Teach My Child How to Read
If you’ve asked yourself the question, “how can I teach my child how to read?”, you’ve come to the right place for an answer.
Reading is a skill that does not come naturally to any child, although some may be more inclined than others.
This means that when you prepare to teach your child how to read, they must learn several skillsets that include the relation of letters to sound, the awareness of how words are read and sound, and pulling that together so your child can read.
While the act of reading is complex, teaching a child to read is straightforward. This process requires combining a set of core skills so your child can successfully read on their own.
Core Literacy Skills
Your goal is to teach your child the different core literacy skills necessary for them to read on their own. This takes some time but you can gradually provide them with this platform of skills to effectively read.
Phonics: Understanding the link between letters and the sounds they make
Phonemic Awareness: To hear and combine different sounds into words
Vocabulary: Know the meaning of words and the context they’re used in
Comprehension: Understand what text means in stories
Fluency: To read aloud and understand what the story is about
These are big goals, but they are achievable if you take the time to instill in your child the love of reading. What follows are some simple tips that will guide you towards having your child read on their own.
8 Simple Reading Tips
1. Read to Your Child
This age-old part of our culture is actually the best way to introduce children into reading. By instilling your love of books through reading aloud to your child, they will grow an appreciation of hearing stories and wanting to read themselves.
Studies have shown that the earlier a child enjoys hearing stories from books, the more likely they will want to start reading on their own. So, take some time each day to read aloud to your child and have them read along too.
2. Nursery Rhymes & Songs
There is the fun aspect of singing and reciting nursery rhymes to your child, but it also serves an important function in helping them to learn and understand the proper sounds.
This is known as phonemic awareness and the playful activity of reading nursery rhymes and singing songs helps your child better understand syllables along with how words are supposed to sound.
3. Prompt Questions
It’s not only important that you read to your child, but also make sure they understand what they are reading about. Every so often, you should ask questions to your child to not only confirm that they are following along, but also associating the words you speak with the words on the page.
For books with pictures or drawings, ask your child if they see the image that you just read about. This will increase the comprehension of the words themselves so they understand what they’re reading.
4. Create Word Cards
Start with simple, one-syllable words such as dog, cat, sun, pig, and so forth. Place each word on a separate card, such as an index card, and have your child sound out the word.
You’ll want to slow them down so they say the word properly and sound out each letter, such as “See”, “A”, and “Tee” for Cat.
It requires a little work to put the words on the cards, but as your child grows in their reading ability, you can increase the number of syllables.
5. Pick Up the Habit of Reading
In other words, practice what you preach. When your child sees you read, they see the enjoyment and importance that it carries. This is true for mothers and daughters along with fathers and sons.
Seeing you read means that they understand why reading is an important skill.
While they may never develop the love of reading that you enjoy, it is far easier to convince your child of why they should read more often when you do so yourself.
6. Word Games
When you are in the car or if there is some downtime available when you are with your kids, play word games with them.
The key is to play games that get your child to focus, so they are listening to what you say and comprehend what you mean.
A simple word game is asking them for words that rhyme with another. So “cat” for example may get a response of “bat”. This helps your child better understand how words sound.
7. Provide a Variety of Story Types
Once your child starts to read on their own, you can start to get away from the teaching books and move towards the different genres of stories available. The most common types are the following:
Nonfiction: Real stories
Fiction: Made up stories that could be real
Fantasy: Make-believe stories
Start mixing and matching different genres, so that your child can understand the difference between them. At some point, they may choose a favorite genre as many children do, which carries on with them until adulthood.
8. Use New Technology
There is nothing wrong with books, but you will want to use computers, tablets, and other advances in technology to show the relevance of reading skills today.
You can start with the printed books themselves and then use tablets or other e-reading devices that show how relevant it is to their world.
At some point they will choose their preferred format for reading, but by showing them that reading is popular with the latest devices, you can help keep them interested.