How to Learn to Read for Kids
Teaching a child to read essentially begins soon after birth and is a fundamental skill that every child needs to grow, learn, and develop.
This process can seem daunting to first-time parents but it can actually be an easy, fun experience for all!
Today we’ll be going over the best way to teach your child to read using methods that are both effective and engaging.
1. Start By Reading Aloud to Your Child
When we said that the process of teaching your child to read begins as a baby, we were referring to one of the best methods you can use to familiarize your child with books, language, and storytelling early on.
Start the process by reading to your child as a baby. This is both a great bonding experience and a practical way to instill a love of reading in your child’s most formidable years.
Children that love to read have typically loved to read for as long as they can remember and you, as a parent, play a valuable role in this. Teaching your child to read will be much easier if they view it as a fun time as opposed to a chore. Take advantage of the time you can use to plant the seed early on!
2. Use the World Around You
Another way to introduce the importance of reading to your child is by pointing out examples of words in the world around them. This can be as simple as pointing to and sounding out the words on cereal boxes at the supermarket or pointing out the stop sign at each intersection.
This will show your child that the world is filled with words and that learning to read is important to live every day life. You can even use prizes like pieces of candy to reward your child each time they point out and read a word all by themselves. This will effectively motivate your child to use reading each day.
3. Use a Variety of “Learning to Read” Activities
In most cases, children need variety to stay attentive to a task. If you only use one method of teaching your child to read each and every time, your child will likely become bored with the task and you’ll have a much harder time keeping their attention.
In today’s day and age, there are a multitude of different platforms you can use to help your child as they learn to read.
You can use crafts, picture books, and even online learning websites to keep your child engaged with the process. Crafts are a great way of helping your child become accustomed with the alphabet, for example.
With some construction paper, safety scissors, and your choice of decorative craft materials, have your child cut out and decorate each letter of the alphabet. Hands on activities have been shown to quite successfully help children learn the alphabet and, as we all know, the alphabet is the place to start when it comes to reading!
4. Teach Your Child About Word Families
Word families are, to put it simply, words that rhyme. Word families are a great way of helping your child to notice patterns in spelling by grouping like words together.
By identifying certain words that rhyme, your child will begin to take notice of some very important phonetic rules that will assist them in identifying unfamiliar words as their reading comprehension grows.
5. Focus on Phonics
Phonics relates to the way words sound. A few typical examples your child may see when practicing with phonetics include the differences between consonants and vowels. By learning the rules of consonants and vowels, your child will have an easier time decoding and spelling down the road.
6. Sight Words
Sight words are those words that we use the most in the English language so you can likely see the importance of getting a jump on these types of words early on. Unfortunately, sight words tend to be the hardest written words in our language to decode as they don’t follow the standard rules of phonics.
Because of this, it is necessary that your child learns to memorize these words so that they can identify and read them more easily as they progress. There are a variety of resources you can use online to acquaint your child with these words and have them reading in no time!
7. Context Clues
Ah, context clues. Context clues are a welcome tool when teaching your child to read as they assist them in identifying words in a sentence that they are unsure about just by making assumptions based on the words they do know.
Instruct your child to always look throughout a sentence when they come across a word they are unsure about.
By identifying the gist of a sentence’s topic and meaning, they can make an inference about a word’s meaning. This creates a curiosity in the child to confirm their assumption and that in itself is a valuable learning experience!
Here’s a video which provides more insight in understanding how kids learn to read:
The Learning to Read Breakdown
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best tools and methods available to you when you embark on the journey of teaching your child to read, let’s go over a few more useful tips briefly.
Practice, Practice, Practice: You may be familiar with the popular saying, “Use it or lose it” and this is certainly true in the case of teaching your child to read. No matter how much progress your child has made over time, failing to put these lessons into practice will yield no lasting results. Motivate and encourage your child to keep reading and keep learning each and every day.
Set a good example: Our children learn by seeing so take this to heart and make an effort to read alongside your child! The more often your child sees you reading, the more likely they are to notice that this is an important skill to have no matter the age!
Ask questions: Attempt to keep your child active during their reading process by stopping them every now and then to ask questions about the topic. With each bit of information they’re able to recollect and summarize to you, compliment and reward them! This will go a long way in motivating them to keep reading and take pride in their accomplishments.