Teach Your Child to Read in 7 Simple Steps

Reading is an essential life skill activity a child should learn early in life

Reading is one of the many life skill activities a child should learn early in life. Many parents believe that they don't have to worry about their child's reading ability until their child starts formal schooling. Reading fluency and comprehension is crucial for academic success and could influence your child's cognitive development. Reading is a necessary life skill as well as an educational flair. As parents, we can do a lot at home to help our children succeed in reading from a young age.

I've outlined seven simple steps that will aid and guide you in assisting and helping your child in mastering the abilities for reading and laying a firm foundation for life-long learning and understanding.

Now is the time to discover the beauty of songs and nursery rhymes if you haven't before. Songs and nursery rhymes are not only for your child's amusement. They're overflowing with rhymes and rhythms that help them perceive sounds and syllables, which in turn helps them to read. Phonetic Awareness is one of the essential skills to master when learning to read. The letters /m/ /a/ /t/, for example, form the sounds in the word "mat."

1. Playing Songs and Reciting Nursery Rhymes

Use songs and nursery rhymes to assist your child in developing Phonemic Awareness by clapping to the beat and singing the pieces together. A youngster's capacity to learn the songs and rhymes also develops confidence, a critical factor in reading, success.

Cutting out cards (of any size) from paper and writing flair words with three sounds on each is a quick and easy technique to make your word cards (e.g., sat, cat, sun, pot, pig). Select a card and read the word with your child while holding up three fingers. Once they've finished, have them speak the first sound they hear in the word they chose, then the second, and so on. This game involves very little preparation time and helps children develop phonics abilities by sounding out words.

You can conduct the same practice with your child if they are beginners but use letters from the alphabet instead of terms.

 July 29, 2023| Tracy Tilton


Songs and Nursery Rhymes help kids perceive sounds and syllables

2. Make Your Own Word Cards

Word Card games help children develop phonics abilities by sounding out words

3. Expose Your Child to Print Environments

The majority of children enjoy going grocery shopping with their mothers! Product descriptions on their favorite cereals, juice or any other item in your cupboard are fun and engaging ways to introduce your children to printed matter. Stop and point out letters on billboards and signs when you're out with your kids to encourage them to practice forming letters sounds and eventually sound out the word.

Pointing out printed letters is a creative and engaging way to introduce your children to printed matter

Children will build associations between letter sounds and letter symbols if they see printed words regularly, such as on posters, books, and labels.

4. Incorporate the Word "Fun" into Your Reading!

Like most things in life, children learn more and respond better when they are having fun. Learning to read should be no exception! When teaching your child to read, don't be afraid to have some fun. Make inquiries like "What sound does the word begin with?" and "What word rhymes with?"... a regular part of your talks with your kid. Your child will gain confidence and take pleasure in learning to read by listening to, recognizing, and utilizing the sounds of words.

Children learn more and respond better when they are having fun

Letter magnets are another simple instrument that can be employed. Combine them with the rest of their favorite magnets. Children can find it difficult to sound out vowels at times when the magnets come in handy. Set aside all the vowel magnets (a, e, I o, u). Ask your youngster to spell out a CVC word (consonant-vowel-consonant), such as "cat," using the magnets. Speak each vowel sound aloud while pointing to the associated letter, then ask your child which one sounds pretty similar to the letter in the word.

5. Lay the Foundation for Reading

Learning to read requires numerous skills, just as children learn about the world around them by utilizing their abilities.

Foundations of learning to read

To learn to read, children must have all the skills listed below.

  • Phonemic Awareness: the ability to distinguish between different sounds in words. 
  • Phonics: identifying the relationship between letters and the sounds they produce.
  • Vocabulary: comprehending the meaning of words and their background.
  • Reading Comprehension: Fully understanding the meaning of text information and storybooks.
  • Fluency: The ability to read aloud quickly, clearly, and accurately.

6. Reading Together

Reading aloud to your child is a great way to strengthen your relationship and one of the most efficient ways to help your child learn to read. Reading time together brings a sense of community and happiness. Reading will become a positive experience for your child, which will help them learn to read eventually. Reading together teaches your child how to sound out words, improves comprehension, expands vocabulary, and permits them to hear what a fluent reader may sound like, all of which are essential for them to be effective readers.

Reading together teaches your child how to sound out words

Ask your child questions related to the pictures they see as you're reading to them (for example, "What color is the dog?"). If your children are a bit grown-up, ask them a question regarding what you just read (for example, "Why do you think Sam felt frustrated?").

7. Look at the Word and Say the Word

The phrase "see the word, say the word" is commonly used to describe "sight words." When young children learn to read, they must recognize and read sight words (for example, be, but, do, have, they, she, was, what, with). Learning sight words is quite challenging for them. A great way to educate them is to use flashcards with these sight words on them and ask them, "see the word, say the word."

Young children must learn to read and recognize "sight words"

Please keep in mind being a parent, you are your child's first role model and mentor. Setting an excellent example for reading at home and providing a print-rich environment for your child to enjoy from an early age will help them develop their reading skills. Remember, each child learns at their own pace. Try making the experience as positive and enjoyable as possible. Reading daily, having fun with various activities, and even allowing your child to choose their books as their skills improve will develop a passion for reading in your child. It will prepare them for eventual reading success.

Teaching your child to read is not an easy task, and if after reading the above steps you’re left feeling a little overwhelmed, there's no need to be concerned, as we have a solution for that as well! Click through the link below to see how Sarah Shepard, a fellow teacher, has taught over 35,000 children how to read with her program Reading Head Start!


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