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How to Teach Your Child to Read?

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

Teaching your child to read has lots of benefits in your child’s life. Early reading helps your child in his or her academic and social life. And what more joy can a parent have than seeing his or her child become successful in every aspect of his/her life? So it is so important to teach your child to read at an early age.

Can Babies Learn to Read?

Of course, they can! All babies can learn to read. In fact (don’t see this as an exaggeration) all babies are Einsteins when it comes to learning how to read. Babies are so smart – they are Einstein’s, I don’t know what to compare babies with. They are so cute and smart. I love them.

You can teach a baby to read as early as 3 months of age (that’s super fast). Studies also show that babies have the ability to learn lots of languages or sign languages with ease.

The truth is it requires no effort for babies to learn languages. They have this super ability to absorb any language that surrounds them. The key is providing your baby the right environment.

Should I Start Teaching Babies to Read?

Most parents have difficulties deciding what to teach their baby first – alphabet letters or whole language reading. I think, teaching your baby to learn how to read first using whole language approach is better than teaching them alphabet first. The truth is babies can learn a whole word without even knowing letters of the alphabet. It is very beneficial for a child to learn how to read early. As long as the child would learn phonics later, they will be fluent readers.

If your child doesn’t enjoy reading, you should take a step back and check what you are doing. The best way to make a child learn is to make learning fun for your child. No child would ever learn under a rigid and harsh condition. So the whole point of teaching your child is not to achieve certain targets. It is to have fun.

 

CHAPTER 2: Why Should I Encourage Early Reading?

It is very beneficial to encourage early reading in your child. Later on, your child will thank you for taking the extra step in his or her learning.

Benefits of Early Reading:

Social Reason

Not every child can read at a very young age. So an early reader is at an advantage because he would be more confident and happy.

If your child is an early reader, he or she could be awarded certificates and awards. He or she might also get the chance to teach other children how to read, too. That is so amazing, right? There is no other happiness greater than seeing your child succeed.

Psychological Reason

Your child will grow as a self-confident and independent adult if he or she learns to read cheerfully at home, at an early age. Early reading promotes discipline, greater maturity, and literacy.

Do you ever wonder why your child comes back from school and starts asking you questions you never believed he or she would ask? Do you ever wonder what sparked the curiosity in the child’s mind? The truth is that your child has learned or seen something new that is why he or she is asking several questions.

Early reading sparks curiosity about things, places, and people. It also satisfies the child’s curiosity by providing detailed explanations on how things work. So early reading shines a light on your child’s imagination and creativity. What’s sweeter than a child who is confident, brilliant and independent? Nothing, I mean nothing.

Educational Reason

Teaching your child to read at a very tender age opens the door to your child’s academic success. Your child will naturally develop a love for learning.

When kids learn to read at a tender age, they have more general knowledge, expand their vocabulary and become fluent readers. They also have better concentration and improved attention spans.

Linguistic Reason

Children who are early readers have more opportunities to know more words than children who are not early readers. The earlier children learn how to read, the more ideas, books, and knowledge they will be exposed to. Early readers also have the opportunity to develop a wider vocabulary to describe their feelings, experiences, knowledge, and observation.

Early readers also communicate more effectively. They can also recognize a larger number of words by sight, which enables them to learn about and from their environment.

Neurological Reason

It is a fact that reading helps develop a child’s brain. A child learns at a faster pace in their first six years of their life. A newborn baby is born with approximately 200 billion active neurons or brain cells (that is pretty much!). And with the right stimulation, each of the brain cells is able to sprout up to 20,000 different connections between them. These connections form all the basis of intellectual ability and future learning.

As you sing, read and talk to your child, new links in the brain cells are formed, and the existing links are strengthened. It is better to teach a child how to read at a very tender age because that’s when they learn faster. So start teaching your baby boy or girl how to read.

 

CHAPTER 3: How to Teach Your Child to Read?

Babies have a sharp mind to learn how to read. A child can start learning how to read at the age of 3 months. They learn various languages such as a sign, written or foreign language quickly. They don’t require efforts to learn new things. They just grasp the things going around them. They have the developing brain which is growing at a faster rate in comparison to adults. This period is known as the intense brain development period, Critical period, or window of opportunity. A stimulating environment can strengthen the brain of a child to develop and learn new skills.

