How To Keep Your Sanity While Teaching Your Kids To Read -- 7 Simple Steps You Can Try At Home

I’ve always loved reading. That's why when I found out that I was pregnant, I promised myself that I would read and teach my kid the skills. 

However, it wasn’t easy. I started teaching my 4-year-old son to read a couple of months ago but I think he’s not interested. It’s hard to get his attention and often, I end up annoyed. 

Guess what I found out, kids normally start reading at the age of 6 or 7, so I think it’s too early for the little one to read. 

But still, if you’re excited as I am, I don’t think it hurts to consider these handy tips.

Simple Steps To Teach Your Kids To Read

Play Nursery Rhymes

Old Mcdonald is not only fun and playful, the rhymes and rhythm also prepare the necessary skills that your child needs to read.

For one, phonemic awareness is enhanced as you and your kid clap to the song rhythmically. Also, listening to nursery rhymes let your kid hear syllables and sounds, which is important when teaching your kids to read.

Using Simple Cards

I’ve personally tried this trick and it’s amazing how it works. 

All you need is paper or cardboard and a pen. Now, write a three-letter word on each card, such as ant, bee, cat, etc. 

You can read the card first and let your child repeat after you. You can also tell them to pick one card and ask them the sound of each letter. To be able to do this, your child must have an idea of how the alphabet sounds.

If your child’s still in the learning phase with the alphabet, you can start teaching them the sound of each letter first instead of the name. 

Play Word Games

One of my favorite kid activities at home or outside -- word games. 

It’s fun. It’s simple. And it’s free! The only thing you need is to make it more fun and exciting. To play word games, you can ask the following questions:

  • “What is the sound of the letter ___?”
  • “What letter does the word ___ start with?” 

If your kid is a little bit older, you can also ask them these:

  • “What word rhymes with ___?”
  • “What letter does the word ___ end with?”

Take Advantage Of Posters And/Or Other Printed Materials

When teaching a kid to read, having printed materials, such as posters, books, charts, or word cards can help. This gives them easy access to letters and sounds while making it easy for them to be curious about it at the same time.

For example, whenever my son sees a book, he tells each letter name without asking him to. He also asks what word it is and what it means. It makes it easier for me since I don’t have to constantly catch his attention since he’s already interested in the first place.

Determine The Core Skills In Reading

Reading does not happen naturally. It’s something your kid needs to harness over time and that involves determining different skills, such as:

  • Phonics

This refers to identifying the letters and the sound they make.

  • Phonemic Awareness

This refers to the capability to identify and manipulate the sound of a word or syllables.

  • Vocabulary

This is the ability to understand a word and its meaning as well as its context.

  • Fluency

This skill is about reading a word smoothly and accurately.

  • Reading Comprehension

This is about understanding what your kid is reading.

Make Use Of Technology

Okay, I do understand that some parents would rather do this traditionally but let’s admit it, technology can somehow help our kids learn things. For instance, my son says words that I’ve never taught him (thanks, Peppa Pig!)

So if you’re fine with this, you can use your phone or tablet to make reading a fun and enjoyable process. Just be sure to pick channels, videos, or apps that offer value to your kids. 

Here are some reading apps you can download for your child:

Make Reading A Habit

Practice makes perfect -- as they say, and although there’s no such thing as perfect, reading daily can give a huge improvement.

Toddlers are still too young to read but if you read to them all the time, let’s say every night, you are showing them how each word sounds. You are also helping them grow their vocabulary and enhance their fluency since you are setting yourself as an example.

On top of this, you are strengthening your child’s comprehension skills by encouraging them to ask questions and by asking questions yourself. “What’s the name of the dog?” “What color is the little girl’s dress?” “Why did the baby cry?”

These are just some of the simple tips that you can do at home when you want to teach your kids to read. Do you have more techniques that you can share? If yes, feel free to drop it down in the comment box below.

Happy reading!

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