How to Teach a Child to Read: The Ultimate Guide

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Inside: Follow these 5 steps to teach a child to read. Helpful for parents, homeschoolers, and lecturers which might be educating starting readers. This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks.


How to Teach a Child to Read, The Ultimate Guide, A step-by-step process for parents and teachers that want to help children learn to read, perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, and first grade #literacy #learntoread #homeschool #preschool #kindergarten #1stgrade


I regarded like a mom hen with my chick gathered round me. Sitting on the ground with my legs crossed, I stared into six keen pairs of eyes that had been prepared to be taught to read… however there was a drawback.


A knot tightened in my abdomen as I noticed simply how unprepared I used to be to take kids from non-readers to readers. Sure, I might say “sound it out”, however was that basically going to get it? This was a severe accountability! Who determined I might even be trusted to do that?!?


“Let’s all look at the first page,” I mentioned. And we dove into a e book.


This is the Cliff’s Notes model of the issues I be taught from trial and error, useful colleagues, books  as I taught these kids to read:


Step 1: Pre-Reading Behaviors

There are actions that don’t seem like studying in any respect, however they set the stage for a child to change into a reader. These pre-reading behaviors might seem spontaneously by means of a child’s personal remark and mimicry or an grownup can encourage them.


Look for and encourage the next:


  • consciousness of print on indicators, labels, packaging, and so forth. Kids can know that a signal says “McDonald’s” earlier than they’ll really read the letters
  • sound manipulation video games, suppose “Hannah Hannah banana, banana-fana, fo-fana, me-my-mo-mana, Hannah”
  • consciousness  of rhyme
  • ideas about print – Does the child know which approach is up on a e book? Do they’ve a sense that the pages flip one at a time and at all times in the identical path? As you read, level to the phrases to allow them to see you might be studying from left to proper.
  • sound discrimination – “Max is eating a muffin. Mmmmax…mmmmuffin…. those start with the same sound.”


When a child demonstrates these behaviors and talents, they might be prepared to be taught to read. If not, work actions like these into your every day routine to assist information them in the fitting path.

Continue studying aloud to the child. If youngsters be taught that studying is an pleasing expertise by means of read-alouds, they are going to be motivated to be taught the talent themselves.


I guess you’ll be able to completely guess the following step…


Step 2: Learning Letters


Obvious, proper?! But you is likely to be stunned to be taught these items about introducing letters:


Letters don’t have to be taught in alphabetical order. Think about it: If you taught the letters a, m, t, and s, the child can begin to read a few easy phrases instantly and that’s so thrilling for them! Quick pay-offs like that maintain kids motivated!



Mastering a single letter entails two completely different abilities: Identifying the letter visually, and memorizing the sound related to the letter. Then there are letters that make multiple sound… however extra on that in a bit.


Using the senses and motion helps kids memorize letters. Build the letter with clay, draw the letter together with your finger on the child’s again, affiliate a movement with the letter’s sound like leaping and making the sound of letter J.


One publicity shouldn’t be sufficient. Quite a lot of memorization has to occur to be taught all of the letters and sounds. Incorporate loads of evaluation and don’t rush it.


Step Three: Blending Sounds


Moving from understanding single letters to studying phrases is all about mixing the sounds collectively. Try this system:


  1. Using a 2 or Three-letter phrase, level to the letters and say every sound.
  2. Then begin again originally of the phrase. Slide your finger slowly beneath the letters as you stretch the sounds and put them collectively.
  3. Have the child attempt to do it, too.


Pro tip: Keep it easy right here. Stick to phrases the place each letter makes its “normal” sound. Stay away from phrases the place two letters work collectively to make a new sound, just like the th in “the.”


Step four: Start Introducing Sight Words


Sight phrases are sometimes shorter phrases that come up very incessantly in textual content and typically they don’t observe predictable spelling guidelines. Some examples are: look, sure, the, do. It’s higher to know them by sight slightly than making an attempt to sound them out.


Sight phrase observe can embrace flash playing cards, attempting to find the phrases in books, and utilizing laptop video games.


One of my favourite methods to observe sight phrases is thru using predictable or patterned textual content. These are books the place every sentence is similar apart from one phrase which could be inferred with the assistance of a image. Kids get plenty of observe with the sight phrases and are proud to be studying sentences.


Patterned text for learning sight words from Learn to Read Activity Book by Hannah Braun

This is patterned textual content.


Pro-tip: Spread out sight phrase instruction. Yes, that is “step 4” however it’s actually extra of a component of studying that will get sprinkled in right here and there. Teach a couple of sight phrases so kids can read a e book. Practice another phonics patterns, teach a couple extra sight phrases, and so forth.


Step 5: Work With Word Families


You’ll get a lot of bang in your buck should you spend time on phrase households. Teach kids that if they’ll read the phrase “can,” then they’ll additionally read “man,” “pan,” and “fan.” 2-letter phrase households are good at this stage (-am, -at, -et, -en, -it, and so forth.)


A word family game

A phrase household recreation from the Learn to Read Activity Book by Hannah Braun


Step 6: Phonics Skills


We all know English is bizarre! Learning the person letter sounds is simply a basis. I like to observe this sequence as I introduce different phonics patterns:


Blends: Two letters which might be incessantly collectively in phrases, each letter sounds could be heard. Examples are bl, tr, sk, dr, sm


Digraphs: Two letters that make a new sound (sh, th, wh, ch, ck)


Glued Sounds: These are a mix however are Three letters and are available on the finish of a phrase (all, ell, sick, ull, ank, ink, onk, unk, ang, ing, ong, ung)


There are lots extra phonics patterns and guidelines however this provides you a lot to work on with starting readers.


Making Meaning

Making which means? Is there a recipe for that? Ha!


“Making meaning” is a phrase that’s at all times thrown round in educating workshops and books. It simply signifies that as a child begins to read sentences and longer texts, they need to give you the chance to get some which means out of it. They ought to have a sense of what’s going on within the story or what the writer needs them to know.


Making which means needs to be woven in as quickly as a child begins studying sentences. Help the child make which means by:


  • asking questions on what they only read.
  • encouraging them to reread in the event that they didn’t perceive what the writer was saying.
  • reveal your personal reactions to the textual content


What’s the purpose in studying to read should you’re not having fun with a story, studying one thing new, or being uncovered to a completely different approach of seeing issues?


Click on the image beneath to obtain a copy of this cheat sheet:

How to Teach a Child to Read - helpful for teacher and parents of children in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade #literacy #learntoread #teachingreading #preschool #kindergarten #1stgrade

So what about my little studying group? Did they ever be taught to read?


They certain did!


I’m undecided who realized extra in that group, them or me. What I do know is, there’s no motive for you to wrestle with growing a reading-teaching roadmap from scratch. Start with pre-reading abilities. Then transfer by means of letters, mixing, sight phrases, phrase households, and different phonics abilities. Allow time for evaluation and the pure improvement of the child.


If you’re prepared to leap in and need to save a while, take a look at the Learn to Read Activity Book. I’ve taken the steps above and turned them into 101 easy classes and enjoyable actions. They’re good for parents working with their very own youngsters or lecturers working with starting readers of their class. Click HERE to discover out extra!

Learn to Read Activity Book, 101 Fun Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read by Hannah Braun



For extra on how to teach a child to read:

Crash Course in Phonics: Part 1

Crash Course in Phonics: Part 2

Praise and Prompts for Teaching Reading



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Hannah Braun

Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun is a former trainer with eight years of expertise within the classroom and a grasp’s diploma in early childhood schooling. She designs participating, organized classroom resources for 1st-Third grade lecturers.