How to Teach a Child to Read

How to Teach a Child to Read

Reading adds to your knowledge and makes you smarter, and reading at an early age can accelerate your kid’s likelihood of success in the long run.

One of the best ways of helping your child to be successful in life is to teach them to read. Teaching kids to read can give them their best start to their life.

Most schools do not use the right technique to teach reading. As a parent, you can prepare your kid better at home.

Spending just twenty minutes a day reading for your kid can make a significant improvement in your child’s reading skills.

Learning to read is a big milestone, and making it enjoyable for your child can ease this complex process. Being patient and spending some time with your child allows your child to read successfully, and also your kid will begin to love reading.

Choose a book of your children’s interest so that they would be motivated to read. Taking your kid to a library can help you understand what types of books do interest them.

When to Start

Reading for infants and toddlers create a good foundation for their reading journey. But giving reading instructions at an early age can make your child dislike reading.

Make sure your child is ready to learn the skill of reading. Generally, a child of age five and above can understand the concept of reading better. Reading about a squirrel to your kid who has never seen one may sound far-fetched for him or her.

However, reading about a squirrel to a child who has spent some time running behind squirrels can be highly effective. Read about things that your child already knows about, and enhance their knowledge on that subject.

How to Teach Kids to Read

There is no standard technique to teach reading. You can try different methods and see which ones make it engaging for your kid. The following are some simple steps to make reading a rewarding experience for your child.

Step 1. Set the Stage for Reading

Get some colorful kids’ books that have a lot of images. Make your child aware of the print, color, packaging, labels, and signs of the book.

Read aloud to your child, and introduce them to different words and sound discriminations.

Reading every day for at least twenty mins can motivate your children to learn the skill of reading themselves.

Step 2. Identify Letters

Don’t force your child to memorize the alphabets; instead let them identify the alphabets around.

Teach your child to read by pointing on the letters on billboards, signs, and posters that will allow your child to focus on the letters, words, and sounds made by them. You can create an environment at home too, by putting some colorful posters and boards for your child. Play some games with alphabets, and help your child to develop confidence.

Step 3. Create Phonic Awareness

This is the most effective approach where with phonics, you teach how to sound words out.

Let your child understand the different sounds made by words, and allow them to recognize the letters involved. Phonic awareness is an essential step in any reading; it combines a child’s knowledge with his sound system.

Step 4. Blend the Sounds


By blending the letters, you can teach your child to read words. Start with two- to three-letter words, and make your kid say the sound.

By sliding your finger on each letter, teach your child to blend the sounds. Stick to simple words, and let your child read.

Avoid complicated words that do not resonate with the sound. You can use alphabet toys, magnet, or blocks to make small words and practice sound each letter makes.

Step 5. Teach Sight Words

Teach your kids sight words that are frequently used in reading texts, such as it, was, at, the, etc.

You can use flashcards or make your child spot these words in a book to make them memorize these words.

There are also books available that use sight words and pictures to make reading easy for kids. Such easy-to-read books can provide chances to practice and make reading fun for your kid. Images help the child recognize the words quickly and read more easily.

In the beginning, too much text can become overwhelming. Make sure there are short sentences and a few words on each page of the book.

To start with, your kid might recognize a few words and pictures only, but with constant practice, they will pay attention to all the details.

Step 6. Teach Rhyming Words

Rhyming words hastens the process of learning to read. By learning one word, your kid can read many similar words, and that can give confidence to your child. Teaching your child to read rhymes is a great way to create phonic awareness.

It is a playful way of teaching rhyming words to kids that will set them up for reading. Getting exposed to words with similar letters and letter combinations multiple times bring early reading skills.

Step 7. Read Daily to Your Kid, and Encourage Them to Ask Questions

Reading to your kid every day is the simplest way of teaching your child to read. It helps to grow their vocabulary and allows them to understand the fluency of reading.

Encourage your child to ask questions and engage them with pictures; this will strengthen their reading skills.

Step 8. Make Meaning While Reading

Another essential step to teach your child is to make meaning while reading. Though there is no perfect method to teach this skill, your child should know that reading must bring out some meaning. The child should develop a sense of understanding while reading.

Reading is not just sounding out words from a book; your child should be able to read words fluently and also find the meaning behind them. While reading a story, try to ask your child what may happen next. Let the kid be involved in the story to improve comprehension.

Step 9. Promote Writing

Writing also helps to enhance your kids’ reading ability. Give pencils, crayons, or markers and encourage your child to write a few words. You can play a game by writing something to your child and asking him or her to write back.

Step 10. Make It a Habit

Reading should become a part of your daily life so that your kid starts loving it. Make reading time a part of your family routine. It will help your child build interest in reading books.

Bottom Line

Parents are the best educators, and you can teach the child reading skills in the best possible way.

With some patience and consistency, your child will soon start reading fluently.

Reading is a powerful tool that helps your kid interact with the text.

Reading every day to and with your kid can create a warm, loving environment, and it will create a good habit enriched with books for a lifetime.

Jeff and Yvette

Jeff & his Wife Yvette live in Anaheim Hills, in Orange County California. They're fans of Disneyland, and traveling, and are parents to TWO Awesome Kid, Steven Andrew (10/21/2015), and Amelia Ann (9/19/2018) :-)