How To Teach a Six Year Old to Read

Two six year old boys figuring out how to read

For any parent, having a six year old at home is a blessing. Your children are now at an age where they are actively confronting learning, attacking their days with vigor and self-belief.

That is a major positive point for any parent, and something that we fully recommend that you push forward with.

However, if you want to know how to teach a six year to read even better than they do now, we have some tips and tricks for you below.

How then, can you improve their reading skills and comprehension as they reach a very important part of their self-development?

1. Help them learn by seeing

Among the most important early lessons that your children will get is that they need to learn about sight words. Without sight words, reading is very much a challenge.

This is why you should be looking to help them learn sight words quite quickly – and make this a staple. If you want to know how to teach a six year old to read, then focusing on sight words is essential.

Sight words are the kind of super-common words that appear in text all the time, such as ‘and’, which your kids should be picking out by sight, not sound.

Sight words should be looked into and you should try and find as many sight words as you can; the sooner your kids get used to seeing these commonly used words, the more likely they are to start producing content to the standard you would expect.

2. Don’t just read books, play!

One of the easiest ways to help with the reading comprehension and quality of your young one at this point, though, is to not just read through reading books and comics. Give them fun ways to learn words – play some games, such a Hangman.

It’s a fun way to help the kids get their wording and their quality of wording to improve, and it will make it easier for your children to start learning new vocabulary.

The reason why this works so well is quite simple: it does a fine job of making sure that your children can pick up new words, but also gain confidence by picking the word out with so little clues and cues.

That’s a great way to pass on both self-belief and to show them clear proof that they are developing and growing as they learn the language.

3. Help them with the complex words

By age six, most of the time your child will be getting to grips with general words. If it sounds even somewhat like a word they have heard before, they may just grab it with both hands.

However, one thing to remember here is that, as the parent, you want to make sure that your children are learning properly and picking up words correctly. To do so, step in with the more complex words.

For example, are they struggling to pronounce a more advanced word? Then break the word up into smaller chunks. Say it slowly, and have your child repeat it to you again and again. Don’t pressure them, though; if the word is stumping them then you can come back. If they get it right, awesome! If not? Move on, it’s OK.

4. Have a book night

One thing we recommend is setting at least one evening per week where you both sit down and read a happy book together. It can be a book that stirs the emotions, or one that is going to have you both enjoying and laughing away.

It’s a fun way to make sure that you can both have a good time as you read through the book together, ensuring that both of you can just enjoy yourselves a bit more. You can find a few more helpful tips in this video:

One of the biggest reasons why you should do this is to diversify what they read. We recommend starting with some basic story books and fantasy, and gradually working towards some classics. Most kids will be able to pick up a fair amount from doing this, but it will help them to become more confident and adventurous, too.

Check Out This List of Reading Products For Six Year Olds

5. Have your child write, not only read

However, the worst thing that you can do when you want to know how to teach a six year old how to read is to make them only read.

We learn how to become better readers not just through reading but writing. So, have your little one settle down with a pen and paper – or a notebook, laptop etc. – and have them write, write, write!


Set a timer. Give them a rough 5-6 point setting to go with and come back in an hour or so. See what they have come up with. They might have a lot; they might not have very much at all. Whatever they have, though, should be applauded and enjoyed for what it is.

If you get used to doing this, you should be much more likely to be left with a positive reading experience that allows you to see how they are using words in the most effective manner.

6. Listen and learn

Do you happen to have Audible? If not, you should get it. This audio book platform is one of the best around, and for a small fee per month you can get up to one free audiobook per month in the form of your Audible credit.

This allows you to pick up books at a level you can enjoy, and it allows your kids to pick from home education books as well as little stories they can listen to.


Perhaps you can find a story they already know in audiobook format; would they get more out of the audio telling? Learning to read can come from improving their audio intake as much as anything else, so keep this in mind.

As a parent, these simple but effective tips will play a key role in helping you learn how to teach a 6 year old to read. It’s not easy, but the above ideas will go a long, long way to making them more confident and casual about the art of reading.

Through listening, learning, and enjoyment of reading through other mediums, you can make it much easier for them to use words to their advantage for years to come!

Check Out This List of Reading Products For Six Year Olds

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