywhere from age 3 to age 8.

I once read that the earlier a child learns to read, the greater likelihood that he or she will excel in reading and academics in the future. I'm not sure if that is supported by research or not, but it makes sense to me - especially considering that those who read earlier will be more confident and I think confidence often leads to greater success.

That being said, all kids learn at different paces and individual personalities/abilities need to be taken into account. Children learn best in playful, fun environments where they are free to laugh and make mistakes.

My husband and I definitely try to be "intentional" when it comes to teaching our almost-3-year-old to read, but we also strive to approach learning playfully. We let her curiosity and enthusiasm lead the way.

So far, these are the "tactics" we have utilized to help her get "ready to read":

  1. My husband and I read to her (and to her little sister). A LOT. We read books in the morning, books at noon, and books at night. Ten books per day at the very minimum, I would say.
  2. We try to set a good example. I read all of the time - because I enjoy it immensely. My husband reads a fair amount on the computer and his Bible every day, but doesn't read a lot for "pleasure."
  3. We use ABC letters in the bathtub. I think that is where my daughter first started recognizing letters because we go over them every night at bath time. I think the first letter she recognized was "X."
  4. We play with flashcards. We especially love the GIGANTIC flash cards that came in our Hooked on Phonics kit and the Your Baby Can Read Sliding Cards.
  5. We use the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program - daily. She always begs for "school time" and I try to say "yes" as often as I can. She enjoys coloring the letters and lining up the flash cards and making letters with her body and...putting a star sticker on the corner of the page after we finish each letter. I've tried to play "Memory" with her and she absolutely loves it, but she totally doesn't get it (she just picks up all the cards until she finds two that match and then laughs happily).

The new Learn to Read kits by Hooked on Phonics come with:

  • 6 storybooks
  • 2 workbooks
  • 2 DVDs
  • 2 quick start guides
  • 2 sets of stickers, and
  • 2 "decks" of flash cards.

We don't use the DVDs (we're not big "TV people") and the storybooks are just so-so (I think Hooked on Phonics needs to hire a new writer and illustrator), but the workbooks and flashcards and stickers are super fun.

If I were creating the kit, I would have included: 1 set of GIGANTIC flash cards (did I mention I really love those?), 1 deck of regular flash cards, a few workbooks with lots of activities (songs, crafts, games, and snacks for each letter of the alphabet), and stickers.

Overall, though, I really like the kits. And my 2-year-old agrees 100%. I didn't ask her. I just know. After all, she does ask to do the program every single day.

Here's a little message I'll leave with you:


YOUR TURN: What age did your child start reading? What do you do to encourage reading in your house?

hooked on phonics learn to readWIN IT! One winner will receive a Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read kit, $59.95-$79.95 {in grade level of winner's choice, PreK-2nd grade}. To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Sunday, August 9th at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

*UPDATE* The winner is #49 Stacy. Congratulations!

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113 comments on “When Did Your Child Start to Read?”

  1. My kids starting reading around kindergarten age. But, I was just telling my husband that I am going to teach our younger ones to read this year as their older siblings are in school.

  2. this would be so great for my niece who is 3 and her parents want to make sure that she is well prepared before starting school. it is never to early to learn :)

  3. I don't have a child of reading age yet. I am a librarian and books are so important to me and my family. We have reading time every night before bed.

  4. Hooked on Phonics is such a great program. I love to read to my little ones. My daughter and I read every night, and a few times during the day. My son hates books as of now. But he is a baby, and has so many "better" things to get into! He is still in the room with us when my daughter and I read, but there is no getting him to listen, he just pushes the book away. Hopefully he will grow out of that. This would be great for my daughter, she is starting school this year, and I would love a little headstart! Thanks for the chance!

  5. This would be great. We are going to start a at home preschool next month :) Jacob is doing awesome already with his letters, writing, etc...

  6. i would love to win this in the pre-k set for my son jack he loves books and letters and i read to him but would love to have more of a structured program or foundation to support his growing mind thanks for the chance to win [email protected]

  7. My almost 7 yr old is having the hardest time with learning to read.I need the K set to try again to teach him the basics(I will be homeschooling this year so that he gets extra help).Thanks!

