Share your tips for teaching your child to read

Everyone knows how fundamental reading is to your child's success in life, but not all of us are sure how to start our little ones on a path to lifelong learning. What are some of your favorite tips for helping your child to learn to read, and getting them excited about it?

29  Answers

24 7

Hi, I'm a primary school teacher and a mother. These are my best tips:

- Start reading to your child from the very start and surround your child with books. Try to read to your child as much as you can. A book before bed is a good routine. Pick books that children will want to read again and again (eg: anything by Mem Fox, the Hairy Maclarey books, fun rhyming/repetitive texts).

- As others have already recommended, Reading Eggs is a fantastic program. My 4 year old son loves it and his reading progressed phenomenally after he started it.

- Magic 100 Words (check online or in your local bookstore) is something I use in the classroom and have also been using with my four year old. It focuses on teaching children the most commonly used words. They start with Golden words (eg: the, and, was) and once they learn those words, they start on the next level. I make up different ways to reinforce the level words he's doing eg: flashcards, letter magnets, foam letters in the bath. For instance, before he gets in the bath I'll put 'the' and 'is' on the tiles and ask my son to tell me what they say when he gets in the bath. For him it's like a fun game to see what words are there today. The golden words alone (12 words) make up 1/4 of all reading! Just knowing those 12 words gives them a good head start.

- Be wary of phonics programs. Make sure they're not just teaching one letter=one sound, as this can become confusing later when they come across words like circus or phone. A good phonics program to look into is THRASS. It's another program I use in the classroom and teaches that sounds can be made from different letters, not just one letter/one sound. I would start this once your child is starting to get the basics of reading.

- Point out words to your child, eg: 'stop' on a stop sign or 'milk' on a milk carton.

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311 26

We actually don't like the fridge phonics because of what you just mentioned. The one with the just the letters. The one book that I mentioned, it starts off with single letter sounds, but moves to letter sounds like CH and SH and others. Which I liked. We point out words all the time...but by time we get to showing them to our son lol he already had pointed it out to us. His favorite is telling us there's a stop sign, another stop sign, that's a red octagon....hahah.

4 19

Websites like starfall.com and readingeggs.com at great sites. I have a 4yr old who reads and we use those sites and the leapfrog videos. I also started using a book called "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." Great book! It helps with sounding out words as you read them something that has helped my daughter tremendously. At 4 she call read almost any word.

3
2 17

I also use that book, I checked it out on amazon and the reviews were like 798 5 star and 18 1 star so I tried it, and my son took to it like a fish to water and we are only on lesson 23 and he refuses to let me say the sound 1st or read the word first.He wants to di it and he usually gets it 1st try.Every night he hands it to me and says lets do our homework mommy...He just turned 5 last month....He also loves starfall, we will check out readingeggs...

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2 10

My daughter started using readingeggs.com.au about 6 months before starting Kindergarten. It's a really fun site, she absolutely loved it, and it taught her to read. I'd be surprised if she isn't the best reader in her class (she's only in Kindy), though I don't know that for sure. The readers she brings home are far too easy for her though so I don't know if her teacher even knows how well she can read. Anyway, it's a great site and I believe they have a free two week trial and I would encourage you to check it out, especially if you're in Australia.

3
963 14

I learned something interesting about how children learn to read while researching home schooling to see if I was smart enough to do it. The schools tell us that a "good" parent will read to their children every day and answer any questions their children have about letters or words. These things will "help" the school "teach" your child to read. However, studying historical literacy has shown that if a parent does the things that will "help" the school "teach" children to read, all children (without learning disabilities) will figure it out for themselves between the ages of 3 and 12 with almost all of them getting it between the ages of 5 and 9.
I did nothing special to "teach" my children to read. My now 8 year old started reading at 5 because I was too busy with her newborn sibling to read to her as often as she wanted. My almost 3 year old is desperate to catch up to big sister, but is still at the recite the favorite story so it looks like she's reading, but she really isn't yet. The more I learn about how children really learn, the less I try to "teach" them.

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55 0

I was an avid reader from a young age, and by the age of 8, had completed the entire primary school reading curriculum, and that was from being read to and a love of books encouraged from a young age.

i have read to my daughter from a young age, and she loves books, even picking out favourites from age 1! now i read a book to her at bedtime, then she likes to 'read' the book herself. if i sit outside her room and listen i can hear her telling the story as she sees it from the pictures.

she is only 2 and is very forward in her speech

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23 30

That is awesome. My daughter is 5 and very smart. I read to here and my 3 yr old .After I am done reading to her she has to read to me and she does the samething as well reads the story as she sees it.

