How To Help Your Child Learn To Read

Published:  April 22, 2019 Updated: July 24, 2020

By  Cheryl Jerabek

A child who can read is set up to succeed. Reading is essential for doing well in school, building self-confidence, and being able to survive and thrive in the world in general. Reading is also pleasurable, relaxing, and entertaining. Teaching your child to read is truly a priceless gift.

When a child learns to read, it’s quite different from when he or she learns to talk. Talking is something that comes naturally while reading doesn’t. It takes time and is a progression. The child first develops the skill and then perfects it throughout the years.

When Can a Child Learn to Read?

When a child has learned to speak, he or she can then start to develop fundamental reading skills. Experts recommend that children learn to read when they are very young, even before entering pre-school. The reason is that they are extremely curious and want to learn everything during this period of their life. Furthermore, they soak information up like a sponge.

If you observe a young child, you’ll see that they are intrigued when they see text and wonder what the words say. It’s a mystery to them, and as the mystery unfolds and they begin to learn letters and the sounds those letters make, they start to mimic readers by doing such things like pretending to read. Even though they may be rambling words that are nowhere close to the ones in the book and may have the book upside down, they are getting their feet wet. The stage is being set.

How Can I Teach My Child to Read?

It’s up to you as the parent to take the first step. Create a reading-friendly environment by reading out loud to your child. Encourage them to love books. Assuring the books you read to your child are age-appropriate is essential, so they are not overwhelmed by difficult ones or bored by ones that are too simple.

Reading often to your child is critical. Read to him or her throughout the day. Read again at night. Also, be sure to have plenty of great books easily accessible.

Next comes teaching your child to read. When you make it a fun and exciting activity, you’ll gain your child’s cooperation, which is half the battle. Then it’s smooth sailing from there. Here are some pointers to help you in teaching your child to read:

Communication is vital 

As soon as you bring your baby home from the hospital, you can begin to communicate with him or her verbally. Talk about anything and everything. Make communication fun. Ask your child questions, play word games, and create rhymes with them. Don’t forget to sing songs too!

Add reading to the schedule

Life can get busy. It’s essential to set aside quality time to read to your child. Then, when you are teaching him or her to read, you already have a time slot and are used to the routine.

Comprehension is imperative

All too often, we read to our children but fail to ask them what they got out of the story. By asking questions and getting comments, you’ll help your child learn to absorb what he or she is hearing. This can be carried over when your child is doing the reading too.

Enlarge the boundaries

You’ll do your child a favor when you expose him or her to a large variety of books. Especially when your child is beginning to sound out letters and read words, having rhyming books is helpful. Books with humor or suspense add an extra edge to help develop reading skills too. Be sure to let your child do the picking sometimes also.

Reading should be fun enjoyable. Your attitude about reading and books will topple over to your child, so...be aware. Never make reading seem like a chore. Make it a privilege, a reward, and a pleasure. By teaching your child the value of reading, you’ll instill the desire to learn to read and to continue to advance reading skills.

Review of a Learning Reading Program

To learn about a great and proven teaching reading system for kids, read our children learning reading review.

Cheryl Jerabek

Cheryl Jerabek lives in a tiny remote town in Southwestern Colorado. She writes full-time from her cabin nestled in the mountains. She often expresses how lucky she feels to be able to do what she loves from a setting that looks like a postcard. When she’s not writing, Cheryl loves hanging out with her husband and two grown children, her dog, Joe, and adores spending time with her three grandchildren.

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