• Karen Bartgis

How to Teach Kids to Read: Easy Steps to Try at Home

Watch the vide to hear Karen Bartgis describe some simple tips to help teach your child to read!

Most people don't think about how they learned to read until it's time for their children to learn to read. Unfortunately, learning to read is not as natural a process as people would like. Learning to read requires knowing and understanding the relationship between letters and sounds. The good news is that the steps you take in order to teach your child to read are fairly simple.Try these simple strategies below.

Simple steps to teach your child to read at home:

Use songs and nursery rhymes to build letter and sound awareness

Children's so ngs and nursery rhymes aren't just a lot of fun—the rhyme and rhythm help kids to hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps them learn to read. Building this skill is one of the most important skills in learning to read. Clapping rhythmically together and reciting songs in unison is a great way to build this important skill.

Make simple word cards at home

Use index cards or small pieces of paper and write a word containing three sounds on each one (e.g. ram, sat, pig, top, sun, pot, fin). Have your child choose one, then read the word together and hold up three fingers. Ask them to say the first sound they hear in the word, then the second, and then the third.

Immerse your child in a print-rich environment

Immerse your child in a reading environment each day. Seeing printed words (on posters, charts, books, labels etc.) enables children to see connections between sounds and letters. When you're out and about, point out letters on posters, billboards and signs. In time you can model sounding out the letters to make words. Focus on the first letter in words. Ask your child “What sound is that letter?” “What other word starts with that sound?” “What word rhymes with that word?” Reading to your child each day is a great way to teach your child to read fluently. They listen to your voice as you point to the words in the book and correlate the two to learn how to read fluently. Asking your child questions about the book as you go along and at the end of the book will build your child’s comprehension skills. Playing games where you spot sight words in restaurants, on signs or even in the grocery store is a fun way to immerse your child in reading and they don’t even realize they are learning!


Play with letter magnets

Middle vowel sounds can be tricky for some children, which is why this activity can be so helpful. Prepare letter magnets on the fridge and pull the vowels to one side (a, e, i, o, u). Say a CVC word (consonant-vowel-consonant), for example 'cat', and ask your child to spell it using the magnets. To help them, say each letter aloud while pointing at its letter.

Use technology to keep your child engaged

Learning to read should be fun! There are a variety of early reading apps and websites that are very helpful and keep your child engaged in learning to read.

Every child learns at his or her own pace, so always remember the single most important thing you can do is to make it fun! Reading every day, mixing things up with the activities you choose, and letting your child pick out their own books occasionally, you'll instill a love of reading and give them the best chance at reading success in no time.




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