6 1

I started reading to my daughter when she was an infant because I knew that was the great start she needed. My hubby and I, at a time always had to hide some books from her at bed time because if she found 5 books, you have to read all five before she sleeps..so funny that if she picks on the bible, she would expect that you read it all in one night! That set her off well and now she is well above her peers in reading and all, she even won spelling bees at her grade level last year spelling all 1st and 2nd grade words! Coupled with reading to her, we used starfall, very great site indeed. We are doing same with her brother who is just 3 years old too and has started picking on some sight words and with the influence of the sister picking some amazing science terms and telling us the meaning. We also read in their presence, because seeing your love for books helps to stimulate and encourage them. We have a study at home, with books including theirs, magazines around that they can pick on, take them to barnes and noble once a month and also the library. We play sight words bingo games and the likes, leapfrog leapster and the tag reading system are also helpful. I believe all of this has helped to create the interest in reading and learning.

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3 5

We read to our kids every night before bed since they were babies. We taught our daughter to read by using Hooked on Phonics. She is an excellent reader and reads about 2 grade levels above her grade. For my son, we started sight words during the summer before he started Kindergarten. We also had him do the Hooked on Phonics and he picked it up quickly. His teacher recommends the starfall website. I looked there but haven't had the chance to use it yet. I definitely think that kids must be taught phonics as this will help them later on with sounding out words they do not know. My friends' son wasn't taught phonics in a private school and by 2nd grade he was struggling. She had to use a tutoring company to remedy the situation.

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30 17

I was reading before starting grade 1. Mum said it was because i had a favorite book that she would read to me everynight eventually i knew it verbatim and read it back to her. i must have eventually put together the sounds with the letters and words, and gone on from there. so now i read my daughter her favorite book everynight, will encouraging results so far!

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1 20

Well I have a 3yr old and right not he is reading at a second grade level we noticed when he started crawling that he liked books with dogs anything with a dog he would just sit there and pay very close attiention to what the stories were about so I started finding every kind of book I could with dogs on it and every kind of flash card, game, and if I couldn't find sumthing I made up some he just loves it!!!!! His teacher was so impressed with his vocabulary, comprehension, logic and math skills

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2 45

My son is 6yrs old and he is reading very well. when he was in Pre-K his teacher told me about this website called www.starfall.com which i would say was very instrumental in helping him learn how to sound words. Also reading signs and store names when we are out helps a lot.

1
7 5

I use starfall too! Excellent site!

7 5

I read to my 6 year old every night. He loves being read to. I review the Dolch sight words with im also. Most of the time we play games such as Hangman or Memory to help with identifying them. With those activities he has picked up some words and can read a little.We also do a lot of hands on activities and day trips. Then we may talk about them and draw pictures of our favorite moment. He loves learning new things.

1
1

Alphabet Anatomy is the most fun and easy way to teach your child the alphabet and fundamental letter components to help establish a solid literacy foundation. A rhyming verse for each letter teaches its shape, sound, and print formation. Begin reciting the verses to your baby or toddler in a playful manner, as you would nursery rhymes. As your child grows and easily memorizes the verses, he/she will have visual and auditory recall of the letters, including how to write them, plus all the added benefits that rhyming provides. Convey to your child that learning about the letters enables them to read, and reading is a wonderful adventure!

In Alphabet Anatomy, the letters are brought to life according to their shape, so children make sense of the letters and get excited learning about them. Here are two examples:

Letter A: “A has a point at the top of her head. Under her belt, she hides apples so red. A – Apples”

Reciting the verse, your child will know that letter A has a point at the very top and a line (representing her belt) across the middle.

Letter C: “C is a circle that doesn’t quite close. Her right side stays open where cats like to doze. C – Cats”

Reciting this verse, your child will know that letter C looks like a circle; however, her right side remains open (which provides additional instruction on right and left direction).

Unlike other alphabet books that introduce letters using various themes, Alphabet Anatomy's letters do the teaching by inviting children to discover what the letters do when they're not busy making words.

A Parent Guide is also available that provides a discussion topic, craft, and kinesthetic movement for each letter.

Children achieve alphabet mastery that will facilitate their ability to attain proficient reading, writing, and more advanced literacy skills.

