How to Teach Reading at Home: 9 Tips for Parents
Reading is a fundamental skill required for success in school. It's the foundation for all the other areas of learning and opens up a world of knowledge and opportunity. But contrary to a common belief, learning to read is not a natural process. It requires explicit instruction and a lot of practice.
As a parent, you play a vital role in your child's reading development. You can support your child's learning at home by taking simple steps to create a print-rich environment and using every opportunity to teach reading. Here are nine tips on how to teach reading at home:
Read aloud to your child every day
There's no better way to teach your child to love reading than by reading aloud to them every day. Not only will they learn how to read, but they'll also develop a love for stories. Reading aloud is also a great way to bond with your child and teach them about the world. And it's never too early to start. Babies can benefit from hearing their parents read aloud. So carve out some time each day to cuddle up with your little one and enjoy a good book together.
Encourage your child to read on their own
In addition to reading aloud to your child, it's also essential to encourage them to read independently. This will help them develop the skills and confidence they need to become independent readers. Start by providing them with plenty of books that interest them. Then create a quiet space for them to read, free from distractions. And finally, give them plenty of time to read each day. If you can, try to set aside at least 30 minutes for reading each day.
Make reading fun
One of the best ways to teach your child to love reading is by making it fun. You can do this in many ways, such as playing literacy games, reading with silly voices, or acting out stories. You can also try using rewards to incentivize reading. For example, you could let your child choose a fun activity to do for every 10 minutes they read. Or you could give them a small prize for every book they finish.
Teach letter sounds
One of the first things your child needs to learn to read is the alphabet. Help them by teaching them the names and sounds of all the letters. A great way to do this is by singing the alphabet song together. You can also try making up simple games, such as taking turns saying a letter and then an object that starts with that sound. As your child becomes more familiar with the letters, you can begin teaching them simple words that start with each sound.
Help your child sound out words
Once your child knows the alphabet, they can start sounding out words. This is an important skill for beginning readers as it helps them figure out unknown words. When you're reading aloud to your child, point to the words as you read them and help them sound out any difficult words. You can also encourage them to sound out words when they're reading independently. If they encounter a word, they don't know, have them say the individual sounds and then try to blend them together to form the word.
Encourage your child to use context clues
In addition to sounding out words, beginning readers can also figure out unknown words by using context clues. This means looking at the words around an unknown word to see if they can provide a clue to its meaning. For example, if your child comes across the word "bark," they might look at the sentences before and after to see if they can figure out what it means. If the sentence says, "The dog's bark was loud," they might be able to figure out that "bark" is the sound a dog makes. You can help your child become a better reader by teaching them how to use context clues when they come across an unfamiliar word.
Help your child with difficult words
Sometimes, your child comes across a word that they just can't figure out, no matter how many context clues they use. When this happens, it's important to help them out. Otherwise, they may feel frustrated and give up on reading altogether. The best way to help your child with a difficult word is to break it down into smaller pieces. For example, if they're having trouble with the word "basketball," you could teach them that the root word is "ball" and that the suffix "-ket" means "a small container."
Foster a love of books
One of the best ways to teach your child to love reading is by fostering a love of books. Start by taking them to the library or bookstore often so they can choose books that interest them. Then create a cozy reading nook in your home where they can curl up with their favorite book. Encourage them to read every day, and make sure to set a good example by reading often.
Learning to read takes time and effort, so it's important to have patience with your child. Remember that everyone learns at their own pace, so don't compare your child to others. If they're having trouble, provide extra help and encouragement. And if they're doing well, be sure to give them plenty of praise.
Teaching your child to read at home doesn't have to be difficult. By using these tips, you can help your child become a confident reader in no time!
At Mrs. Myers' Learning Lab, we specialize in fun, interactive classes for developing readers. Our engaging process leads to students gaining self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and a love for learning that extends far beyond the classroom. Visit us to learn more!