It's every parent's dream to see their child become a competent reader. Unfortunately, most parents underestimate the power of parental involvement in shaping a child’s reading skills. They end up leaving their children to read on their own.
This could be unintentional due to a lack of knowledge on proper teaching strategies, or they just believe it’s complex and is a teacher’s role. Leaving it up to the child or using boring methods over and over is detrimental and can demotivate your child.
Simple, Fun, and Interactive Steps to Teach a Child to Read at Home
Teach core skills
- Phonemic awareness: Phonemic awareness let them practice to hear and manipulate sounds in words without reading. You can use songs, poems, and nursery rhymes for this as they are repetitive and sticks in their minds. Also, use children's books.
- Phonics: Phonics teach them to recognize letters and the sounds they make. Focus on sounds first and not letter names. Proceed to teach 3-letter words. Say a word like ‘mat’. Let them sound out individual letters then blend sounds to make the word. Ask them to say other CVC words that sound like this. Help them create word families. This builds their word recognition skills.
- Other spelling patterns: teach alternative spellings like long vowels, digraphs, trigraphs, and R-controlled sounds from alphabet letters. Provide phonic charts to help them master the 40 phonemes.
- Introduce sight-words: these are high-frequency words that don’t follow phonic rules and just need memorization like they, we, are, all, after.
Provide flashcards to help them memorize these words.
Use word games and letter magnets
Make simple words and play around with them. Say a word and let them spell or write it down. Move letters magnets around on the fridge or board to show them what happens when you add, remove, or replace letters in words. This helps reinforce phonic skills.
Use objects from the surrounding
Show them signs, posters, and charts when you go out. Prompt them to identify sounds in words and read them.
Improve difficulty level
Create complex texts and sentences and ask them to read each word. Gauge their reading to check for comprehension by asking what the words mean. Don’t let them get ahead of themselves by reading difficult words above their reading level. Submit guest post on our website.
Read aloud to them and let them read to you regularly. Identify troubling words they read slowly or with difficulty. Offer clues and support. Engage them with questions depending on their reading level.
Give them reading exercises and practices. Look for more reading resources online or through reading programs. This will improve their vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency. At this stage, they are set to be independent readers.
Though a bit overwhelming, adopting the above steps will ensure you won’t go wrong with your child’s reading. They are straightforward, exciting, and interactive. Trying every approach out there can be expensive and confusing. Take the initiative to set your child on the path to success using these steps.
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