Read to your child a minimum of 15 minutes each day. Talking and engaging builds literacy. Stay cognizant of ways to turn play into valuable learning.

http://alphabetanatomy.com/

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15 0

I recommend an ordered approach to teaching letters and sounds. A mixture of sight words and phonics. Start very basic, make it fun. No fancy programs needed. BOB Books and Modern Curriculum Press are my favorites. Also, beware interactive readers - they just need more people interaction to be sure they are used properly. See some examples of the concerns at http://howitaughtmykidstoread.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/trouble-in-interactive-book-paradise/

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8 11

It is fun to start letting youngsters find the 'and' and 'the' and 'The' fr starters while you are reading bedtime stories! they see caps adn small letters. When you get their first readers use pics with one liners - a book that they can finish in one sitting- that makes them feel big like siblings - keep a booklist on their boookshelf with title adn author. Then let them 'write' some books and add to the booklist and read to gran, just pics put together, with short sentences to copy over . Mom likes cake. this is my boat, My sister has a cat. great for self esteem, and let them pick it often, to read to you, just like the other repeats form the library - but we've had that one before - but I like it books have fun don't push - they get it at their own time - boys may take longer - 7,9,11 years old before enjoying reading with flashlight to finish the books! Have fun!

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0 0

Hi mommies..Today 's kids are different. They study,work,write and interact with each other in ways that are very different to the ways in which we grew up. The habit of reading and the love of learning must developed at home because school alone cannot prepare our child for an increasingly competitive world. Are you familiar with ETL learning? it is an interactive materials for kids comes with the device that makes all the series of books comes alive. it is a total development program that helps you to make the most of the early years of your child and help them focuses on three areas of development, Knowledge,Skills and Values.. You can visit thier website for more info. ETL LEARNING.Thanks.

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14 8

Reading is of course important but understanding is equally important.
A good video to highlight the difference can be found here: http://youtu.be/JR6lzTF7bMQ

What your child needs or doesn't need varies and so I wouldn't suggest that there is one method alone.

1. Phonic: it is a safe bet to teach phonic to your child, it doesn't harm any child but you may find that your child can easily pick up words without needing to build them up. In this case you can drop it.

2. Read Stories BUT, explain the words in the story and replace difficult words with simple words or leave them out all together.

3. High-Frequency Words, DO NOT ask your child to memorize these words but ensure that the child understand the meaning of the word. A good resource is the Illustrated Dictionary of High Frequency Words as all definitions are in image form and free of grammar terms.

4. Get Children to make up stories, eg. give child some pictures or drawings and get their imagination going.

5. Key: Spend time being interested in your child's learning and it will want to learn. (Ideally avoid video games and much TV as these do seem to reduce their urge to be creative.

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8 11

Hi - NEw innovation - font called Dyslexie - by Dutch fellow - has dark bottoemd letters - if you kid is struggling to read try this font!

7 14

Bedtime reading is great start, I used Starfall.com, give me those books which he likes like Thomas, bob the builder and now he is 7 and he can read books and understand them for 8 years. While on a drive ask him to read all the bill boards and hoardings that helps too.

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7 21

I started reading to my girl since she was an infant too.Totally agree on the 'golden words' eg the, and, is ,it, was , here,to, etc . Also, Ladybird's Peter and Jane books are great. Lots of repetitive words.. My girl is turning 4 soon and she's able to read simple sentences and storybooks on her own.

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5 0

i think when the child knows all the sounds of the letters of the alphabet and can say the vowel sounds, we need to start combining the sounds for example: b+a=ba t+a=ta, b+i=bi. This should be done repeatedly and when the child can say these sounds, the third sound can then be introduced. For example, b+i+n=bin

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24 7

The only problem is that not all letters have just one sound, for example 'c' can make a hard sound, like in 'cat', or a soft sound, like in 'cent'. Vowels are even worse, because they can make a variety of different sounds (eg: 'a' in 'cat', 'can't', 'want' and 'baby' all have different sounds--said in a British/Australian accent, but I'm sure not all are the same sound in an American accent either). Programs like THRASS can be very helpful in this regard as they teach how letters make up sounds, rather than attributing single sounds to single letters. Teaching whole words is just as important as teaching sounds, too, and they should be taught in combination (the word 'one', for example, cannot be sounded out). Hope this clarifies :)

1 0

Hi Everyone,
In light of the national campaign to improve early childhood education and the new common core state standards recently adopted by virtually all 50 states, I wanted to share a wonderful new and unique alphabet book that is due out sometime in August: ALPHABET ANATOMY: MEET THE CAPITAL LETTERS. This book presents a rhyming verse and heartwarming illustration for each capital letter, providing a visual of each letter's sound and shape, thus teaching children how to write the letter as well as its sound -- critical skills in acquiring reading proficiency! Alphabet Anatomy was created by a mom and her son! Please check out the website at alphabetanatomy.com and like on Facebook.

