Our kids, no matter how young they are, should start learning. As parents, we should have the passion to teach them things, especially when it comes to reading and comprehension.
Basically, the target age for kids to start reading is 6 years old; however, this should not limit us from encouraging them to hold a book and read it on their own. It’s a learning process and I don’t think anyone can do this overnight. But don’t lose hope; rather, use this time to strengthen the bond between you and your little one.
In line with this, you should not put so much pressure on yourself and your kids when teaching them to read. Have fun and just cherish the moment.
Easy Ways To Teach A Toddler To Read
Set Yourself As An Example
I love reading and I see to it that my child could see me holding a book as much as possible. I know it won’t help my child learn how to read in an instant but I believe that it can spark curiosity.
Also, as the saying goes: “practice what you preach”.This tagline is applicable not only to students and working professionals but also, to us moms. The home is the first place a child could learn and the parents are the first teachers. It’s where they build their foundations and it’s where values are inculcated within them.
Children tend to follow what they see at home. They adopt the values, culture and even the way that the people around them take things. That being said, it’s important to allow your child to see you read newspapers, magazines, etc.
When teaching a child to read, one of the best (and trusted) ways is to read books to them -- clearly and loudly. Show them that you are reading it with the best interest and enthusiasm.
Make sure to read bedtime stories, fables, etc., in a fun and engaging way while ensuring that they can comprehend it on their own.
Sometimes, if I find a word too complicated for my son, I read it and use another word for it so that he can understand what it’s about.
Personal Tip: For me, the best time to read books is before bedtime and I prepare 3 to 4 children books a night. I let my little one choose the books he wants me to read or sometimes, I choose 1 story for him.
Pro Tip: Read books according to their age- such as Lullabies, Board Books (with pictures), Cloth Books (with textures), Song Books from Birth to 1year; Rhyming Books, Song Books, Short-Story Board Books for ages 1-3 and Alphabet, Song , Picture & Rhyming Books for 3-5 years old.
Do you have other tips about teaching a toddler to read? Feel free to share them in the comments.
For me, when you want to encourage your child to read sooner, it’s best if you can also motivate them to speak afterwards or even while reading. Allow them to ask questions as you read to tickle their imagination and comprehension.
Having an interactive exchange of ideas with your child helps in the efficiency of learning. You can also ask them questions to make them recall things that would also practice and exercise their memory.
Use Nursery Rhymes And Songs
To build phonemic awareness you could introduce your kids to nursery rhymes and songs. This would help them hear words and let them familiarize themselves with how they would sound. This, in turn, will help them learn to read. Not only they will learn from this activity but it would also be a fun and engaging experience.
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Identify Letters Using Natural Settings
You can place letters of the alphabet around your child’s room to allow them to be familiarized with it. You can even place your child’s name or a letter he would probably see almost every day. Seeing these prints will even make your toddler curious.
You will be surprised that they would be the ones asking you about these letters. You could as well use flashcards and DVDs to stimulate letter learning but taking advantage of these “teachable moments” such using wall prints could be of great convenience and allows your kid to be a kid. Learning the alphabet is important but the method of teaching is more important. Let their learning experience be a memorable one that would let them want for more.
Sounding It Out
Or decoding is an important aspect of learning how to read. Teach your child how would the letter sounds in fun engaging meaningful learning situations that will help them learn and recall each letter, one step at a time. Be patient with your child and don’t forget to praise them for little successes and even acknowledge their efforts. This would give them a sense of confidence and will further encourage learning and reading.
Make It An Interactive Learning Experience
Most of the time, it’s challenging to teach children because their attention span is short. In short, they are easily distracted. So it would be great if you strategize a way that could help them concentrate on what you are trying to let them learn. Set a learning activity that would not only let them learn mentally but also physically.
This could as well develop their gross motor skills in games such as tossing bean bags to the appropriate letter. You could also help them develop their fine motor skills in activities like papercrafts by letting them make a letter with an association of the sound it makes. With activities such as these, you could help develop multiple domains of development.
Identify What They Want To Read
It is essential to let your child decide what he/she wants to read. This can give them a sense of liberty.
Allow them to choose what type of book they want to read by placing books of different genre including non-fiction (real stories or facts about animals, people, etc), Fantasy (make-believe, magic, etc),Alphabet Books, Song Books and many more and see which one they prefer.
This could also give you an idea of what to buy more. And also take time to explain what type each book each is so that they would be aware and knowledgeable.
Word families are words that rhyme. Learning these words can let your children see the patterns in reading. It can help them develop the skill in reading by grouping sets of letters within the word. There are two parts in this, one is the Onset which is the first part of the word and the other is the Rime which is the last part.
Word families share the same “rime” as the “Onset” changes, for example: cop, hop, pop, stop, top. Once your child recognizes this, he/she could as well add other words he/she could think. Assist your child in learning this, start with not so complicated words.
As they practice this and as they memorize these rhyming words, it could be a great language skills. Also, explain the meaning of the words to them to widen their vocabulary.
See The Word, Say The Word
Well, this is the best strategy for Sight Words, “See the word, say the word”. Well what are sight words?
These are words that can’t be easily sounded out and are needed to be recognized once seen. Very often seen and used sight words are: “you, I, am, we, had, and, the, to, have, where, was, does”. Allow your kids to memorize this and in constant exposure they will recall and remember these words.
Well, these are just some ways on how to teach your child how to read. Remember, reading is a process so be patient with your child. Each of our children is unique and knows that each has his/her own pace of learning.
So be there to support and don’t forget the most important thing, ENJOY!