Today, we are going to help you figure out the best ways to teach your child to read while retaining your sanity as well!
Tip #1: Start Early
Not necessarily teaching your child to read early, but have books around your house from the time your child is born. Let your child see you reading, and read to your child as much as possible. If books are not a foreign concept, your child will be more interested in learning to read. Make sure your child has books to read and hold and look at, even when they are just a baby. Looking at books and becoming familiar with books is the first step to learning to read. Once your child is old enough to show an interest in reading, you can start beginning to teach them the basics of learning to read. Don’t force them however, and let them take the lead.
Tip #2: Engage Your Child
When reading to your child, ask a lot of questions. Even if it is only “where is the silly dog?”, or “do you see the snowman’s eyes?”, try to engage your children. This is teaching the fundamental basics of reading comprehension that help them when they do learn to read. Try your best to make reading fun and instill a love of books and reading in your child from a very early age. If your child has a particular subject that they like, such as dinosaurs or princesses, or space, get lots of books on those topics and read! Make sure your home has plenty of books for your kids to read whenever they have the urge. When you read, point to the words as you read them so your child will start to make those connections. If your child wants to read the same book a hundred times, just do it. It’s only helping them to learn.
Tip #3: Name Everything
Start by putting labels on everything in your home, or your child’s room. This can be a great way to develop early reading skills, name association and sight words. If your child sees the word “train” on the train box, he will develop that association. Label anything and everything to help your child develop sight words and help him or her to memorize common words. Oh, and ask a lot of questions. Do you see the fish? Where is the cat? This was always a big one in our house! If your child asks what a word is, repeat it. If they ask a hundred times, tell them a hundred times. Eventually, they will get it on their own!
Tip #4: Don’t Rush It
Your child will learn to read when he or she is ready, and you can’t push it on them before they are ready. Don’t try, you will just both end up discouraged. Engage your child in reading related activities and help them learn words, letters, and numbers. Eventually they will start to put it all together, and then that is when you can help them. By pushing reading onto them when they are not developmentally ready for it, both of you will suffer. Remember, learning to read is supposed to be fun! If you force it on your child, they might develop an aversion to reading, and you don’t want that! By helping your child develop their love of reading at their own pace, you are getting them ready for a lifetime of loving to read!