Early Reading Progresses!

From the time I was pregnant with Norton, I was hoping to instill a love of books and learning. I just knew that we had to promote early reading as best as possible.

But there was a bit of a stumbling block with that. Sure, I went to school to teach… but I wanted to teach high school, not elementary school. And I definitely did not want to teach early childhood education. After chatting with Heather of The Parenting Patch, I went with learning sight words as the first step of early reading.

Early Reading Progresses (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

He’s impressing the devil out of me. We read together a lot. Now, though, he does a lot of reading to me. We started out reading our old faithful books from the Spot series by Eric Hill, to the point that Norton very nearly had the books memorized. (And so did I.) The last time I wrote about Norton’s early reading progress, he had just learned to recognize a handful of words. Now? He’s got the basic words down pat.

He sits beside me, putting his finger under each word for me to read it to him. I read the words that I suspect will be a bit harder for a four year old who is just starting to recognize words, like “summer” and “chocolate.” The words that I know he knows, I stop and ask him, “What’s that word?”

He always answers… and continues on with the next word or two if it’s one that he recognizes.

At first, I chalked a lot of it up to how well he’d had the Spot books memorized. But when we started reading Little Golden Books and the Cars Step Into Reading books… that was when I realized that, no, it wasn’t rote memorization of the Spot books.

He had learned these words.

Now he loves to show off his early reading by pointing out words that we’ve already learned to recognize by sight. He points out words that he knows when he sees the on TV with the same enthusiasm that he used to point out letters on the screen.

Maybe now it’s time to figure out how to teach him to sound out words. Either way, I’m out to continue working with Norton on early reading.

Did you teach your children to read early on? What tips do you have?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. That is amazing. I love reading with my kids. I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old. My daughter (5 yr old) is a major book fanatic and my son (1 yr old) does not put books down. 🙂 🙂
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  2. Wow – I’m impressed. I’ve read to mine since he was 4 months old – he is now 4 years old and reads the books that I read to him, but only by the pictures, not words. I shall start teaching him that…if I know how..I don’t want to mess anything up though!! I need some site words to start with….
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    • We started out with one word. Just the word “Spot” in the Spot the Puppy books. From there, he started asking me what other words were. But before that, he had his alphabet down pat, and then the sounds that the letters make… then telling me a word that starts with that sound.

  3. Great job! I spilling a love of reading early on is very important.
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  4. I was an elementary school teacher and I have a master’s in teaching reading. I didn’t teach my kids early, but I did work hard on phonemic awareness, which is in important pre-reading skill, especially if you want them to be able to sound out difficult words later on. When my older kids did learn to read in kindergarten, they quickly caught on and now are several grades ahead in reading. Definitely move on to phonemic awareness before phonics (sounding out words).
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    • They’ve already got the phonemic awareness going on. I credit Sesame Street with that. 😉 Letter of the day, etc, has helped. My four year old had already been pointing out letters, telling me the sounds that they make, and giving me an example of a word that starts with that letter. (Like “S… sss… sss.. snow!”)

  5. We read a lot to my 3 year old daughter. She loves her books. I didn’t know whether to jump right into sight words with her or start with letter recognition first…..but I finally decided she needed to know here letters before whole words…right? So that’s what we’ve been doing. It seems to be working, she can at least point to the letters in the words of the book and knows them. Next we work on sight words.
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  6. I can’t wait for my son to get that stage. He’s slow on his speech, so that’s another challenge in itself. We do read tons of books throughout the day though. So happy for you and your son on your early reading adventure!

    • We’ve been there, done that. At two, my son was essentially a functional mute. It gets better! (And it’s amazing how far he’s come in the last two years.)

  7. I did. I was an elementary school teacher so it was pretty natural for me to do it. We started with letters and sounds in alphabetical order and then moved on to sight words. It’s amazing how fast kids pick it up. My oldest is six and it seemed like one day she flipped a switch and started reading.
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  8. Way to go, Norton!

  9. Awesome! I have taught my oldest three to read and I am working with my newly turned 4 year old now. I think my biggest advice is to be encouraging, not rush it, and go with the pace of the child. Some of my kiddos were ready earlier and some just needed a bit more time and encouragement. They also love to play sight bingo!

  10. Awesome job! My daughter loves books and I read to her all the time. Now she takes the books and acts like she is reading them herself
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  11. Wow! That’s awesome!
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  12. I’ve homeschooled all my kids and reading is the single most important thing we first focus one, one they can read they can do anything! I have read to all 6 of them from the moment they were born and they all have a love of books and reading now 🙂
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  13. We started them early, but always let them pick books that interested them. Shopping at yard sales helped keep the cost down.
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  14. Rachel N says:

    That is amazing! My 4 year old has no interest in that type of thing yet so I am not pushing it.

    • I think it’s his way of compensating for the fact that he will spite pee in the house. :/ Every kid has to have some area to excel.

  15. I’ve started a few sight words with my daughter. We’ll be introducing phonics soon too.

  16. That is awesome! My (almost) 4 year old is starting to read with me the same way, which I never thought possible given that her father and 7 year old brother are both extremely dyslexic. It’s so amazing to me when kids so young are able to pick up these fundamental skills.

  17. Amanda Young says:

    For me its more important to inspire a love of books and reading early on than to get him reading himself. My son just turned five and is starting to ask about spelling and words.

    • I kind of think that the two go together. He’s learning to read words because he wants to read with me frequently.

  18. It’s amazing how much kids learn in such a short period of time!

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