Teaching baby to read is the easiest mode of learning. Parents can do this easily. Parents must teach in an environment which will be a fun-loving way for the baby. This is necessary as fun learning will keep their interest. They can learn different languages such as Spanish, French, and English. So, the method of teaching them is fast enough to keep up an exciting and fun-loving environment.

Teaching time should completely depend on the interest of the child. Parents are the best teacher for a child to educate them how to read. Customize reading material can aid in the fun learning session. One can start by teaching how to read the names and other words of daily use. By playing, and talking with the baby can help to develop the necessary skills to become a reader.

Various baby reading kits are also available in the market. One can create their reading books to impart the education related to reading.

Children having the reading skills in them will not face any reading problem at the later stage. This will boost their confidence and help them in their academics strongly. Reading will also increase the intellect of a child. Reading depends on the child’s brain ability to link the different sources of information.

Early readers have various advantages over the late reading peers. Teaching a child at a young age will make them free from the learning burden during school time. It is easier to teach reading skills to a baby reading in comparison to a school-going child. Children who learn late the reading skills can have a certain type of dyslexia. It is a myth that the parents will create a burden by teaching their child at an early age. Rather, it will give the mental stimulation and the opportunities to learn.

There are different methods of reading which can help the parents to educate their child efficiently. Some of the reading methods are Flash method, Multi-sensory Reading Method and Native Reading method.

Complete descriptions of these methods are as follows:

Whole Language Reading or Flash Method

Flash method is a traditional means of educating the child about the reading practices. It involves the display of flashcards rapidly to the child at a speed of less than one second. Parents can use handmade flash cards, or one can buy them from the store. It is the effective means of teaching the baby for the following reasons:

• Right hemisphere part of the brain can quickly apprehend the information given at a fast speed. This is opposite to the functioning of the left brain which needs directing and conscious efforts to learn and memorize. Babies learn more effectively through the right brain as it does not need the special efforts to learn new things.

• Children learn at a very fast speed as compared to the adults. By quickly moving the flashcards, one can gain the child’s attention which helps him or her to learn faster.

Glenn Doman, the founder of a non-profit organization, Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential gives the flashcard method for educating the babies. It helps parents to teach their child to use the greatest potential of a child to learn. Nobody knows the genetic potential of an individual entirely which is creating hindrance in using their potential. Complete use of the potential of a child depends on the frequency and quality of stimulation receives by birth. Parents can help their child to impart this stimulus because they know and motivate their child more.

Selection of words

It can start at the age of 3 months. One can start with the words which are familiar to the baby. This can include, the name of the people, vocabulary words use in daily activities, objects present around the house.  One must choose the words as per the interest of the child. Small and simple words like “mat”, “rat”, “bat” are not interesting. They will find words like “washing machine” “laptop” more impressive. They will love learning the unique words more in comparison to the common words.

Material Selection

• A child will focus more on a red font and big in size.
• The word should cover most of the area of the flash card.
• Clear, large and repetition of words will help the child to learn more easily.
• After a few days, one can increase the number of words on a flash card. This should reduce the text size at a slow rate. One must check the child’s reaction during this transition phase. If the child appears uncomfortable with the change, try to start again from the beginning.
• After the comfort level of the child, a parent can change the color from red to black. It would be easy for the child to read more words on a card in black color when there are many words already. Parents can write the word on the back for their reference. They will say it out while displaying the card to the child.
• One can start teaching with 200 words. This can help in fast learning of the child. One can organize the words into different categories.

How to display the flash card

• According to Glenn Doman, parents must flash the card at the speed of one second or less. This is because the child can learn at a fast rate in comparison to adults.
• Recite the word while displaying the card. At the same time, make an eye contact with the child to read his or her reaction.
• Have a lively tone while educating the child. This will help in keeping the interest of the child in learning. One must note the child’s reaction during the transition phase of words.
• Consistency and repetition will help the child to learn thoroughly.
• For consistency, the parent must display a set of five cards three times a day. Shuffling of cards can help to find out better. Little kids can easily learn and memorize the sequence. If the child sees the similar set twice, he or she will remember the series.
• Replace the card after five days in each group. Repetition for 15 times is enough for a child to learn the word. Parent must not force the child to learn every single word. It is better to keep 10% of 2000 words than 100% of 50 words.

