How to Teach Reading

How to Teach Reading - getthemstarted
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Reading is one of the most valuable skills that a child can learn. Advanced literacy is a skill which will continue to develop for the rest of a child's life. Many experts believe that a child's literacy level and reading skill is directly tied to their ability to succeed later in life. As one learns to grasp larger portions of information, rendering them within thought as complex concepts, our spatial intelligence increases alongside our logical reasoning and deductive thought.

Focus and concentration are heightened, and certain schools of thought even accept reading as an exercise in mindfulness. The younger a child learns to read the broader their scope of associative reasoning and the higher their potential to process large masses of data. Giving your child the best education that you can in reading at the youngest age possible gives them a springboard to reaching the potential of their own mind. Here is a look at how to teach reading to your child. We've listed proven methods for every age or level of literacy.

Pre-Literacy Training

Encourage your children to take an interest in reading, learning, and exploring new concepts from an early age. There are lots of types of pre-literacy training that will foster the optimal attitude in your little one. Whenever you notice a child taking an interest in a segment of knowledge such as a sign, book, discussion, or even a sound, help and motivate their curiosity. Here are some of the most commonly occurring instances to pay attention to and encourage to provide proper pre-literacy training:

Signs and other indicators

Draw attention to signs and other lettering, read out the letters of signs while explaining the sound and meaning

Sound games

Simple songs and repeating sounds making up playful rhymes and wordplay assist associative thought and early annunciation


Teach your child what rhyming is and how to recognize it, testing by letting them complete a rhyming match to a simple word (hat, rat, dog, hog, etc.)

Books and print

Show your child books from an early age, explaining what it is, how to handle books, which way is the right way up, reading direction, how to turn a page, what a blurb and contents are, etc.

Basic grammar

Explain the use of uppercase and lowercase, at least indicating the difference from as young as possible


Try to explain the meaning of at least two new words per week to your child from as young as possible while also encouraging them to ask questions like "What is" "How does" and as many "Why's" as your child can ask

Read to Your Children

Start reading to your children from as young as possible. Start with picture books and read the book "with" them. Motivate any interest shown and make sure that you expose your child to all types of books, not just stories, and fairy tales. Every form of fiction has moral value to point it out. Pick a range of different books, including non-fiction topics. A great way to make sure that you develop a healthy interest in general knowledge is to read a book about a family activity. If you're gardening, read about it. Getting a new TV? Read about the technology that gives you your new fantastic picture quality.

If a child grows up seeing the value of reading and information first-hand, they'll be stimulated to learn to read better, and they'll pick out more complex subjects at an early age. If your child wants to know something don't fob them off with a short answer — use the prompt to find reading material that they'll be interested in. Small hints like this are a constant source of inspiration for new things to read to your children, new learning projects around the house, and books to give as gifts as your little one grows older.

How to Teach Letters

A great tip to remember is that letters don’t need to be taught in any particular order. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to teach your child the alphabet in order before they can move onto basic spelling and literacy. Give children a lesson which suits a child's attention span. To teach one letter at a time, make sure that you associate the sound and the form of the letter. Work on one letter at a time.

Encourage building the letter with clay, drawing it out, and even tracing in the air as it is sounded out. Pick out a short word, something that your intrigues your child (a favorite animal works great). Teach each letter in any order that draws your child's attention.

The more motivated your child is, the faster they'll grasp the audio-visual association and the more merit there is to continue learning. Once a child has become familiar with learning language in its most basic form, it's relatively easy to move onto the sequence of our alphabet.

How to Teach Phonics

Phonics can start as early as you can start playing word games with your kid. You don't even need to wait until they learn to read. Start with simple games like I-spy to introduce phonics. Instead of guiding them using the letter, give them the sound of the start of your chosen hidden object. Teach your child to break down words according to how they're sounded out. This can later lead to teaching them syllables.

As children learn to join sounds together to make complete words, they're learning logical associative thought and they're given the skills needed to pronounce words that they've never seen before. All it takes is sounding them out, and within time, the conventions of linguistics become apparent through basic English education and the innate skills unlocked by phonics.

Make sure that your child is familiar with sounding out basic short words before you move onto combinations like "th" and "sh." Reading Head Start has the best phonics syllabus out there systematically laid out for children of any age.


Once your child has mastered the alphabet and are learning an intermediate degree of phonics, you can start encouraging storytelling. Either get your child to come up with a story of their own or let them write down their experience during a set course of action, perhaps a particular part of school or the day.

Introduce new themes and fixed elements to keep things interesting, but no matter how you do it, make sure that the story is written down and then later recited to you. Don't critique or correct just observe and encourage their use of written language and ask questions.

