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Learning to Read at Age Four

By Jodie Lynn


Our four-year-old daughter is very interested in learning how to read. I am reading her books that are age appropriate but also harder ones. My husband says to keep her on her age level or it will become confusing. Is he correct?


There are a wide variety of reading programs and kits on the market today that will help your daughter learn to read. Some of these are available at your local library. Before you actually spend your hard earned cash on one of these systems, check it out from the library. Utilize different ones and whichever one she has the most success with, go buy it at the store for her own personal use. - Cookie Johnson in Madison, WI


Whatever you do, do not force your daughter to learn to read. She is still young and by allowing her to move at her own pace, things will fall into place much more quickly simply because she enjoys it so much. I read a variety of books to my two children. At first, everything was kept at an age appropriate level for each child. In fact, I read to them separately, just to make them feel special and have one on one time with each individual child. However, I soon found out that they enjoyed each others' books as well. Even though the harder ones were too high of a level for the younger child, the interest was quite intense. It was also a surprise to find out that the older child still wanted to hear some of his favorite stories from when he was younger. There is nothing wrong with sharing more difficult books with your daughter, especially with a good mixture of easier ones. Therefore, read whatever you like to her and she will soon select a few favorites, sort of like her own little collection. This will help her to either memorize the stories she prefers and actually learn to read the words from the pleasure she gets out of the experience, or maybe she will simply want to hear you read the words for her. Encourage her to look at the words while you read and help her to learn the meaning, if she is interested. Either way, she is learning a vast collection of words and expressions that she will cherish and they will help her immensely once she enters kindergarten.

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There are so many applications now available to preschoolers that it can sometimes be overwhelming. We have twin three-year-olds and they seem to get bored relativity quickly with some of the previous ones we've purchased. Which ones seem to be targeted for actual educational purposes that really work, yet are fun and entertaining?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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