Succession in Teaching:

• Start with single words at the first stage. This will help the child in building the necessary knowledge about each word. Group words according to categories.
• Then introduce couplet or two words such as “red car” after teaching ample amount of single words.
• At the later stage, one can teach phrases and sentences consists of three to five words.
• Book reading. One can prepare his books. Write one word on a single page and draw or cut the picture on another. Similarly, one can make books with two words.

Thumb Rule

One must teach as per the mood and interest of the child. Stop the session right away if the child seems unhappy while teaching. If the child does not like the particular avoid, try not to teach the same word again. The bottom line is reading to your child with joy and love. The reading session should not stress the kid. According to Janet Doman, “On a good day, you do a lot of it; on a bad day, you don’t do it at all. You don’t touch it with a 50th pole on a bad day.”

You can use this free online whole language reading lessons where you can click the words to hear the pronunciation (Native American accent).

Another mode of educating a child how to read is the Multi-sensory Reading method. It has many advantages of this method will use the sensory organs as the helping material to learn. It is also useful for those children who find it difficult to read the simple written words.

Multi-sensory Reading Method

The multi-sensory reading method is the process of teaching which involves more than one sense at a time. It includes the use of different sources to educate a child. It includes PowerPoint slideshows, DVDs, books or computer software. All these sources help in illustrating the meanings of the word. Since, this method involves the use of different senses to learn, hence, it is known as the multi-sensory reading method.

The child will use the various sensory channels like auditory and visual to understand the things. This is an important means of teaching because it delivers the information through the sensory sources. It will be easy for a child to learn when he or she will experience the same. It also involves the right hemisphere of the brain like the flash method. Right brain will learn through feel and visualize the pictures. This is the reason of touching and tasting of the objects by the young children. These kids have the right-brain dominant.

Teaching a child with the means of using different sensory organs can help the child in better learning. Most parents use this natural means of educating their child. For example, a parent will say, “This is your forehead” and touch the forehead at the same time.

Children can easily learn the different parts of the body because of the multi-sensory reading method. Many researchers prove this method as an efficient way of teaching. A baby can start learning the language from birth. It is very beneficial for children who have reading problems like dyslexia. They can learn the reading through touch, hearing, and movement.

Various Learning Styles

Visual technique

Pictures or text on posters, models, flash cards, and papers are visual techniques to involve the visual senses. Use of different colors and graphics can add more effects to the vision.

Audio technique

Songs, music, rhymes are the various sound techniques which will involve the hearing to understand the learning.

Tactile technique

The tactile technique involves the sense of touch as a multi-sensory reading method of reading. Modeling materials like sculpting and clay material aid the child in learning various objects and shapes.  They can feel the touch of the clay objects and analyze them. Sand trays, finger paints, raised line paper help in improving the fine motor skills. Manipulative which involves the use of small material enable the child to learn the mathematical skills.

Kinesthetic technique

The method which involves the use of body movements as the sensory method is known as kinesthetic technique. It includes gross motor and fine movements. It includes clapping and jumping rope which involves the movement along with counting and singing songs. It also includes the activity such as dancing, quiz, rhythmic recall, flash card races.

Use of a computer as a multi-sensory reading method

The computer can help in giving reading lessons to the children. PowerPoint slideshows, DVD’s can be run on the computer to educate the child. Customize the material as per the interest of the child.

Children can learn the phonic sounds on their own by reading the different words. Including more senses will help the child to enjoy while learning which makes the reading enjoyable.

A child can smell or taste the objects to learn at a faster rate. For example, a child can sniff a flower while teaching him or her the word “flower”. One can use the multi-sensory reading method daily while reading the books.

Applications

The multi-sensory reading approach helps the child to collect information about a particular task. The child will try to connect the information they already know. They will learn the various techniques to solve the problems. They will able to understand the concepts correctly.

