STEPS TO TEACH A CHILD HOW TO READ. It’s as easy as it sounds.

learning is fun

As a team which is passionate about early childhood development and the overall wellness of kids, we know that contrary to common belief, learning to read is not a ‘natural’ process that happens all on its own. Follow these steps to teach a child how to read and it should give you an understanding of how with practice, patience and Constance, it’s possible to turn the complex process to easy. Remember, nothing is impossible.

Learning how to read requires the proper teaching of various skills and strategies. Most children don’t start actually “reading” until around 6 years old. Parents should in no way feel pressured that their 3-year old needs to start reading (let’s kids be kids). However, the information shared below is general information that is beneficial for children of all ages, whether your child is ready to read or not.

You don’t have to implement all the strategies at once, nor should one expect a child to be able to do everything right away. Learning to read is a process and the information shared is for you to implement when you feel the child is ready.

It’s important for me to make you note that although the suggestions below are labeled as “steps”, they are not necessarily in consecutive order, or in any order of importance. These are just steps to teach a child how to read by giving you information to guide you to see how each of the components of reading fit together. Learning is supposed to be fun, so why not make it.


 

Ways to teach reading

Learning letters

The importance of mastering a single letter improves the ability to visually identify a letter and also to memories the sound associated with it. Build letters with clay and also buy colouring books which allows the child to colour in a letter.

learn ABC

Songs and nursery rhymes

This activity isn’t just a lot of fun but most importantly the rhyme and rhythm help children to hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps them learn to read. Find CD’s specially made for such a benefit or you can even make up your own songs which also adds up as a great bonding activity.

read music

Read out loud

Reading to your child from infancy is a great way to get the child used to the idea of reading as a norm from an early age. Now I am not encouraging you to treat your child like a Harvard student but starting to read to your child from the early days of this wonderful earth does not only provide special bonding time but also instills the love for books.

Reading out loud also helps the child to follow and try to make sense of what you are reading. Use your fingers as you are reading through the book out loud so that the child can match the sound with the words. In time this helps the child put meaning to the words.

Play word games

The nice thing about word games is that you can play them anywhere, at home or even in the car. I encourage you to choose to play games which involves activities to listening, identifying and manipulating of sound in words. Focus on playing games that encourage your child to listen, identify and manipulate the sounds in words. For example, asking what sound a certain words starts or ends with.

Depending on the age, even games such as scrabble are a great way to learn and have fun while bonding was a family.

reading word games

 

Make word cards

Make word cards which also contains and image which describes the word. Use this to play a game of pick a card. For example, ask a child to pick a card, read the word and explain what the word means. The image which is already in the card itself makes this easier for the child to relate the to.

If you decide to make word cards of colours, print the words with the actual colours which describes the words. For example, if the word is yellow print it with the colour yellow itself. This is a simple way to learn reading and comprehension at once.

word games

Introduce sight words

Sight words is a common term in reading with a variety of meanings. When applied to early reading, sight word typically refers to a set of about 100 words that keeps reappearing on almost any page of text. “Who, the, he, were, does, their, me, be” just to name a few examples.

Flash card and hunting for the words in a book are a great way to practice sight words.

sight words

 

 

Ask questions

This is a great way to practice reading comprehension. Asking your child questions while reading to them is not only great to encourage interaction with the book, but it is also very effective in developing the child’s ability to comprehend what he/she is reading.

Keep in mind that our main objective in reading is not only in getting your child to “sound out” words, that is missing the point. If a child can’t comprehend what they are is reading, there really is no point to reading at all. Comprehension also makes reading more exciting because the child can make sense of what they are reading, therefore they’re also following the story instead of just a block of words.

If the child is still a baby, ask them if they can see the cat or even make sounds of the animals they see. This is great for vocabulary development and even genuine interest in the book.

reading granny

Expose kids to environmental print

Environment print is all around us in our everyday lives. This is a reading term used to describe print which appears on signs, labels, logos, brand packages or even street signs.

