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Teaching Children To Read

Learning to read is one of the fundamental cornerstones of a child's education. So what are some of the best ways of teaching children to read?

Firstly, having lots of books and reading material in the house sets the scene for reading. And it is never too young to start teaching kids to read. Very young children learn very quickly, simply helping them to become aware of words, playing lots of simple rhyming games and of course reading lots of stories, and you are well on the path of teaching your child to read.

Why Is Teaching Children To Read Important?

teaching children to read I would go so far as to say learning to read is probably one of the most important skills we need. Success at school, qualifications, credentials are all based on being able to read. Even if a child doesn't graduate or drops out of school, if they can read, they will still have lots of options and opportunities for learning skills, and leading a fulfilling life.

The Benefits of Teaching Children To Read

  • Learning to read from an early age means better language development and understand complexities of language construction earlier
  • The earlier a child learns to read, according to research, the more likely they are to succeed in later school years
  • Kids who can read instructions or comprehend more when they are learning to read, have better self esteem
  • Research shows children and teenagers who read tend to have higher IQs!
  • The importance of developing good reading skills is important for success as an adult, reading manuals, text books, contracts etc
  • If you can read, you can learn anything. You can research and find out about anything you are interested in.
Click here to read more about the importance of reading to children.

How To Encourage Children
Learning To Read

You will all know my passion for playing with children! Playing is the most powerful way we learn, if it's fun, it is engaging much more of our brain than just a left brain analytical function.

We retain so much more when more of our senses and our energy is engaged. Learning to read is no exception to this. Teaching kids to read is easier if it is fun. They don't even need to know you are teaching them to read, you simply make reading or word games a fun activity, and they learn to read as part of a natural process.

Parenting Tip Teaching Children To Read Tip to encourage reading

Jackie French recommends reading one and a half stories! Stop at a particularly exciting place so they are encouraged to read the rest! Jackie is dyslexic, but overcame that challenge is now an author of some fabulous childrens story books, and gardening books . . and more!


Teaching Children To Read: Pre-Schoolers

Don't get into pressure teaching children to read, particularly with young children. The idea is to make it fun, and for reading to become a natural extension of their activities.

At this age, you are really just putting in the groundwork that makes learning fun, and developing a love of books and language.

Ideas for preschoolers learning to read

  • Toddlers and Preschool love simple rhyme, and rhythm, repetitive sounds and words
  • Songs, nursery rhymes and poems are easy for a child to learn, and then they start to recognize the word representation
  • Have a Letter or Color day, and write the words on cards
  • Young children can find their name in a word hunt - similar to a crossword, but with a jumble of letters and hidden words. You can introduce other words by having them on cards and they have to find them. The older they get, the more letters and words you hide. Keep it simple to start with.
  • Sound out the words in simple books - C A T or B A B Y
  • Put labels on simple every day things, like bed, table, chair.

Read three more tips for teaching children to read here.

Teaching Kids To Read: School Age Kids

  • Read a wide variety of texts to them, and encourage them to pick out headlines or familiar words.
  • School kids love rhyme too, but can be more complex language. Poems are a great way to introduce a different from of written language
  • When children read to parents, or have stories read to them regularly, their spelling improves. Having a visual of a word helps to concretize the spelling
  • Map reading: look for towns or cities starting with a certain letter
  • The Country Alphabet Game: take turns going through the alphabet, naming a country (or city) - each person moves on to the next letter. Use an atlas for younger kids so they can search for names
  • Play Dictionary. Using a dictionary you choose a strange word, and pick three different meanings from other words. Whoever guesses the right meaning of a word, has the next turn. You can modify it for younger children by having easier words, and making it a quiz
  • Expand their vocabulary with Seasonal reading, Christmas, Halloween, Spring, Summer etc
  • Choose a celebration day from another culture or country and read about them
  • Have a treasure hunt, a great way of teaching children to read. Help younger children to work out the clues
  • Word games like scrabble, or find the the word hunt
  • Tooth fairy letters - I had enormous fun writing tooth fairy letters - all spelled phonetically, or very creatively and in tiny tiny pencil writing. The kids were sure it wasn't me because the spelling was so bad!

Setting The Scene
Teaching Your Child To Read

Cute Toddler Learning To Read One of the most important things when teaching children to read, is to keep it positive. Don't make it a pressured task. Praise any efforts, and read lots of things out loud. Encourage them to help you read recipes, or the shopping list when you are doing the groceries.

Get books related to their interests, if you get a goldfish, go to the library and get books about tropical fish, or look online for more information. Ask them questions and encourage them to find out more information. They will be far more motivated to read when when it is something they are interested in.

Be involved with your child's reading, ask them questions about the story, or their book. You are extending their language development by them summarizing the story to you. With your teenagers, be interested in what they are reading too. There are some wonderful books for teenagers. (Yes, I have read all the Harry Potter Books!)

Reading Books For Kids
You can share your ideas or tips for teaching children to read on our mini forum. We are compiling a Huge list of children's book reviews as a resource for parents. Any ideas or reading books for kids that you have found your children love, and has encouraged them learning to read please share them with us. Remember, one of the best ways of teaching children to read, is reading to them.

What is your favorite children's book? If you had to recommend a book on reading book for kids what would it be? What was your favorite book as a child? Help us build a great resource for parents and kids.

Want To Know About Child Development?

Overview Of Child Development

Kindergarten Age Kids

School Age Kids

If you enjoyed teaching children to read - you might also like to visit our homeschooling pages.

So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.

Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.

Katherine Patterson


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Recommended Links

A great site to visit is Best Children's Books. There is a wealth of information about childrens books: how to write and get children's books published; lots of VERY cheap e-books; and heaps of book reviews.

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