Visual sense assists the child to read the specific information, look the pictures and written words. Hearing sense will help the child to listen to the word properly. Sometimes, kinesthetic sense such as movement and touch will guide the child to get the meaningful information.

Apart from the Flash and Multi-sensory methods of reading, a Native method is the simple and easy process. Games and songs are the major factors of the native reading process. Parents can educate their child to read while playing with them.

Native Reading Method

A child can learn to build up the vocabulary with Flash and Multi-sensory reading method. Parent must educate their child the rules of phonics which helps in understanding the letter sounds.

Apart from the flash and multi-sensory reading method, native reading method is another way to educate a child. With the Native reading method, a child can learn quickly and naturally. It depends on the philosophy that the child will learn naturally how to read.

It is a simple and lifelong method of educating a child. Native reading involves the use of simple techniques and games. A correlation between the spoken and written language help the child to learn.
A native reader at an early age can make a child genius. Native reading acquires the habit of reading naturally. Parents will create an environment in which a child can learn the reading skills naturally as walking and speaking.

Procedure

Playing games with words and letters is an important part of Native Reading. One must spend the time to include a variety of words, pictures and play letters to explain the meanings.

Parents should choose the words and letters which are fun while manipulating. Recite the words in a loud and clear voice consistently while playing the games. One must play the favorite games of their child.

Ideas for fun and interesting learning

One must point each letter while singing the alphabet song. Parents help their child to build a tower with the help of alphabet blocks. During bathing, floating letters can give to spelling the words. A game which includes matching of pictures with the words can help in learning.

Play with each letter from an early age regularly. Manipulation of 3D letters and objects is the best means of learning. Songs and music aid in early reading. Include music in their play as children love to sing and listen.

Parents can print the lyrics of the favorite songs and poems of their child. While listening to the poem, pointing out the words of the lyrics will help the child to read. Magnetic alphabets are the other means of native reading.

Things to remember while playing

Parents must restrict themselves to correct the child while playing the game. A fun-loving exercise for the child is a must in teaching. Enthusiasm in the parent will automatically bring the child’s interest in the game. Parent must read to the child during the entire learning process.

Pointing to the text while reading a word is the most important step of the native reading method. Aside from pointing text method, other techniques which help in native reading include:

• Label the different things which are present in and around the house.
• Relate words and pictures together consistently.
• Spell your child’s name and the name of other family members regularly.
• Play games which have rhymes.
• Try to include the confusing words more often while playing the games. The child will learn the difficult words more instinctively.
• Introduce the upper and lower case letters. Native reading assists in creating an environment in which a child will learn the written and spoken form.

Parents should have sufficient knowledge about the various reading methods. The best time to learn how to read is below the age of 5. The earlier you start the better.

It doesn’t mean that the child will not learn to read in later years. But it will require more time and effort to learn to read. That’s why it’s always better to teach your child as early as possible.

 

CHAPTER 4: Other Fun Ways to Teach Reading

I have compiled six ways on how to make reading fun. So read on.

Read to Your Kids

The first method to teaching your child to read is “read to your kids.” You should start teaching your child to read immediately they are born. It sounds funny, but it is not – just because they are newborns doesn’t mean they lack sense. As I said in Chapter 2- NEUROLOGICAL REASONS – “A newborn baby is born with approximately 200 billion active neurons or brain cells. And with the right stimulation, each of the brain cells is able to sprout up to 20,000 different connections between them. These connections form all the basis of intellectual ability and future learning.”

You can start teaching your child to read by reading storybooks to your newborn. Not only will that be a special moment for the two of you, it would also instill in her the love for books. No one should read like they are forced to – the best way to ensure that your child will enjoy reading is by reading to them at a very tender age.

There is no fixed amount of the books you should read to your child every day. Just make sure you and your child are enjoying each moment of reading.

Go Natural!

One of the best ways to teach your child to read is by going natural. Before our kids were born, we painted and decorated their room with so many letters and fun stuff. We ever thought that those letters and fun stuff would help your child to read and learn letters.

The reason why the letters and fun stuff help your child to read because your child gets used to the letters he sees in his room every day, and he gets curious about what the letters are and mean. So your child tends to know the letters in his or her room naturally.