  8. My daughter is three and doesn't read yet but we would like the Pre-k one to get her started. We read to her all the time and let her make up her own stories to the pictures in the books.

  9. My 9 year old did not start reading really well until 1st grade (I guess he matured a little slow; he is now in the GT program). My younger son did better and was reading in Kindergarten. Thank you

  10. I would say the kids learned (and are learning) to read at about 4 yrs. My son who starts Kindergarten can read pretty well and his younger sister is just starting. I encourage it by reading with them, reading in front of them so they see it is something people do for fun, flash cards, Leapster systems, tub ABC letters and lots of books around for them to grab as needed.

  11. We also do "school-time" like you do and this would be a great addition to it. I still believe phonics are the way to go. Some schools have tried different ways, with little success. Phonics are definately the way to go. We would use this a lot if we won it.

  12. The Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read kit is just the thing to help little ones get started on their learning to read journey. My son started reading at age 4 or thereabouts but it wasn't thru the help of Phonics it was by me who sat and self taught him. Phonics is a fine system I've heard so much about over the years. It's such a plus and advantage to be ahead of the pack when coming into kindergarten and first grade.

  13. I may have commented already... it's been a crazy week :) But anyway! I've been looking at pre-school at home curriculum, just because I want to get something structured started for a short period of time everyday this would be a great way to start working with my 2 year old who already knows how to spell her name, parts of the alphabet song and how to count to 10 - we've done those things just by playing and singing as we go about our daily activities.

  14. My son turns 6 this week and still can't recognize all the letters of the alphabet. We had a teacher come to our house every Thursday this summer to help get him ready for kindergarten (provided free from our school district). I worry about him feeling bad about himself at school or being embarrassed because he doesn't know how to read at all. This would really help him, thanks for the chance.

  15. I believe so much in phonics! It helped me to become the best reader. To this day I can pronounce almost any word, correctly the first time. I hate to say it, but I grew up thinking everyone learned the same way and
    I had a hard time, wondering why everyone around me stumbled over word pronunciation. I have a 4-year that this would be SO SO perfect for. He starts K-Garten next year and I want to give him the best head-start that I can!

  16. My son is 2, so we're not reading yet. But he does know most of the alphabest, although he does get some confused sometimes. We need to work on the lower case letters now.
    My hubby and I do read to him, but I think we could read more often. One good thing is my son really enjoys going to the library to pick up different books to read.

  17. the important thing is to keep reading with your kids. Besides myself the entire 1st grade class i was in was un-taught how to read. what I mean is we were reading at kindergarten level when we went in and the class was below that at the end of the school year. the teacher was horrible but they just moved her to s different school. I was the only kid to know how to read when I entered 2nd grade because my mom read with me at home

  18. What is funny is that my 2 yr old won't let me read to him....he loves to sit down with his books and look through them, but if I sit down and start reading he is done with them. I keep lots of books on a bookshelf that is just for him, to keep encouraging him. He is one of those children that has to do everything for himself. We also love the ABC tub-letters, and we sing ABCs while I wash his hair at bathtime. What I love about the Hooked on Phonics system is the way they combine different methods for teaching....one day I bet my son will be into the DVDs and the next day I bet he will only want the flashcards. It seems like an excellent system to show kids that learning is fun. Hopefully they will listen to you about the writer/illustrator.
    We would love to have this Hooked on Phonics system in our house. We would need the Pre-K. I bet having this system is great at jump-starting the reading process. And what kid {and mom} doesn't need that?!

  19. When I worked at JCPenney for the Christmas season last year they had Hooked on Phonics learn to... kits for sale, a co worker bought the last reading one so I went for the writing one. My 3 year old loves it even though her coordination isn't on that level yet she tries very hard and can write her name recognizably now. I should have bought the spanish one too as she loves Dora and Diego and every time we are using her ABC flash cards she begs me to do them in spanish. She knows a lot of colors and numbers in spanish as well as several different words. She also loves it when I read to her she will sit there and make me read her 5-10 books in a row, more if I didn't stop her but as I am so busy I can't sit and read for her all day no matter how much I would like to. Her favorite part of the writing system was the activity books she loved doing them and giving them to family and my family loved it too. I think she would love a learn to read kit to. I didn't realize how expensive they are normally because when I bought the writing one they were clearance and I got my 20% employee discount so they only came to about $15, I didn't know what a good deal I was getting!!