Stimulating your child's recall is equally as important as learning to read and will help their linguistics, social speaking ability, and the given them the skills to express themselves regarding complex subjects. Every learning experience must be an interactive experience.

Ditch Tests, Quizzes And High-Pressure Learning

Don't bore your child or put them under unnecessary pressure. Instead of quizzing them regarding letters, sounds, and associations, turn your quiz into a game. Pick out themes that your child likes and then craft a series of learning activities around it. For example, you can have a day out to visit a particular type of place or thing. In our example, let's use the pet store or zoo.

Focus on one type of animal, like birds, rodents, cats, or dogs specifically. Show your child different breeds, feeding types, as well as toys and accessories. From this basic excursion, you'll pick up on key interests. Use the animals or type of animal that your kid is talking about to plan a range of educational activities.

Work out word games about the visit, map out quizzes, and get a few books together. No matter how you spice things up, make learning fun, and always start general before honing your teaching toward an area of education matched to a natural point of attention.

Make Sure Your Child Understands What You or They are Reading

Comprehension and reading go hand in hand. Without understanding the subject, comprehension suffers. Select reading material that is suited to your child’s literacy and interests. You’ll get far better results by engaging their natural interests rather than forcing a particular subject that you think they need or want to know.

While repetition works well at early ages, be sure that you don’t bore your child with the same types of books. Rather pick reading material that suits their skill level and something that draws their attention, perhaps requiring your help to be understood. Again, the interactive experience goes a long way towards building a lasting, personal interest in reading and learning.

Read and Write With Purpose

Get your child involved in daily reading and writing. Ask them to check the classifieds, sports page, local stocks, or even a major story or two. From magazines to newspapers, they'll always be something that you can ask your child to help with even if it's reading the cartoon out to you.

The same goes for shopping lists and notes — instead of writing it out yourself, make the list with your loved one and get them to double check the details with you. When reading and writing purpose and practical value are shown through subtle, mundane tasks, a child becomes more likely to turn to their language skills in other areas of life as a natural consequence.

Play Word and Puzzle Games

Anagrams, word searches, crosswords, and logic puzzles are all excellent forms of stimulation for the mind and mental faculties. From attention benefits to improving memory and preventing mental degeneration over a long term period, word and puzzle games help you learn language, and they're great for your health. Introduce word games from a young age and try to get the whole family involved.

Youth are eager to join in on puzzles, especially when they're intended as a group activity or a competition. Great examples of this in action are getting two of the same crosswords perhaps from two newspapers and then seeing who finishes first. Same goes for word searches, cryptic crosswords, and anagrams.

The key to puzzle games is to make sure that they're solvable. The game must remain a game and thus be fun to play. Frustration detracts from the learning experience and demotivates all further education assumed to be similar.

Speak to Your Children in Real Language

Don't dumb down your speech and resort to "kiddie" words and concepts. You may get the level of comprehension right, but when you lower intelligence standards, you're setting a bad example and stealing away a valuable opportunity to learn a long-term development skill. Use everyday language, perhaps resorting to easier synonyms.

Rather have a child asking you an endless barrage of questions over raising a child that is barely urged to think further on any topic out of their own inclination. Using "adult speech" enriches your child's vocabulary and gives first-hand examples of conversation from a practical perspective. From social skills to evoking original thought, speaking in plain language is the only way to help your child grow.

Reading Programs for Kids

Reading programs for kids are tried, tested, and specially developed to help your child accrue the ability to read at a rate which is a perfect match to their level of growth. While many programs exist, Reading Head Start is one of the most trusted names in the business.

Countless teachers, learners, and their parents praise the results of this winning literacy program for people of all ages. Literacy and reading programs are available for all age groups, and any particular type of learning affinity. No matter whether your child learns better by means of rhyming or visual stimuli, movement and practical action or deep, complex contemplations using rules and structure, there is always a reading program which suits their personal style. Explore all of your options and select a program which guarantees results.

Read Today for Tomorrow

There are lots of ways to help your child learn to read optimally. Everyone will ultimately have a personal level of affinity and proficiency in language and reading. Make sure that you don't force your child faster than they're comfortable with. Regardless of what you're learning from reading to hands-on skills, an attitude of fun, eagerness, and respect is essential to good development.

With the right support and your loving guidance, your child will reach the peak of their potential in reading, language, and linguistics. We've got everything that you need right here at Reading Head Start. Our program is put together as the product of expansive, extensive research and has learning material that will make all the difference in any learner’s life.

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