How to Teach a Child to Read in 10 Simple Steps

Reading is one of the fundamental foundations of learning. It is because it facilitates sound understanding on things that surround us and gives valuable information key to knowledge acquisition. It sparks a child’s curiosity on different aspects while they are growing and helps widens their imagination in creating visual representation of words. Aside from developing the capacity of brain and develop the process of gathering information, it also concentrates on the ability to focus alongside with improving social skills and communication. That is why helping a child boost their confidence and interest in reading while still young will lead to learning the arts of reading.

1. Read aloud to your child every day.

Engage yourself and your child in early education at the very young age. Early education is effective as children develops interests, curiosity, and habits. As children learn how to cope with different things, introduce reading to further acquire the habit as they grow older. Train your child to read while they are still months old to effectively instill the act of reading. Reading aloud to a child expands the opportunity for them to think well and adopt reading styles and communication skills. As they hear parents read each word, they not just build connections or engagements to their parents but also see them as an example on how to be fluent and expressively recognize the pleasure of reading and reading skills.

2. Ask questions before, during, and after reading.

Reading focuses on comprehension. The aim of this activity is not just centered on acquiring skills such as communication, developing speech pattern and many more but also helping them how to comprehend what they are reading. Questioning before reading instructs and clears their minds of whatever things that may hinder their learning. During reading, it is important to clarify things that may have confusions. Asking questions after reading helps them remember things and checks their understanding on the text being read. It is vital to be consistent in asking a question because it is a reading strategy that helps them be engaged in the text.

3. Engage your child in a print-rich environment.

Make reading activities a daily habit so that young ones develop their love to books. Daily reading opportunities may be done by creating an environment of printed words, enunciating and pronouncing sounds, and connecting words to sounds. In this case, kids begin to explore more of the words and familiarize it. As you introduce new words to them, make sure to also teach each letter and their specific sounds, giving examples, or connecting it with other objects to help them learn the definition as well. This act may also lead to interest in drawing and eventually in writing because they have a set or basis in the basic identification of words.

4. Incorporate as many senses as possible.

Young learners learn faster with the aid of other senses. To make learning meaningful, incorporate other senses or helping them use senses to express their ideas or understanding on given words. The multiple domains of development help in recognizing letters and early reading skills. There are variety of literary activities that enhances their skills using senses such as observation and memory game for the sense of sight, giving sounding examples of newly learned words for sense of hearing, or asking them to touch an object that represent the words being read for sense of touch. These activities connect reading skills to exploring senses while having fun.

5. Word families.

To make teaching reading simpler for beginners, use word families as one of the primary sources. Word families are more useful in the identification of similar sounds in almost similar words. This is because it has a common feature or pattern in a specified group of words. In grouping words that rhyme, young learners may easily recognize the different sounds of words that are similar to words presented on a specific group. For instance, the word “cat”. Other words that are close to the spelling of “cat” may have the same sound because only one letter is to be changed. If they know how to read the word “cat”, they may read other words like rat, pat, hat, sat, bat, and mat. This is due to the different first sound (or letter) and they only need to sound the first letter.

6. Play word games.

Nothing is more exciting to a child than to have fun. In their young stage of development, kids tend to have fun and become so playful so make sure to use this as an opportunity in teaching them. In this part, parents have an important role in identifying the things or activities that children have the most interest. Use their game preference to introduce a word. Make sure that skills in listening is present so they can focus their attention on learning while playing. Do it as a daily habit so they can develop independency in learning in a long run.

7. Phonemic awareness and phonics.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and identify phonemes. Phonemes is the basic and most simple sound in English language. These sounds consist of vowel and consonant sounds. Helping the beginners in identifying basic sounds is most effective as they hear the accurate sounds of letters (phonemes). Teach them the different sounds of vowels including short and long sounds as well as correct sounds of consonants. Phonics, then, is how we help children how to do it correctly. It includes areas of reading and writing at the same time. As they learn or hear the basic sounds, they should also learn how to write its spelling.

8. Decoding.

After knowing the sounds of letters or words, they may put or combine other sounds together. This is the result of basic information getting to a wider one. In decoding part, they will learn how to add sounds together as in the basic sounds of /f/, /a/, /t/. When combined together, they may say “fat”. It is an integral part of learning so make sure that the basics are effectively and accurately taught.

9. Memorize high-frequency sight words every day.

Sight words are used to easily read common words or words that appears more frequently in writing and that normally do not belong to set of words word families. Some examples of sight words are “of”, “or”, “and”, “the”, and “be”. As they memorize these groups of words, they can efficiently read it with ease next time they see it on a text. This is also one technique so young readers can become fluent in reading. Using this, they may eliminate sight words and focused more on a less familiar or difficult words to read.

10. Have fun together.

One of the most important ingredients in learning reading is having fun. By having fun, young learners will enjoy education and they may see it not just a must-have task but an exciting opportunity in developing self and skills. This may lead to higher interest in learning, exploring imagination, and exercising literary abilities and capabilities. Build a connection with learners and a unique relationship with education. Always remember, a single effort of kindness and patience may lead to a huge success for students.

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