  20. Reece hasn't started reading yet (4 the end of this month) but I read with him quite frequently - and then he'll "read" too me (he makes up the story according to the pictures)....he does go to pre-school and I know they work on reading, but I'm not sure when he'll actually be able to read?

    autumn398 @ yahoo.com

  21. Oh my goodness! I have wanted to get one of these kits for a couple of years now. My son has had a hard time in Kindergarten last year because he hasn't been able to get all the words that they are "suppose" to know before leaving Kindergarten. This would help now that he is going into 1st Grade! What a wonderful help this would be for anyone who wins it!

  22. I have a 1st grader who needs to get from decoding to reading. And I have a 4 year old who knows all his letters and can spell his name. We could use this.

  23. We don't have to encourage reading, our kids LOVE to read so they want books all the time. Our oldest is four and he is starting to recognize a few words... it is very exciting!

  24. I had a phonics set that I used to love playing with when I was growing up. One of my fondest memories is going through the word cards and playing the games that came with the set. I would love for my twins to have a similar memory. This set would be so perfect for them.

  25. My son has stuggled with reading. he really needs the grade 2 one to help him. I try everything and he fights learning to read.

  26. We read a lot to Mikayla (I wish Lily would let us read more to her but not yet). Mikayla is 4 and she did go to 1/2 day preschool last year. She is not reading yet but she is recognizing her letters and she will spell things, her name, mom, if I spell out park or walk she knows what we are talking about. I think the level she is at is just fine.

  27. We read a bunch, but could be more intentional about practicing these days. Would love to try out this kit.

  28. Oh, this would be SO perfect for my daughter. Actually, for both of my daughters. I have an almost 5 year old and an almost 3 year old. We've been working with them, but I am not very good with keeping their interest. I'm needing a little bit of extra help!

  29. My girls were early readers but there is so much involved before they actually start "reading". What you are doing with your daughter is wonderful. Also, just playing with words, singing, etc. --some of those phonemic awareness activities. My daughters did enjoy sometimes having the book and tape to listen. It was fun for them to read a book in a different way.

  30. My son didn't learn to read before kindergarten, but his progress was amazing when he started school. He's now getting ready to enter first grade, and he can read almost any word. I'm constantly amazed by his reading skills!

    I'd love to win so I could help his book-loving sister learn some reading skills before she goes to school in a couple of years. :)

  31. Our oldest started reading at about 5, he is now 7 and he is an Excellent reader! It is so awesome, he loves reading and is now reading chapter books. Our other son is only 8 months, but he does love to be read to. His big brother loves reading to him!

  32. We've been reading to our son since he was a newborn. He loves to flip pages in books for hours. We also read several books to him each day. Recently, we received Your Baby Can Read as a gift. I love the flash cards and tabbed books. My son is 21 months old, and we're still working on letter recognition and speaking skills. I've heard about Hooked on Phonics since I was a kid. I've actually been asking all my friends who homeschool about their favorite phonics curriculum. Hooked on Phonics always surfaces to the top of the lists.

  33. I have twins who just turned five. They love to be read to both at home and at school. It is a great daily ritual for us - both in terms of spending relaxing, fun time together as well as for their learning. Neither read yet and we are starting to work together to sound out letters. I don't worry - everything comes in time and at a different pace for kids. I just bought two Intel based Atom netbooks last night and already have one reading appt to upload as soon as they arrive next week. I can't wait!

  34. I love phonics and am a little addicted. Right now I use Saxon K for my preschooler, but would love to have more supplies and a variety for them to use. I love the big flash card those are cool!

  35. i thankfully got reading at a very early age ...due to my father..who is a voracious reader. i want my kids to have the same inclination! cannot tell you how many books i have gifted to other kids!! :)

  36. Great job! It sounds like you and your husband are doing all the right things to prepare your daughters for a lifetime of reading. My son LOVES to play letters in the bathtub too. Its always been our routine and one that I think has really been helpful. Per your recommendation several months ago, we too got the Hooked on Phonics kit and have been working on that over the summer while we've been home together (I'm a teacher). He loves it- particularly the big cards.