A kid can first know that a sign says Coca-Cola before they can even learn how to read it. You can even create a print rich environment in your own home. For example having a block of letters which spells out the child’s name at home is great, this encourages a child to build an interest in how to read and spell their name. Once the child grasps that, the encouraging feeling develops an interest to learn more words.

 

Often times, we want to force our children to learn letter and words at a certain age. We drill our 2-year old with information and expect unreasonable results. Like I said in the beginning, it’s important to allow your kid to be a kid and let the natural curiosity flow. Just like adults, children’s minds are also like sponges. Think of all the information you had to memorise as an adult and how much effort and how long it took you to grasp that. Now think of the same process as though you were a child. I am sure you do understand that this takes practice, Constance, patience and most importantly fun. I would advise you to put no pressure on yourself or the child.

Your child will develop a natural curiosity about the print they see around them and will ask questions. That’s be your opportunity to apply practical explanation which makes sense to your child.

coca cola

Teach your kids word families

You will get a lot done if you teach your child word families, this is short and simple. For example teach your child that if they can read “man” then they read “fan” and “pan”.

word families

Be patient

Every child learn at their own pace and age, so always remember to be patient and the single most important thing is to make it fun. Reading regularly together with the activities you choose, and also letting your child pick out their own books occasionally is a proven method to help instil an early love of reading.

Please do let us know your feedback in the comment section, it really helps us a lot to improve ourselves and ultimately improve our efforts in creating better platform designed to make learning fun.

kids reading

10 thoughts on “STEPS TO TEACH A CHILD HOW TO READ. It’s as easy as it sounds.”

  1. This is a great post. I’ve been wanting to start teaching my son how to read but every time I break out the alphabet cards they turn into toys. He’s trying to complete sentences, and sings along to songs but he’s just not interested in letters yet unless he’s throwing them in the cat water bowl. He’s going to be 2 in July so I know it’s a bit early but I really want him to be an early reader I just don’t know how to get him started. We have plenty of books and I read to him at night when I can get him to sit still, he repeats words he hears now, so is this a good sign that he’s starting to take interest?

    1. It is so great to hear that he is taking interest in repeating words. It is very important to let the natural flow of curiosity kick in and this builds genuine interest. At age 2 children normally starts to be aware of their surroundings and developing a sense of understanding about their world.

      This is an exciting age, continue to read to him on a regular and make a create a print rich environment for him to develop an early interest in words and letters. But remember to be patient and let kids be kids, if you keep it up then eventually he is going to develop a genuine interest in books. Good luck on your beautiful journey.

  2. Very informative article! I absolutely can benefit from this. My two children are always making me question whether or not I’m teaching them right!

    1. Haha don’t be hard on yourself. It’s always easier to teach according to the relevance of age and also understanding that different ages can require different types of teaching. So family games can be a great way to include them both and most importantly make it fun. Play word games together, the healthy competitiveness will encourage them to read as research and eventually for the love. Remember to be patient and let kids be kids.

  3. Great post. I love all the ideas in this and I agree with what you say often throughout the post about making it fun! I think too often parents try so hard to teach their children to read and do this and that and forget to make fun of it. The game ideas in here sound great, this is a great way to think when teaching our little ones, whether it be reading or anything.

    1. The encouraging words are well received. I started this out of experience of dealing with my 3 year old and my team and I are very eager to share even more of these methods because we know they work.

  4. This article is absolutely a great read. I really need to pass this one to a few of my work colleagues. They are sometimes too hard on the kids…lol.
    You really seem to know what you are talking about.
    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    1. It’s always encouraging to know that I am helping someone. I am working on so much more content to make parenting, teaching and learning much more simple and fun.

  5. Awesome article! Thank you very much for writing it. As someone who is expecting their first child in the somewhat near future, this is super helpful for me and I’m definitely going to bookmark it. This makes it a little less intimidating and really lays out how to teach a child to read in a clear and easy to understand way. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you so much for the comment Dan, congratulations on the baby. You are definitely already a great father, I am working on more content to make parenting as easy and fun as it’s supposed to be.

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