How We've Taught Our Now 5 Year Old to Read at the Age of 3 - A Bountiful Love

How We've Taught Our Now 5 Year Old to Read at the Age of 3

Just a reminder that every child is different and unique. It took me some time to have the courage to write this, mainly because this post is not intended to push parents to teach their kids how to read at an early age. Every kid opens their gifts in their own beautiful time. At an early age, we saw Lucy's potential and her interest in reading, we cultivated it.  Use this as a guide on how to teach reading or to get them to start to love reading.

So this was how Lucy learned to read at the age of 3.

Picture Books

When she was a baby,  we got a lot of baby books from friends and family. We also scored some awesome deals on yard sales. Needless to say, we started a good collection of books for her. Reading to her was one of our favorite bonding times.

Baby can Read Set

We started her out with this set at the age of 18 months. During those times, when this momma needs to cook or do some chores.I am not beyond turning the TV on. There were a lot of times of course that she won't sit through the duration of the DVD. She would play..she would do something else but I would still leave the show on for her. When I needed to sit and relax but still wanted to spend time with her, I would do the flashcards.

She was two years old in this video.

Library trips

 For no spending activity during the week and sometimes on Saturdays, we took library trips. She was about 3 yrs old when we first took advantage of our local library's storytelling time when she can actually sit for a story. Every visit we borrow about 10-15 books..a wide variety of books. During summertime, our local library has a summer reading program, where you get rewarded for reading 5 books. How fun right? Especially when you get a free In n Out burger for reading 5 books! It's always a happy belly for me and Rob :)

We have a paid membership at a public library in a nearby City. It is paid because we are not a resident of that City. The membership was only $30 a year, but it is well worth it. Trust me, not all libraries are created equal! This library is HUGE! Tons of books and movies too!

We also take advantage of the library's bag sale. Where you get to fill the bag with books, as long as it fits for only $4-$5.  We let her choose books. We still do this now, with two girls.

Here's Lucy @ 4 and Lily @ 2 yrs old while waiting for the storytelling time in our local library.

Lucy even enjoys a Barnes and Noble trip.

Love of Books..books everywhere

Rob and I love to read books, she sees us read. They learn by example. We make sure that books are always within her reach. It doesn't have to be expensive or classic books. A wide variety is good.

You can start with nursery rhymes

Lucy @ 2 yrs old.

Lily (left), our youngest still a baby but likes to look at picture books already ( how time flies!)  and Lucy @ 3 yrs old.

" A house without books is like a room without windows " -- Horace Mann

We read to her every day.

We read about 3 books a minimum every day, during the day and before we go to bed. When we read to her, we point out words to her. We use different tones when reading, it makes her more interested in the story. In short, we don't monotonously read to her. I must tell you though that there were days and nights when we just couldn't get ourselves to read to her. We get tired..and all we just want to do is just sit or chill nothing and just vegetate! But how can you say no, when a kid hand you a book right? We ad lib..because most often we had already read the book we will use our own words to tell the story. I know you might be wondering if that is helpful when it comes to teaching them how to read? We totally think so because by doing so..we still keep her interested in the book she wants us to read.

Actually, if you can spend 20 minutes a day of leisurely reading with your kid, that is really helpful to enhance their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and general knowledge to name a few.

Lucy @ 2 yrs old

Lucy (left), reading one of those recordable books from her Grandma, her Grandma lives far but still finds a way to read to her precious grandkids. Lily (right), not even a year old.such a silly one. We love her cute faces in this photo.

We built a good mini library for her.

Like what I have mentioned earlier, we took advantage of yard sales, book sales, and coupons to buy books. 

 When time permits, we try to keep it organize and categorize..

We make sure that we do have faith base books too!

Right now, she also enjoys audio CD books. She loves that she can follow along with the book while listening to a story. This can be pricey but take advantage of book fairs in their school or in your city.


Here's little Lily @ 2 yrs old, enjoying her beginners Bible.