  37. My son was around 4, my daughter is 4 and is just starting. I read constantly, so the kids see me reading as an example. We also read to the kids a lot and do lots of workbooks.

  38. We read to our girls all the time. My oldest is 9. She learned to read at around 7 or 8, but really struggled with it. We found that plying Rock Band helps her practicereading since the words to the songs run by rather quickly on the screen. My two youngest (ages 6 & 4) are not reading yet.

  39. We are working with our little guy with flashcards but would love to have an actual program to help him start reading. Thanks for the give-oh-way!

  40. My almost-3-year-old recognizes letters and symbols so far but offhand I can't think of any words that she knows. We also do a whole lot of reading around here, both in the us-reading-to-her sense and the she-"reads"-on-her-own sense. We have a lot of our books and we spend a lot of time at the library picking out new ones, too.

  41. I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now. With a 2.5 and a 1.5 year old, I want to make sure they have a step forward. Anything to help give them a leg up and this would do it!

    Great idea... and 10 books a day! You are a master! :)

  42. Thanks for giving me some really great ideas for the future. I have seen some of these products on the market but have not heard a "real mom review". This was very helpful.

  43. My son can't read. He recognizes his name and maybe a few other words. We're learning to write our alphabetn and learning the letters and numbers to 20. He just turned 4! I'm not overly concerned about pushing my children to learn early, they will learn in time and they need to be kids as well. Thanks for the chance.

  44. So you mentioned the "your baby can read" program, have you tried it? From what I saw on the commercial it is just learning to read by sight words. I am still curious about it though...

  45. At about 4 years old. I tell my niece that she has to read a childrens book or not get a dessert after eating dinner.

  46. My 4 year old has started recognizing small words. We encourage him to read by reading to him anytime he want - including books he wants to read over and over again. He also likes to sit with books by himself and 'read' which sometimes involves him making his own story for the pictures which is fine too. I have been looking into phonics programs, learning about ways to help him learn lol

  47. Aside from reading to our two year old, we used the Your Baby Can Read system. While I don't think it helped him learn to actually read, I think it helped him to recognize more words and to say them out loud (which is great because a lot of times we don't know what he's trying to say). He also has a Leapfrog video that helped him learn his letters in addition to playing with his alphabet blocks. This Hooked on Phonics program looks wonderful - I think my son would like the flash cards!

  48. My son is 3 and just now learning English. He's at this point able to pick out a few letters of the alphabet but that's about it. He loves being read to and we read books before nap and bed together.

  49. My niece is three and she is starting to read three letter words. Her parents used a leapfrog magnetic letter fridge set (I've linked to a similar one; I think theirs is an older version). They started with only some of the letters on the fridge when she was very little (in order to prevent them from being lost!) and later added the whole alphabet.

    Erika's known her alphabet for a long time (maybe 18 months?) - practically as long as she could talk, which was early, thanks to the alphabet song.

    Elizabeth and I sing the alphabet song quite often, and I fingerspell it in ASL as well for her which she loves! We go to our local library program "babytime" at least once a week and read a lot of board books daily; some in English, some in French. We also read part of longer books while she is playing in her Exersaucer (We're currently working through Winnie the Pooh, Le Petit Prince and the Bible), as well as a ton of poetry ("When we were very young" and "I like this poem". I aim to read out loud an average of an hour per day, and she seems to like it, especially the poetry!

    Our extended family values reading a lot - there's never a shortage of books (or people reading them). I'd like to pass on my love of reading, but I'm not going to panic if Elizabeth doesn't learn to read by age three though. I was a late reader - one of the last in my grade to learn and had to go to remedial classes.

  50. I started reading at age four. My brother taught me. We read a lot to each other and independently in our household. We also have themed library trips like "Bugs", where we get books on all sorts of different bugs.

  51. We have 6 grandchildren and going on 7. Some of them are more interested than the others in reading. I am hoping to try this, so if we win, it might help them and the others be more interested. Thanks for the giveaway.

  52. Thanks for the info on what you use and how it was received by your daughter. I read to our son (6 mo) everyday too, but only once during the day usually and then also at bedtime. I should up the number of storytimes. I would love to try the hooked on phonics kit. What a good idea to jumpstart reading before school starts!

