“How to teach my child to read?”
This is a question pondered by parents all over the world. It seems to be a hot topic with many of my friends and coworkers right now. The new school year just started, and for anyone with small children, this can be a challenge.
Of course, your kiddos are learning at school, but we parents need to be involved too!
In order to teach your kids to read, you may need some pointers! Don’t get overwhelmed, just keep it light and fun! We are not trying to teach them Organic Chemistry, just some basic reading skills. This article from parenting.com also explains ways to teach children to read.
With the help of friends, both of whom are parents and educators themselves, we came up with some great tips on how to teach a kid to read.
So here are some easy tips to help teach your kids to read!
Read to them!
I know, it sounds so obvious. So many of us overthink it! Just pick up a book and start reading it to them. It is never ever too early to start reading to your child. The more they see and hear words, the easier it is for them to read them! Be engaged and talk about the book. Ask questions about the book.
If they are just starting out, start with very simple books with a few words on the page. Books with a picture of the word/s are the best. If the book talks about a big, red bike, it should have a clear simple picture of a big, red bike! First little readers books are wonderful once they are ready to move on to books that have more of a story.
Have a good selection of books all over the house!
If you are worried about ripped pages, you may want to just invest in some books. Check out used books online, or at local thrift stores. Also, let your friends and coworkers know that you are interested in used books. Many times, I have brought my gently used books for co workers with little kids. For a great selection of board books see our post-Best Board Books for Toddlers – Babies Too!
Be a role model!
It’s not news, your kids copy what you say and do. If you want them to be a reader, you need to show that you enjoy it too! If you tell them to read, but they never see you do it, they will look at it as a chore or homework. Ask them if they want to read next to you, snuggled up under a blanket on the couch. We live in hot Arizona, so we like to read by the pool on our patio. It’s so quiet and relaxing.
Show them how to sound out words.
Work on sounding out each letter of the alphabet. You can start with note cards that have the letter on one side and then a simple picture using that sound on the back. Like an “A” with an ant on the other side. What makes it even more fun is if you make these cards together! You could draw the letter in pencil, then let them trace it in a darker color. You can talk about what picture to put on the back- they will love being so involved with this!
Rhyming is very helpful in learning to read
No wonder books like The Cat in The Hat are so popular! When kids see repeating sounds with similar letters, they start to see the pattern. It is not such a stretch for them to read ‘hat’ once they know how to read ‘cat’. When going over letter sounds, ask them what other words rhyme with example word. Ask them how they think it might be spelled, what letter are they using now?
Repetition and consistency are key to learning any new skill
This rings true for just about anything you want to master, reading included! Stick with a few books at first, reading them often. Not only will this help them learn, but it will be a huge confidence booster! They will notice their progress and be excited to show you how well they can read a certain book! Make a big deal and tell them how they now get to pick out some other books!
Work on sight words!
You don’t have to wait to get a list from the school, just Google it! You can make your own sight word cards, involve the kiddos as much as possible. The more they feel they have a part in this, the better. It is so much more fun for them, and they learn while doing it! Be realistic and just work on a few at a time. Use little rewards if you need some motivation. It’s amazing what kids will do for one Skittle or M&M…..one for the student, two for the teacher:)
Point out words and letters that are around you!
I find grocery stores to be a wonderful place to learn. You have to go to the grocery store anyway, make it a fun, educational outing! Put some simple things on the list they can read, like eggs, milk, apples, triple layer chocolate cake….what? How’d that get on the list? Street signs are also fun to read, license plates too. Remember to take books with you while running errands. My daughter is in Junior High and she still has to take a book everywhere she goes.
Always make it fun!
Go into this with patience and a light attitude. If it is NOT presented as work, it will go so much more smoothly. Sometimes you have to lure them in, get them curious. I used to sit on the couch and just start reading in front of them sometimes. They would be so interested in what I was reading.
So I would tell them a very short version of the story (may not have been the truth) and then ask them about their book over there on the table! Maybe their book is also about a girl and her pet dog? How convenient that their own books just happens to be right by us! I’ve said it before, I love being a sneaky mommy.
I hope this has been helpful information and gets you excited about teaching your kiddo to read.
Thank you so much for checking out our site! Have a great week and read on my friends!