Topic | Reading curriculum necessary?

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  • MommaBerd

    I am new to CM and I am planning to start this fall. I have a DS who is 5, but he can read at probably a third or fourth grade level. I have been struggling with whether or not I should purchase a reading curriculum (such as the Pathway Readers). His listening skills are very good, and I think that I will be able to assess his comprehension via narration. And, I’m having him read alound to practice that skill, as he is a little slow at that. But, since I’ve never been through the process of teaching a child to read, I just don’t know. Any thoughts or advice?

    Thanks so much!


    If he can already read, I don’t see the point of a reading program.

    My son taught himself to read. I’m not sure how he did it, but he did. He missed out on learning phonics, but I figure he’ll get that when we start spelling lessons (which I start in mid-elementary years). He could also use practice reading aloud, but that will come without a specific program.

    If your 5yo is reading at 3rd-4th grade level, I think he can read!


    Two of my sons taught themselves to read at a young age. The oldest one had no need of any other program–he just figured out all the phonics rules. The second one had developed some habits that relied a lot on just sight-reading–if I gave him an unfamiliar word not in context, he had trouble with it. I did do a very brief runthrough of a simple phonics program with him (Phonics Pathways is what I used) You’ll hear some from the “phonics only” camp who will tell you that most children need specific phonics instruction or they will “hit a wall” at about 4th grade that they cannot get past just by sight-reading, and I don’t know for sure if this is true or not, since I taught my sight-reader some phonics. It just made sense to me that he ought to have the full range from BOTH toolboxes.

    So, anyway, the only potential pitfall I see is if he relies almost exclusively on sight reading. You can check this by giving him a few regular but unfamiliar words and see how he handles them. If he sounds them out appropriately, he is using both approaches appropriately; if he is flummoxed, you might want to consider some basic phonics teaching.


    Thank you both for your replies! I really appreciate your suggestion, Bookworm, regarding giving him words out of context. I am going to do that… It isn’t amazing how some kids just figure it all out?? He did (a free basic phonics program, of sorts) for a while, and one day it just seemed to “click” and he’s been reading ever since.

    Again, thanks!

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