  53. This would be a great set to have. I'm wanting to get the Your Baby Can Read set too. I'm planning to homeschool my little one. He's only 14 months, and I intend to create a general environment of learning right away. He won't sit still to be read to just yet, and the rare times he does, he's more into "helping" me turn the pages than listening to or looking at the story. I'm hoping that he'll enjoy the dvds. Even when he was three months old, his favorite show was Word World. He wouldn't pay attention to anything else, but when Word World was on, he loved it. I hadn't really planned to get him into tv, but my mom started that, and it works. With a regular tv program everyday, I'm hoping that it can teach him to sit still and focus. Otherwise he's just constantly running around playing. He's having a hard time learning about quiet time.

  54. My granddaughter would love this however my grandson does not talk so I am hoping this can help

  55. We spend a great deal of time reading every day to our girls. My oldest is 4 and knows all the letters and sounds, but is having some trouble slowing down enough for blending the sounds together.... she'd rather guess?!? I'm not pressuring her at all. I think I learned to read at 4, and I don't think it'll be long before she is too. My younger three, however, have been somewhat slighted by the fact that there are 3 of them the same age. It is much more difficult to get in the one on one time that is required to work on letter recognition, etc. I do what I can and work hard to create a little preschool environment naturally here in our home. I'd love to try out the HOP program.

  56. We read to my 2 1/2 year old all the time and while a lot of it is memorization now she "reads" to her little brothet. It is SO cute. She also has started to make up her own stories when reading, which I have read is a very good start and is actually good for kids. She knows a lot of her letters and I just finished making her some GIANT flashcards of 10 inch letters out of scrapbook paper that she loves. I am hoping that will help her with being excited! I am trying to not push because I know kids read at different times ut I would love to win the pre-k hooked on phonics to help! I will be posting the how to for the scrap cards the end of the week at http://www.mommywords.com. So cute stop by and check them out!

  57. hooked on phonics is a great program that many enjoy ~~~ thanks for the opp here --my youngest could sure use it

  58. I love how often you read to your kids. I plan to do the same. I read to them often, now, but as they are so little, we are starting with short and frequent. My mother read to me often. Story time with my mom are some of my favorite childhood memories. I read before kindergarten but I don't think it was remarkably so.

  59. I have a newborn but our family is big readers and my son was a shock for he refused to read. All the way to 3rd grade he wouldnt even try. We ended up getting a specialist who decided he just didnt like what were and school was offering him and found what he liked. He started out 3rd grade with a pre-K reading level and ended with an 8th grade reading level. Now, as a junior in high shool he is reading at a level far above mine.

  60. I am going to begin formally teaching my son (almost 5) to read this fall. I have bought the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons curriculum, but this looks really good, as well.

    musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

  61. I always had trouble with reading as a child. I do not want my child to have the same problems, so I plan on working with her from a very young age. I love reading to her and sing her the A B C. Showing her colors and letters. I would love to try this system out with her also.

  62. I can tell you that all kids are so different with this. My oldest daughter was reading between 3 and 4 (it just came on gradually) but my boys are VERY different! They are so much more physical and have a much harder time sitting still and get frustrated very easily. I have to work with them in much smaller chunks of time.

    As for the books in HOP, they may not be very exciting books, but they are the best I have found for early readers. They are excellent resources when your child has reached the point when they understand basic phonics and are sounding out simple words. The HOP books give them the boost of confidence that they just read and entire book by themselves. Other books on the market include too many site words or more difficult words much too early. Don't count out your story books yet because they are boring read together books, you will LOVE them when your daughter is ready to read. I have used mine with my older 2 children and will definitely be using them with the other 3!

  63. Ah reading! Our 2 1/2 year old daughter loves to read! She reads all throughout the day. She knows all of her letters (we are working on numbers now), and she can recognize a few words like sun, God, cat, ball. Every night we read with her and baby brother and she gets to bring a few books into bed with her. It is so fun to go in an check on them 10 minutes later and see her 'reading' with whatever daylight is left in the room.

  64. My 2YO can identify nearly all the capital letters, but I think she's a long way off from reading. But this set would be a fun way to get her started when she's ready.