Preschool at home ( Letter of the Week Lessons)

We did a letter of the week lessons. You can find the lessons , crafts and a whole lot of fun activities here :  Letter of the Week for Preschool

When we finished doing our letter of the week lessons , her reading really improved a whole lot more. With the very simple lessons I prepared for her , she was taught phonics and introduced more words to her. Not only that , we also did a lot of activities that would enhance her fine motor skills ( like tracing , coloring and cut and paste)

Click here to see our simple lessons : Letter of the Week : Ll

Building confidence, choosing books and going further

 When your child is starting to read, there will be times where they will get stuck on a word, (when using picture books or step 1 books) You may encourage thinking by saying " Look at the picture..what do you think is it about ". If they still get stuck on the word, supply the right word. Try not to overemphasize the word that they got wrong.  Praising does wonders! When they get the word right and for trying too. After all, their confidence is built at home.

It is also beneficial if you will provide the right books with your emergent reader.

See some simple books below, I love how appealing the pictures are, very simple that the kids can guess what the words are just by looking at the pictures.  Words are short and patterned that they can read familiar words.

I remember buying these mini books at our library book sale, It wasn't a complete set but we bought all the mini books I can find. I love it for kids that are starting to read or learning how to read.

Move along with books that are on their reading level. You can find books that state P which stands for Pre reader. Some books are labeled as Step 1.. Step 2

As of now, She is in Pre K and will soon be in Kindergarten. She is so excited to go to school every day ( I hope that stays the same in the future..wink wink) .  After homework,I still supplement with quick and simple lessons -- we don't want to burn our kids out.  I've introduced Dolch Sight words to her. We are not done yet, we are on set 6. Here's a good site for introducing the FIRST 100 DOLCH SIGHT WORDS via 3 Boys and a Dog

Lastly, give your kids lots of chances to read. There is a short window, we know how fast they grow, read to them, spend time with them.

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  1. I am so glad you decided to write this post. My 3 year old loves books but I have never thought of trying to teach her to read yet. I do think she will be reading before most kids and I will now try to help her in that. Would my first step be a program like Baby Can read? She has a huge library of all kinds of books. We had to go through them and get rid of some not long ago because we were out of space. I am an avid reader and think it has passed down to her. Thanks for linking up at #HomeMattersParty

    1. Hi Angela, there are a lot of reading DVD sets out there, some are cheaper some are really pricey. As with our own personal experience, I will recommend it but it is not necessity. You are doing great with encouraging her.. also I must add that you can also check out some deals on reading materials in consignment stores. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  2. We LOVE Your Baby Can Read! We attribute that in part to why our 3 year old can read as well! Books are her #1 favorite thing and she loves reading so much. Sounds like we took similar approaches with our kiddos. :)

    Thanks for sharing at the Shine Blog Hop!

    1. Hi Tiffany, thank you for stopping by! My pleasure..

  3. Reading is a habit and I've noticed kids tend to follow what the parents do. My only wish, I was able to stay as organised as you.

    1. Hi Jasbir, thank you for stopping by! Right on, definitely ..reading is a habit that is form at a young age with the guidance of their parents, given the right encouragement and tools. In honesty , it is not always that organize. We try too, but life gets busy too.

  4. This is a GREAT post and I will have to look into Baby Can Read for my grandkids. Thank you for stopping by Wonderful Wed. Blog Hop and please come by again next week. Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

    1. Hi Carrie, thank you for stopping by. I will definitely join the party again.

  5. I just love that Emily Buchwald quote! Great post! Reading to our children is so important from the start!

    I thought my daughter had a lot of books at 3.5, but your daughter just may have her beat by a few. :) I just need to be better at organizing them.

  6. Just wanted to stop by and let you know that we loved this link so much from last week's #HomeMattersParty that we chose it as one of our features THIS week! We'd love for you to come check it out - the door is open!

  7. Great tips. I love the home library. It is so important to have books easily available in your children's rooms. These tips are easy to follow and will work. Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays. Can't wait to read more of your posts.

  8. These are wonderful steps - and the best part is, even though you started with your daughter as a baby - parents can start no matter what age their kids are. There are great books to help all ages learn to read slowly, and gain confidence. Thanks for sharing your journey, so great!


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Thank you for stopping by and know that all of your comments are appreciated !