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Wish your kids knew how to read but not sure how to go about teaching them? As a certified Early Childhood-Elementary teacher, I have a few FUN (not scary!) tips on how help your little one become a real reader!
You can never start too early! And if you haven’t started yet, it’s also not too late! Before we dive in, there’s no need to complicate it—keep it simple and build on skills as you go! Make it fun, silly and suspenseful to keep your readers interested:
- FUN: pick books your child is drawn to
- SILLY: use voices for characters
- SUSPENSEFUL: use tone to build up anticipation for the next page
STEPS FOR READING DEVELOPMENT
Here are the main areas teachers focus on when it comes to beginning readers:
1. ALPHABET RECOGNITION
Teach the basic alphabet and practice letter recognition:
- Work through my Letter of the Week Curriculum
- Get a book for handwriting practice
- Play “I Spy” in the car with letters
2. PHONEMIC AWARENESS
Teach letter sounds and combination sounds (blends, digraphs):
- Quiz your child with phonics flashcards
- Play phonics games on the computer
- Go on a sound hunt around your house
3. SIGHT WORDS
Help your child memorize words that don’t follow typical phonics rules:
- Create a word dictionary to write down new words you learn
- Word match memory game
- Tape words to objects around the house
Practice reading with your child to improve their speed and accuracy:
- Reread the same book over and over (no timer needed, just enjoy it)
- Read books aloud to model fluent reading
- Try choral (together) or echo (repeat) reading together
Use context clues, prior knowledge, predicting, main ideas, summarizing, questioning, and inferencing to further your child’s knowledge of what the story’s about:
- Go on a “picture walk” looking at pictures and talking about what might happen before you read.
- Ask a question for each page you read. Who is the main character? What is the problem? How did they try to solve it? Did it work? What else did they try? How did the story end?
- Have your child summarize the book after they read it or talk about their favorite part.
TRY THESE HELPFUL TOOLS
Here are some tools I’ve used in the classroom or with my own kids to teach them how to read:
- Pointers for following along with reading aloud
- Bookmarks to stay on track as you read down the page
- Phonics rule posters and flashcards
- Handwriting without tears workbook
- Reading games
- “Phone” for reading practice
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- More coming soon!
Each child is different and will learn at their own pace. If this post caused more stress for you, relax, it’s ok! Start small. Reading to your child every day makes a huge difference in your child’s development. Start there and build on it as their interest grows.
You’ve got this!