How To Teach Your Child To Read

Reading is one of the most important skills one must master to succeed in life.

It helps your child succeed in school, helps them build self-confidence, and helps to motivate your child.

Being able to read will help your child learn more about the world, understand directions on signs and warnings on labels, allow them to discover reading as an entertainment, and help them gather information.

Tip #1: Use alphabet letters and sounds

Teach your child alphabet letters and sounds at the same time.

Studies have shown that children learn best when they are taught the letter names and letter sounds at the same time.

In one study, 58 preschool children were randomly assigned to receive instructions in letter names and sounds, letter sound only, or numbers (control group).

The results of this study are consistent with past research results in that it found children receiving letter name and sound instruction were most likely to learn the sounds of letters whose names included cues to their sounds. 

When teaching your child the letter sounds, have them slowly trace the letter, while saying the sound of the letter at the same time.

For example, if you were teaching your child the letter “A”, you would say:

“The letter A makes the /A/ (ah) sound.”

Then have your child say the /A/ sound while tracing the letter with his or her index finger.

Tip #2: Emphasize on proper reading

When teaching your child to read, always emphasize with them that the proper reading order should be from left to right, and top to bottom.

To adults, this may seem so basic that anyone should know it.

However, our children are not born with the knowledge that printed text should be read from left to right and top to bottom.

This is why you’ll sometimes see children reading from right to left instead because they were never explicitly taught to read from left to right.

When teaching your child how to read, always emphasize this point with them.

Tip #3: Use consonant blends

Teach final consonant blends first.

Teaching words such as “at” and “and” can lead your child directly to learning words that rhyme with these.

For example, for “at”, you can have:

Lat
Pat
Mat
Cat
Sat
Bat
Spat
Chat

For “and”, you can have these rhyming words:

Sand
Band
Land
Hand
Stand
Bland
Brand
Grand
and so on…

You can start teaching blends once your child has learned the sounds of some consonants and short vowel sounds.

You don’t need to wait until your child has mastered the sounds of all the letters before teaching blends.

Tip #4: Learn to use spoken language

Before a child learns to read, he or she must first learn the spoken language, and this is one of the first instances where family members such as dad, mom, older siblings, and grandparents play an important role in “teaching” the child the spoken English language.

Whether young children realize it or not, they gain very early exposure to the alphabet when parents sing the alphabet song to them.

They begin to develop language skills by being read to and spoken to.

One of the keys to teaching children reading early on is by exposing them to alphabet letters, books, and reading to them often.

Tip #5: Talk to your children

Reading nursery rhymes and children’s books are an important part of getting children to understand printed text.

Also talk to your children, and talk to them often, whether they understand or not is not important when they’re just babies.

The more you talk and interact with your little ones, the better they will develop.

The key is exposure, and repeated exposure.

Once your child learns to speak, you can begin teaching them reading at home.

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