Most times, you try to drill your child non-stop about reading, but the truth is that if you want your child to read faster, go natural – don’t be too hard and let your child be a child.

Implement Multiple Domains of Development

Once your child has shown love for letters, you can begin activities that implement as many senses as possible. Be sure that the letters are big enough. Be careful of hazardous materials that are present in most toys nowadays.

There are so many ways to implement multiple domains of development regarding early-reading skills and letter recognition. Doing the alphabet craft with your child allows your child to learn the shape of a letter along with the sound it makes while cutting, gluing and creating the letter.

You can also play games and sing songs to your child – it will make them learn more.

Word Families

Word families are simply words that rhyme. Teaching your child to read in a pattern is one of the best ways to teach your child to read. Teaching your child word families will help your child see patterns in reading.

Teaching your child the word families is very important because it allows your child to begin “reading” by grouping a set of letters in a word. The first part of every word is called the onset, and the last part is called rime.

For instance, if your child can recognize the word “cop,” he or she will have an advantage of reading other words with the same rhyme (top, mop, hop, pop, stop, etc.).

Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

Phonemes are the smallest sounds in the English language. Phonemes are made up short vowels, digraphs, long vowels, and consonants. Phonemic awareness is the learning of phonemes and how to manipulate them within words.

Phonics includes learning the various rules the English language follows and how to spell the phonemes. Although phonics is a very important component of reading, it should never be the main focus.

Teaching your child the rules of phonics will help your child to spell and decode. You can start teaching your child phonics at age 2.

Start Decoding

Decoding is basically sound the words out. Decoding is an important element to teach your child. Once your child knows the sound each letter makes, he or she is ready to start putting words together.

If you want your kid to read a short word like “pat,” you can encourage him or her to say each sound /p/, /a/, /t/, and then put the individual letters together as “pat.”

As your child decodes more words, it would be easier for them to identify the word and read fluently. Although, teaching your child to decode might be very tedious, but it is best to find creative ways to make word decoding fun to learn. Again, the earlier you do this the easier for your child to learn to decode words.

Look and Say

Studies show that a child tends to learn more with the “look and say” method. With this method, your child learns to recognize sentences or whole words rather than just learn individual sounds.

Here is how the “look and say” method works – you will pronounce a word which your child will look at and in turn repeat the word. You can use flashcards with individual words written on them to help your child pronounce more.

When it comes to this method, you should always use pictures to demonstrate the words to your child. When it comes to this method, it is also recommended to do this in step by step manner. You start by single words, couplets or two-words, phrases, and short sentences.

This method will make your child more vibrant. It will also impact the love of reading in your child.

 

CHAPTER 5: Be Patient!

Your child doesn’t become a great reader in a day. It takes time, effort and love. Teaching your child to learn how to read is not just for “reading sake,” you are nurturing a person whose whole life would be enriched by books.

It is very important that you teach your child to read with love, care, fun, and patience. It is all that matters!

The multi-sensory reading method of reading is the best way to educate the child as it uses the various senses. This will help in better illustration of the meaning of words. It will help in sharpening the intellectual skills of a child. It also helps in understanding the basics.

Flash method is another efficient way of reading which involves showing up the flashcards. One must do this process at a fast rate. It includes the writing of big words on a single paper. The coloring of the words will attract the child interest. It starts with the single words.

Both the methods will use the right hemisphere of the brain for the learning process. This will enable the child to learn without putting extra efforts. Parents must start these two methods at the age of 3 months. The time period from birth to the age of four is the best time to use the potential completely. They even can learn different languages at this age. They have the great potential to learn in comparison to adults.

Native reading is the fundamental and essential way of reading which includes how to read. One can teach native reading while playing or singing the poems or songs. Parents must recite in a clear language while making them read consistently.

Parents should teach the child in such a way which helps their child to learn. We, parents, are the best teachers for our children because we know our child completely. One should not force the child to learn. By applying all the methods effectively, a parent can help their child to develop the various methods of reading. Reading techniques at an early age inculcate the learning competencies in the child. This will use the potential of a child to learn and grasp the things. This will enhance the child’s confidence during the later years of his or her life.