  65. i don't think we do much but sometimes i think we do more than we realize.
    we have tons and tons of books and do do storytimes. my kids love work books and tracing. my husband and i read. my son has naturally taken an interest in writing his own name which has carried over to other things..
    child led learning is usually the best way

  66. Both of my kids were really early readers - my 6 y.o. started reading a little before he turned 4 and my 4 y.o. was reading around her 3rd birthday (she had to keep up with her brother!). My son was tested in Kinder and was reading at a 3rd grade level. My daughter won't be in Kinder for another year, but she is reading at about a 1st or 2nd grade level now. We didn't do any "formal" teaching, just like you said - lots of reading to them all day and night since birth, and providing opportunities for them to ask questions and figure things out on their own. The also loved the Leapfrog video series - Letter Factory, Storybook Factory etc.

  67. My husband was taught to read phonetically. I was taught sight reading with the good old Dick and Jane Books! I actually think a mixture of both types are helpful. My husband cannot spell at all because he tries to sound words out. I picture them in my head. I am trying both ways with our two sons. Please enter my name in your drawing.
    Many thanks, Cindi

  68. I can't believe you wrote this today! I just saw an infomercial about "Your Baby Can Read" this morning and it made me want to look into buying that program. Have you heard of it? Supposedly they start reading as young as babies!


  69. My daughter hasn't started reading yet (she only just turned 2), but I would be shocked if she was a late reader, to be honest. My little sister and I were raised by a single mom who focused all her time and energy on educational aspects of our lives, and that still follows me to this day. I love museums, I love learning, and I love reading. And I also enjoy watching and helping my daughter learn. I enjoy it so much I plan on homeschooling her. :)
    I was 3 when I learned to read (as was my sister), and one thing that I can say helped us (and is helping Princess... She LOVES to "read"!!) was to ALWAYS have books available. We have all sorts of books in every room in the house. My husband thinks we have too many childrens' books, but honestly, I don't think there is a such thing! You can never have too many books! We are always getting them at garage sales, and we have a huge collection. We keep them within reach and easily accessible at all times. From a very early age, we taught her how to take care of books... not to rip the pages, etc. We put books in the diaper bag, stash them in the car, etc. We even have those bath books... the wonderful water proof ones. And we do use them in the bath! We only have 4 of them, but we're looking to expand our collection because Princess loves reading them in the bath! We also have those bath letters, and she loves grabbing a handful and lining them up and "spelling" them ("E, C, E, E, I, T, O...." haha). Every time she sees a sign or billboard with big letters she "spells" the words. She does that because when she was littler, whenever we saw a sign or something with big letters (book titles, etc.), I would spell it out for her, pointing to the letters as I said them.
    Maybe I will write my own blog entry about this! lol!

  70. We do pretty much the same stuff you do, but without the program. Read a lot personally, read a lot to the girls, teach them the alphabet through play, etc. Taylor can actually write words a lot easier and with more patience than she can read them, but she can read some of those little beginner books, and she just turned four.

  71. I have a 5 year old who will be starting school this year. Last year she attended Pre-K. When she was in the program she loved every minute of it. She would come home with so much excitement in her because she was learning how to spell. This year she cant wait to learn how to read and put the words she learned last year into sentences. She boasts constantly on how she will be able to read to her little brother every night before bed.

  72. My 3 1/2 year old is starting school. She can sight read all her letter, and knows some sounds. We do "school" time about 20 mins each day, with a lot of extra, fun learning all day!

  73. I started reading when I was 4. My daughter is 2.8 yo and recognizes her name, all the alphabets and pretends to read her storybooks. We would really love to give this kit a try. It would be the perfect time!!

  74. sad to say with my first she started very early and the more we added on, it slacked or we just eased up and did not stress or push..our first was doing sign language and reading basic letters about 3

  75. You are doing a great job reading to your children. I have also heard wonderful things about Hooked on Phonics. Beyond that, don't worry. My children are wonderful readers at 7 and 9. Both learned late in their Kindergarten years (at 5 1/2). They will learn to read. At our school, we have parents who have been obsessed with how young their children were when they began reading. Others that obviously did nothing and the children need reading help.
    Thanks for the post. It is a good topic.

