My three year old reads!

A while back I mentioned that I started teaching Naomi to read. Yes she is three years old. Yes she is learning to read! Our reading lessons have come to a halt. We got to lesson 76 in our book and then Maggie was born. Naomi has been asking me to do a lesson every day but I just haven’t had the undivided attention that I need to give her for the lessons.

Just because we haven’t hit lesson 100 doesn’t mean that she can’t read! She blows me away by how much she can read. For example, she can read Go Dog Go and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I love it! She loves it. Every time we sit down with a book she tries to read some of it. Most books that we read are a bit over her head but there are always words she can read in every book.

So, yes, you can teach a three year old to read! Some of the unexpected side effects of her learning to read have included her learning to write and in turn becoming better at drawing and controlling her pencil and crayons. Though, maybe someone can tell me, is it normal for kids to sometimes write things backward or is that something I should be concerned about? Today she wrote Daphne’s name backward, mirror image backward. Odd? It seems like it could be normal to me but I don’t really know anything about the brain in this matter.

Some of you had mentioned that you were going to start using this book to teach your kids to read. Have you started? What do you think?

Update: For those of you who have asked, I use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and I highly recommend it. The biggest requirement your child needs before you start this book is the ability to pay attention for a while. Naomi isn’t very good at that so it made our lessons a bit more difficult but we still had great results. The book claims you can teach advanced 3.5 year olds and all average 4 and 5 year olds to read. We started before Naomi was 3.5 and she did fine. See my full review here.


  1. El says

    We finally started. We are only to lesson 8 I think, but it is totally working. Since Anela is 4 now, I’m starting to think that she’s been ready for a little while because she is catchin on so fast!

  2. Heather says

    It is totally normal for kids to start writing their letters backwards. I had kinders that would write a whole sentence with each word backwards. As she gets more comfortable with writing and you feel she is ready you can start correcting her and have her write the letter the correct way.

  3. says

    My brother learned to read at 4 by watching my mom work with me (I was 7). So I think some kids are ready to read at 3/4 and some are not. My brother and I wound up with comparable grades and SAT scores and even went to the same college for BA and MA degrees (I have a PhD, he does not).
    Your daughter obviously is ready to read since she asks to do the lessons. As for writing backwards, I know it is common for them to write individual letters backwards but I never heard of writing mirror image at that age, although I have absolutely no expertise in that area. Do you think she does it on purpose? I know it’s something I have to really think about to do correctly! I wouldn’t worry about it if she can read and sometimes writes words correctly. She’s a young child clearly having fun with words!

  4. says

    may i ask what you’re using to draw your lessons from? I have a two 1/2 year old who is LOVING her books, but I’m not sure where to begin regarding teaching her as opposed to just reading to her.

  5. meghan says

    It’s totally normal to write words backwards. I think it’s amazing that she’s even writing at all. I had kids in my kind. class who went to great lengths to write entire paragraphs backwards. At some point between now and then she’ll figure it out. What a smart girl!

  6. says

    Thanks for reassuring me about the writing. I figured it was normal. Arthur did a little research on it last night at it seems it might indicate she is more “right brained” but who knows.
    I know she probably won’t end up being “smarter” but any chance to build her confidence is great. As a shy girl it might be very beneficial when she enters school.
    The book we use is called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and I HIGHLY recommend it. If you read my first post about her reading I give a bit of a review of the book. I’ll link the book to this post now so you can read about it on

  7. says

    My mom taught me to read when I was three. I was reading 200 page books in a weekend when I was 8. I love to read, and I credit it all to my mother! What patience. I still remember the phrase my program used to learn the vowels:
    A little girl borrowed a cup of sugar from a neighbor Lady. When her mother bought some at the store, she took a cup of it back to the Lady. Instead of saying, “Lady, I owe you some sugar,” she said, “A E, I O U some sugar.” Corny, eh?

  8. Tracy says

    Pertaining to your question about mirror image writing My oldest daughter did that as well in School. I was told it was because she was wanting to learn but wasn’t getting enough of a challenge out of her school lessons because they was teaching her what I had all ready taught her. She wrote every thing Mirror Image until 2nd grade. thank god for understanding teachers.

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