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0 0

I think this website is great! I have purchased all types of supplemental items to help my children read such as "Your Baby can Read", "Hooked on Phonics", etc. So I have decided to create a website to offer tools to assist parents in helping their children be successful mychildcanlearn.com

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0 5

My son knew all the letters of the alphabet and their sounds by the time he was 18 months and i owe it all to Lead frog videos & games. I do read to him and have, since he was a baby. He just turned 5 and is reading. I am going to try the reading eggs & sight words because he is ready for more difficult sounds like Th, Sh, Ch...etc. I also need to work with him on long vowel sounds. He hasn't entered Kindergarten yet so I think he is a little ahead but i need to keep him challenged. I just hope that when he goes to Kindergarten this Sept. he isn't bored. He missed the cut off date to have gone last Sept. That kills me.

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6 7

Wow.. That's great info.. Thanks to all of you.. My daughter is 5 and she had missed about 3 1/2 months of her initial schooling in Kindergarten 2 as we had to move country.. Hence when she started her classes in October, She found it very difficult to read words as she had never done them before.. But together we both helped each other and she put a lot of efforts and in a month's time she has picked up all the portions well.. But this info will help me to help her read well.. and get her onto the reading path.. Thanks again all of you.. God bless you..

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311 26

My family has used, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" It's been around for years. The book uses letter sounds (phonics) for learning letters then letter combinations then to words and progressing to read sentences and paragraphs. We do a lot of letter sounds, though my son decided he would learn how to recognize letters as well. lol

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7 18

I read to my boy every night. I started reading to him at around 4 months and he's had a bed time story every night since (he's just turned 2). He has developed a respect and love for books that surprises anyone who sees it. Reading with your child is the first step to literacy for any child. They then start picking up the books by themselves and pretend to read. I always give him a chance to read to me after I have read to him. The next step is to follow the written words with your finger as you read them. That way they start realising that the black squiggles on the page are related to the pictures. Take time to discuss whats in the pictures too. Then they start recognising words that keep recurring and slowly they will start reading these words with you... and more... and more... and more... Then you can start with phonetics and the nitty-gritty's of reading.

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9 21

Unfortunately i hadnt yet thought that he was ready, until i heard him count 1-10 and this is all thanks to his siblings, 8yr old sister and 4yr old brother, now he likes to try out on everything because he thinks by singing the numbers and the alphabet or say out some sentences with his siblings is more fun than sitting down to read with Mum, am kinda taking it slow, he's still enjoying it the way it is.

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4 16

My 5 year old daughter loves Reading Eggs too. She is already reading simple words and sounding out more difficult words. We also use Starfall.com (free) but have subscribed to Morestarfall.com ($35/yr) for kindergarteners and up. I home school both my kindergartener and my 3rd grade son. We use Time4Learning.com for their base curriculum. My 3rd grader is dylexic and has visual processing trouble but the online programs have helped him learn to read. I think it is because of the audio aspect that is included with these programs.

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51 35

My son is in a pre-k class and they are teching him sight words and learning how to write...it is frustrating but I need to just be patient and believe in his teachers and his own abilities......

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1 13

Reading tohim and with him every day will also help. Project Read has been around for a long time for good reason. Find something he loves, andyou can find a book or comic book about it and he'll be hooked! Try your local library, too, for pre-school story time and activities. Many larger libraries with Children's librarians can give you ideas and help him get interested in reading! Good luck! He'll learn at his own rate, and with a little guidance and patience I'm sure he'll be fine!

4 7

i have a 14 yr old son who has severe dyslexia he is getting lots of help from his school...his dyslexia was not picked up in primary school! when he got to secondary school he could barely write his name...he has low confidence i have tried to get him to read at home with me but he refuses....please help

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65 19

Have you tried My Baby Can Read and My Child Can Read? They emphasize reading left to right. best to you and your sweet son.

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