How to teach your child to read? Watching your child read and become really excited about something that they have read is one of the best things about being a parent. All children learn to read at a different speed, but we want to share with you a few tips and ideas that will help make the learning to read process easier and more enjoyable for you both.
Helping your child learn to read really is one of the best things you can do and that’s what we are here to help you do. Teaching your child to read does not have to be this big science experiment that requires you to read a million parenting books and constantly bombard your child with flash cards as you will see with these tips down below.
Read To Your Child
Before you can expect your child to have an interest in reading, you have to read to them! Most children want to emulate what their parents do. When they see you bringing these fun and exciting worlds to life it will encourage them to want to read themselves.
Making your child fall in love with reading from as young an age as possible is something every parent should do. There are some people who swear that you should be using these flash cards to teach a baby to read! Well that’s excessive and not something we are talking about. What we are talking about is having your child sit on your knee or just cuddling up to you on the couch and reading to them.
Make reading time something special and something fun which takes us into our next tip.
Make Reading Fun!
We live in a day an age where kids as young as two are able to pick up an iPad and watch YouTube or Netflix. Now more than ever it is important to make reading as fun as possible as books are fighting a real battle with tablets and smartphones.
Reading should not be something that is a chore. It should be something your child is excited to do and this starts with you. You should always be super excited to read to your child. Excited so that they really get into it and find reading one of the most fun things to do.
We know that children will want to read the same books over and over again, but it’s up to you to make each time you read that same story to make it as exciting and fun as possible. If there is something your child is really into like Thomas The Tank Engine, Peppa Pig, Dora The Explorer or whatever then that is a great place to start.
Start with something that they find fun and then take it from there.
Make Reading Interactive
In the early stages of reading make your child really pay attention to what is happening and ask for their input and opinions on the story. For example if a book you are reading has a dog in it ask your child to point to the picture of the dog if there is one. Show your child the word dog and then point to the picture of the dog. Then when it happens again before you say the word dog, point to it and ask your child if they remember what this word was.
Just get your child interested in the story and encourage them to ask questions about the story, letters and the words that are on the page. The more inquisitive they are the higher their desire will be to learn what all these words say.
Point Out Words And Letters In The Real World
This tip is great when your child is starting to grasp and recognize certain words. If you are out and about in town, the supermarket or even the soft play area and you see a word that you know has appeared in a book they have read many times. Point it out and ask them if they remember that word. If they do not remember it do not worry and just say that word is cat for example and then say just like in the book.
This is a great way to help keep them interested in words and pay attention to things that are around them. Before long they will be telling you what every isle is in the supermarket and you will get a real kick out of it.
Sound Out Words
Phonics is one of the in things when it comes to reading and it does actually work. What this is, is basically teaching your child the way different sounds make words. If you do not want to go down the actual phonics route of this then sounding out words is still a great way to show them how different letters create different words.
For example if you are reading them a story about Spider-Man make them spell it out as they read and really pronounce each letter, S P I D E R M A N and it will help them notice the way words are formed. Of course you cannot do this for every single word in a book. But at least once per page make it a point to sound out a word and then get them to do it.
Most kids like to re-read the same book just after they have read it! Do not see this as a bad thing, use it as a chance to get them to sound out the word you just taught them or even a word that is similar.
Have The Right Reading Environment
You cannot expect a toddler to sit there and read a book or even be interested in you reading to them if the TV is on and the latest adventures of Paw Patrol are happening! Kids are easily distracted and even if your child is into reading, you reading a book is always going to be fighting a losing battle against the TV.
So make sure there are no distractions when it’s reading time. Sit on their bed or snuggle up on the couch and even let them pick the book. Just make sure that the setting is right before you read.
Pick The Right Book For Your Child
Just because your friend has been raving about this certain book that their child loved and wants to read time and time again does not mean it will have the same effect on your child. Your child is their own unique little person and you know better than anyone what they like.
We did kind of touch on this before and we want to really stress that you have to pick books that you know your child will be at the very least be interested in and willing to sit and read with you. There’s nothing wrong with taking a book recommendation from a friend, but do not be swayed and try to make your child read a book that you deep down know they will not really be interested in.
Remember like we said before, reading should be fun and not a chore. Once your child can read a little bit if there’s a book in the store they are interested in pick it up, turn to the middle of the book and see if they can read five words if they can then the book should be fine. If they cannot then it may be a little too hard for them.
Do Not Over Do It!
Here is a tip that we feel is very important, but it is something that many people overlook and that is the time you spend reading. Kids have very short attention spans so expecting them to sit with you for half an hour is totally unreasonable.
It may actually start to make reading be something that is not all that fun for them to do. You do not want to do this as once a kid starts to hate reading it can be very, very hard to win them back. Keep your reading sessions to about ten minutes at the most. It is always better to leave them wanting to read more than getting to the point where they are just praying for it to be over.
The best reaction you can have after reading with your child is when they are really excited for tomorrow when they can read some more.
Always Add New Books To Their Library
This tip we have here is a bit of a double whammy as it will help keep reading fun and exciting for your child, but it also stops you from going insane!
Buying books does not have to be as expensive as you would think it would be. There are dollar and 99 cents stores all over the country these days and we would bet that in most of the you will find books for kids.
Not just books that cannot be sold in a proper book store either. You can get Marvel, Disney and all other kinds of books that kids will actually like.
The point we are making is always make sure you are adding a new book here and there to keep reading as interesting, exciting and fun as possible.
Think Out Side The Box
Ok so this one here is a little odd, but we know that no matter how hard you try some kids just do not want to give reading a chance. Do not worry though as there are other ways that you can help your child not just learn to read, but actually want to learn to read.
One way is video games. Now some of you may be turning your nose up at this, but it has been shown that kids who may not be all that interested in reading a book will want to know what the text in a video game has to say. There are plenty of video games out there to choose from, many of which are learning based things like Leapfrog and V Smile specialize in teaching kids through playing video games.
Another suggestion is comic books. A comic book is seen as way cooler than a regular book to some kids and there are actually plenty of comic books out there that are made for younger children.
So if your child is not all that interested in books. Do not give up! Try them with something else and then come back to books.