I've mentioned before that the four year old has been slowly learning to read. I say slowly because her interest comes and goes and I almost never initiate anything - I will provide the knowledge when asked but I don't want to push her to be an early reader.
K knows most of the letters and their sounds and is starting to grasp the concept of sounding things out. Sometimes this leads to amusing (for me) and amazing (for her) conversations like this one from July:
"Mommy, you know what heart starts with? S."
"What does heart start with? Hhhhhhhhhheart. H."
"No, but srdíčko."
"Right, srdíčko starts with S, but heart starts with H."
"But it's the same."
"It means the same, but in English heart starts with H, and in Czech srdíčko starts with S. Sometimes a word starts with one sound in one language and another sound in another language."
K: Mind. Officially. Blown.
Or this: "Mommy, you know what starts with P? 'Puter. ... And S starts with ponožka." [sock]
We also pay attention to environmental print, which is kind of challenging since a lot of it is in Czech (I'm focusing on English for now) and a lot is company names (advertisements) and other things she wouldn't understand. You do find a good deal of English out and about, though, such as on the bus:
"K, do you see that word over the door there, the one that begins with S? Can you read what it says?"
"Wait, it says STOP."
I realized some time after making note of that exchange that she was probably trying to say "stopka" (borrowed from English obviously, I think they covered this one in school). It's not as hard to tell what language she's speaking these days as it used to be, but she still trips us up from time to time.
One thing I've noticed as we slowly work towards real reading is that K seems to "get" new concepts when she's ready for them, not after a certain amount of exposure. Just like with learning to talk in the first place, no matter how many times I said BALL while holding the ball, she did not have a clue what I wanted from her. She didn't get the correspondence between letters and their sounds (bee makes b sound, em makes m sound) until she was ready. I guess there's some cognitive switch and before it flips there's really not much point hitting the flash cards!
Or maybe my daughter is just stubborn, who knows... In any case, that's part of why I try to follow her lead. It has worked well so far, so I'm sure it will work with reading, too.