Teaching your child to read at home is a great way to help create studying habits. Since there isn’t the exact right time to start teaching your child to read, you can start anytime you see fit. You shouldn’t feel pressure to teach your 2-year-old, but also, don’t wait until the child is six already.
However, the strategies we’ll talk about are fit for all age groups, so you can start whenever you and your kid is ready. It’s important not to do all of these at once, but one and the time.
Remember, some children learn faster than others, so don’t be hard on your child. The learning experience should be pleasant and fun for everyone included. Otherwise, it won’t work.
Read to your child at least 20 minutes a day
20 minutes a day may not seem like a lot, but it’s enough to help create a habit. Reading is one of the best everyday habits a child could have, so that’s why we’re aiming at it.
I recommend you start doing this as early as possible, even if you think that your baby doesn’t even understand what you’re reading. The process itself is a bonding time and helps children love books more as they grow up. You can also read for a longer or shorter period, depending on the age of your child.
The best books to read to your kid are:
- Short stories
- Alphabet books
Ask your child questions when they’re reading
To make reading engaging and fun, make sure to be involved. However, this can have a much bigger benefit in the long run. By asking questions, you help your child to learn how to comprehend what he’s reading.
It’s essential that kids learn to interact with the book and explain what they read. The point is to make sure that the child understands what the book is about. You see, there is no point in reading if your child doesn’t understand what they read.
If your child is too small to answer some questions, try to ask the simplest ones. Point your fingers at animals or objects and ask them what they see.
Be a good example to your kid
You can try all you want, but unless your kid sees that you’re also reading from time to time, it will lose all interest he may have had.
When a kid realizes that reading is as good for adults, it’s more likely she will continue to do it. For this reason, make sure to read a book yourself for at least 10-20 minutes.
In this case, it would be great if both parents would be an example. Usually, young boys aren’t prone to reading, so seeing their father do it can make them want to do it, too.
Place letters in your kids natural setting
This is quite easy to do, but it can be beneficial along the way. Simply, spell your kid’s name on the wall as décor, or buy one of those name bracelets. This way, your child will probably learn how to spell its name quicker than if you’d try to teach that any other way.
Kids are curious and will most certainly take an interest in the letters surrounding them. You can point out at all kinds of prints and letters you come across.
Teach phonemic awareness and phonics
The two most important skills are blending and segmenting. Segmenting is when we break a word apart into individual sounds, while blending is saying a word after each of the sounds is heard.
This isn’t the easiest to teach but is great for reducing any risk of reading disabilities.
Phonics teaches your kid to break words into sounds, connect letters with sounds, and blend sounds into words. Though your kid will probably learn this in kindergarten, the skill is much needed for future writers and readers.
Make reading a regular activity and provide a safe and comfortable environment
For your kid to find reading enjoyable, it must feel safe and comfortable doing it. What great about reading is that it can be done in many positions. For this reason, don’t force your child into any specific position but let it find the one that’s the most comfortable.
One way is to set your child up with a comfortable desk, so they have their own space when ever they want to read or do work. This will give them a psychological trigger that this is their space of comfortability when they want to read.
By making reading a regular activity, kids get used to reading. This is great for your child’s brain, vocabulary, and social skills. You can tell that a child regularly reads the same way you can tell that adult frequently reads, too.
Have your kid read you a story
After a while of listening to you read, have your child read to you. You can start doing this at a very young age, too.
Have your kid pick a book that they’d read to you. It’s also great if they would point their finger at words as they read them. Of course, your child may not read the story right, but try to correct them each time.
Sometimes, if you read a certain book to your child, it can remember the story and tell it to you. This helps reading as well as memory.
Make sure to keep reading engaging and fun. Remember, if it’s not fun and interesting, your kid will probably hate it.
Listen to your kid read
As I said, reading together is a great way to bond with your child. For this reason, be involved in the activity. I advise against just handing a book to your child and walking away. You simply must pay attention.
When your kid reads out loud, you have an opportunity to notice what it struggles with. By noticing these details, you also realize what you should work on more. You have to do this part because kids that don’t know to read properly don’t know what they’re doing wrong unless you explain.
Promote and encourage writing
Of course, when you know how to read, you also know how to write. However, we often forget that writing is a skill that has to be learned a separate way.
Luckily, many kids find writing more fun than reading, so this shouldn’t be hard. Encourage this by writing small notes or letters to your child. Before you know it, the kid will want to write back.
Keep notebooks, pencils, and pens where you keep the books, too. Also, kids love notebooks and pens that are colorful and maybe feature a cartoon character.