  76. I often wonder how to teach my baby read. My parents taught me and all my siblings to read before we started Kindergarten using homemade flashcards of words that we wanted to learn to read. We chose classy ones to start out with like K mart and each others' names. Good times.

  77. Sheesh - I stress over this very topic. Lucy is just 16 months old but loves us to read to her all day long - like you. I have heard about both programs to help with teaching & I definitely need to do something because I am not a "teacher" & want her to have her best chance at learning.

  78. I know I was a late reader (like 1st grade) but once I stared I took off and have loved it ever since! I have also read studies about kids learning more and being better readers if they see their parents read and there are lots of books in the house. That being said... my daughter is 2 and loves to have us read to her and we do it a lot! Granted she still has a thing with EATING a lot of her books (we do feed her I promise!) but does love any and all stories. She's lucky to have my mother in law nearby who will read to her for hours as well!

  79. I love reading and really hope that Lily is a big reader too. I kick myself all the time because I don't read to Lily as often as I thought I would when I was pregnant, but right now she doesn't care about stories and just wants to eat the book.

  80. My daughter learned to read when she was 4/5ish. She always had a strong interest in story-telling and writing.

    My son learned to read this year in kindergarten. Piggy-backing off your preschool/no preschool discussion, my son did not go to preschool. At the start of kindergarten he did not even know the name of every letter. By mid-year he knew all the first grade sight words. And by the end of kindergarten he was one of the top two readers in his class.

    I am passionate about reading. If I win, I will donate the prize. Between the refugee family that we help and our kid's diverse school (English is not the primary language of most of the students), it won't be hard to find a worthy recipient.

  81. My girls learned to read before kindergarten. We are HUGE readers in our house. I have 8 books on my nightstand right now....hubby always has a book. We just wish we had a tax supported library, as we have to buy books or use paperbackswap.com for our books...
    I would love to have this kit for my grandkids when they visit...

  82. Hooked on Phonics is such a fabulous learning systems! Please enter me to win the 1st grade level for my daugther who is avidly becoming a great reader!

  83. Five of my six children all learned at different paces. One started at 3.5, another around 6, and the rest in between. All I know is they mimic what you do; so reading yourself, and reading to them are two things that inspire them.

    I used a wonderful book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons. I found it extremely helpful with the last two. I plan to use it for the baby when she's a little older.

  84. My five year old can sound out simple words, but I wouldn't say he's reading, exactly. We read a lot of books, and I encourage him to read labels and signs when we're out shopping or driving around.

  85. How is the three year old doing with the reading so far? To be that adorable AND be able to read so young!! We read to our 9 month old a ridiculous amount as well, of course at this age the books taste much more delicious than they sound! We sure try though!!

  86. My 6 year old son learned to read at 5, once I started homeschooling him. He really didn't learn his letter sounds in preschool because he tended to get distracted by the other children. He was helped a lot by the Leapfrog DVDs, like Letter Factory, which teaches letter sounds in a fun way. My 4 year old is starting to read a little bit, recognizing sight words, but I don't plan to really focus on teaching him to read until he turns 5.

    [email protected]

  87. I've heard alot about hooked on phonic. My youngest son, isn't into reading much, and I'm hoping that he'll learn to love to read, as much as me, for I read ALL the time.

  88. My oldest is 3 yrs. old. He recognizes his own name, his sister's name and "Mommy". He has recognized all his alphabet letters since he was about 2 (pretty much as soon as he started really talking, he was picking out the letters of the alphabet and numbers). All we really do is read books and he has a Fridge Phonics toy. His favourite videos are alphabet/number ones too.

  89. My oldest is 2 and he can sing his abc's, skipping a letter or two! Totally his father's "fault"! :) Oh, and he loves his laptop, which I think is also helpful for his letter recognition. All I hear is W - whale!

  90. My little one is very little so no "formal" reading. I must say that he loves books though. I always struggle with providing the best opportunities to help him grow as a reader and I hope that he'll learn to love it as much as my hubby and I do!

  91. WE have a reader and a pre-reader so far here. Thing One (my oldest) started very early. Around 4. Thing Two (my second...see the trend?) is 6 now and still really isn't quite into it. The focus in first grade here is to have them reading by the end of the school year so here' to hoping someone else's mom (his teacher) has better luck than we have. Hehe.

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