How To Teach Your Baby To Read
For any parent, figuring out how to teach your baby to read is one of the most important aspects of parenthood.
Learning and development is the key part of having a child in your life and putting them on the right pathway to development is very important for their long-term health and satisfaction.
Who wants to send their child through life without the ability to develop and grow on their own?
To make sure that your child can self-learn and develop, though, you need to know how to teach your child to read. While many parents hold off on doing this until their child is a little bit older – getting close to nursery age – you might wish to take action sooner.
The sooner they begin to learn how to read, the easier it is going to be for you to enjoy the experience of reading together.
And few things for a parent are more fun than helping your child develop. Seeing them use skills that you know will be useful for them throughout their lives is a deeply enjoyable and satisfying feeling.
That’s why we recommend that you try and adapt the following skills when trying to teach your baby to read.
Common Reading Question:
When should my child start learning how to read?
Really, we recommend that you start reading to them as early as you can. Those early years will mean many long evenings listening to your little one gurgle and cry as they try to get to sleep.
Though it can feel like a massive stress and it can have a huge impact on your personal life, such as sleep quality, it’s important that you use this time productively.
Start reading basic, simple stories to them as soon as they are in the cot. By the age of 18 months, just about any child should be able to turn singular words into semi-coherent sentences.
It’s going to take some time, of course, but the more language that they hear the more likely they are to pick that language up and do something good with it.
Teaching reading, though, does take some time. You need to have plenty of patience to make this work, and you will need to be ready to make this part of your routine.
Every day, you need to be ready to incorporate some form of reading to help your child master the art of reading as soon as they can. The following eight tips can help you accomplish this.
8 Simple Tips
1. Learn how to teach gradually
When going through the process of teaching your child how to read, remember that you are dealing with a baby.
Expecting them to be able to coherently and easily go through a full sentence without difficulty is expecting too much.
In fact, as you teach them, a common response that you’ll likely get is nothing – silence. That doesn’t mean that they’re not listening and learning though! It’s important to avoid showing disappointment.
Make sure you don’t start placing barriers or benchmarks for your baby; it’s silly to expect instant development.
Instead, you should be looking to help them follow the very basic logic of a reading program. Even if they show little to no response, there is absolutely no value in showing annoyance with your child.
They will learn in their own time, so just let them enjoy the reading session as much as anything at such a young age.
The important thing is finding a learning method that your child will be able to engage with and feel stimulated by: not every reading method will work for every child.
2. Every little bit helps
Even if you are literally just reading them stories with little personal input, at such a young age that should be expected. Your child will be hearing all of the letters, sounds, phrases, words, and sentences that you are saying to them.
Even though they may not be able to assess everything being said, they can still learn from the process slowly. Furthermore, reading books to your child can give them an interest in reading some more, so it’s good to avoid cutting out any kind of reading to your child.
Many parents begin to slow down on the act of reading to their child, believing that they should be able to do that on their own. It’s not going to help them develop, though.
You need to be there to help them learn the words they are reading. So long as you don’t have excessive expectations for one so young, though, this can be a fun and satisfying learning experience that your child is almost certain to benefit from so long as you do it in the correct manner.
3. Don’t act like a teacher
The worst thing that you can do, though, is start making this feel like a school lesson. You are trying to teach your child how to read; not a pupil.
You should therefore expect your child to take it at their own pace, and to be having fun. If they appear to be angered or frustrated by your teaching style, dial it back a bit.
The last thing you want to do is make your child associate reading with feelings of annoyance and irritation. You should make sure they have fun. If your child shows little inclination for reading right now, read a book to them instead.
See if that encourages them to join in. If it doesn’t, try again later. Remember that you are dealing with a baby – expecting them to show an adult response to the things you want them to do isn’t practical.
Instead, you should be looking to make an association with reading and fun. Whether that means telling them the story or having them follow the story, it doesn’t really matter. At an age as young as 18 months, learning is learning so be grateful for steady progress.
4. Make the time
We know that it can be hard to find 30 minutes to an hour in a day to sit and read with your baby. Life is hectic, and both work and personal issues can come up.
So, finding time in the day to read to your little one can feel quite hard to do. However, if you stop contributing to their early reading years, you should expect an obvious drop in their performance.
Your child is so young that they cannot simply go over and pick up a book from the shelf. They are barely able to walk at this age which is why we recommend that you make the time to read to and with your child on a daily basis.
A failure to do so is likely to mean that your child is not going to be able to get the level of development that they need. The key to being able to show your child how to read is to be able to contribute as often as you can. At this stage of development, daily reading with mother/father is essential.
5. Use books to develop emotions
An additional part of why you should look to learn to teach your baby to read is that it can help your child overcome some emotions.
At such a young age, your little one is likely to feel unsettled if you are not around – separation anxiety is real.
Therefore, it pays good value to go through books that maybe deal with such a topic – they might find it easier to grasp the topic if they read about it.
While reading at this age is more about getting them fluent with words and with other factors involving written work, it’s great for teaching them life lessons at such a young age.
You might find that they will be able to feel better if you give them reading materials that seem to relate to the feelings they have in the present moment.
It’s another reason why you should be looking to read with them on such a regular basis. You aren’t just developing reading skills; you are helping them to grasp the concepts of what they are reading.
6. Get repeatable favorites
One of the best ways to help with learning how to read is to find books that they will love. Look up children’s classics based on the things that they show an early love and interest in.
Does your child seem enamored by fire engines, for example? Then there are many great board books and audio books that your child can get on this topic.
Popular kids tales around the topics they are passionate about will be a great way to get them reading and learning all the time. It means that they can lie back, relax, listen to the words, and take in the learning that they need.
This is a great form of learning for a baby, as they might lack the physical and emotional learning to sit and learn in any other way.
This is why it’s so highly recommended that you look to find a series of 4-5 books and audio books that you can put on for the little one to listen to and learn from.
It will go some way to making sure that everyone gets to enjoy a simpler, happier learning experience that can be put on when they want it to be.
7. Make the most of sounds
Another useful way to learn how to teach your baby to read is to make use of audiobooks or books that make sounds.
This is a good way to help show them the power of onomatopoeia and also to give them the sense of how the sounds they hear could be spelled out.
This is useful for helping them get used to things like hearing music, too, and can go a long way in helping them learn with a new approach.
At the same time, look for books that can enhance physical learning. Books with things like fur, pop-up 3D art, snaps, flaps, and various other little sections can really help your little one with the learning part of things.
Simply listening to words or reading words is not enough for lots of young children. This can be a good way to help motivate and inspire them whilst giving them the help that they need to sit up and feel positive.
That’s why we recommend that you look to use sounds and feelings books when it comes to reading to them – the extra sensory enjoyment can make the lesson stick in their mind even more.
8. Remember to have fun!
Lastly, make sure that you enjoy these moments.
Your child will not be a baby forever; in the snap of a finger, they’ll be at school and then before you know it, they’ll be on the verge of moving out of the family home!
Before these moments take place, we recommend that you remember to have some fun.
These little afternoons spent reading to your children about animals and the world are some of the most precious memories that you will ever have.
It should be the moments that you cherish most – so do what you can to avoid turning them into the feeling that you are doing homework.
The time will come when learning can feel like pulling teeth. Before you get to those periods of time with your child, it’s important that you pay attention to what you can do to help enjoy learning together.
When you are learning how to teach your child to read, you should therefore remember that seeing a smile on their face is the most important part of the process.
Find a solution that helps your child to enjoy the art of learning how to read. It’s only through doing this that you are likely to make sure your child can feel happy, positive, and satisfied.