Teaching your child to read can be nerve-wracking for a lot of parents.  You want your child to be a successful reader, but you aren’t sure what steps you actually need to take.  So how do you help your child learn to read?

Even as a former reading teacher and instructional coach, the thought of teaching my children to read at home was mortifying.  I’ve helped A LOT of struggling readers and never had any hesitation, but when your own child is ready to read, it feels a lot different!

So, first, take a deep breath!  Now, RELAX.

7 Simple and Easy Ways to Teach Your Child to Read

I’m going to walk you through 7 fun ways (with resources and links) to help your child read. Deep breaths! You’ve got this!

| 1 |
Read to your child daily. 

When this article was originally published, I had this section as the very last tip for helping your child to read. However, I recently moved this tip to number one, because it cannot be underestimated.

Reading to your child every day is the most impactful way you can help them learn to read.  

Not only are you modeling good reading habits and instilling a love for reading in your child, but you are also developing their brains for good listening and good reading.

>>>>>>> FUN TIP! <<<<<<<<

If you don’t have a lot of books to choose from every day, check out the kids’ books subscription box, Reveal Book Box. It’s a really fun way to gather books AND get your kids pumped about reading.

This subscription box is extremely affordable and can be set up according to your child’s interests.

In your Reveal Book Box, your child will receive age-appropriate books, grouped by ages, for kids 0-9 years old.


Your child will look forward to their monthly books and want to jump right into reading them.

Even when children cannot read the words, they can use pictures in picture books to decipher what is happening in the story.  {You can check out my list of must-have children’s books HERE }.

Your child will be exposed to new vocabulary words in books and can use their knowledge and the pictures to learn the words and begin expanding their own word usage.

An oldie, but a goodie of my husband reading to my daughter.

| 2 | 
Use reading apps and websites.

Technology surrounds us.  This can be a good thing when it comes to engaging our children.  

When used correctly, technology can give a significant boost to a child learning to read.  

Some of my personal favorites for teaching a child to read are:

HOOKED ON PHONICS

We have been using Hooked on Phonics for my second child to learn how to read, and it does not disappoint!

Not only is there an app for him to use on his tablet, but each month we get a bundle in the mail.

The bundle as a workbook and a few easy readers that go with the lesson being learned that month.

We can go as quickly or as slowly as we need to, and my son looks forward to getting his newest bundle in the mail.

I can say that this program has help him learn how to read better than any program I saw as a classroom teacher.

Get your first month of Hooked on Phonics for just $1

ABC MOUSE

Paid subscription.  For ages 2-7.  Kids can listen to stories, play games, earn tickets and purchase fun things to add to their “life” on ABC Mouse.  There is often a free month given and then a monthly subscription fee thereafter.

STARFALL 

Some free access and some paid subscription.  

Several fun games, songs and online books for kids to play and listen to.

EASY PEASY ALL-IN-ONE-HOMESCHOOL 

This is an in-depth, free homeschooling website that has a lot of wonderful features.  

THIS LINK will take you to the “learn to read” section, where it has lessons that can be viewed and heard online.

 

| 3 | 
Review sight words to help your child learn to read.

Sight words are easier to begin with and build confidence quickly.  Most kids find them very enjoyable to memorize and repeat.

Sight Word Lists

To find lists of grade-appropriate sight words, you can visit sightwords.com and print word lists, flashcards, games, and more for FREE.  Your child will need to know some level of word sounds to learn sight words, but the point of sight words is to simply memorize the word, nothing more.

Sight Word Books

An awesome resource to use for sight words is BOB Books Sight Words:  Kindergarten.  

Bob Books are authored by a veteran teacher and are the perfect resource for learning to read.  There are several sets, with the first one covering kindergarten sight words.

The Complete Book of Sight Words another great book for sight words. It is highly rated and has 220 words for your kiddo to read through.

It also has crosswords, writing space and more to keep your new reader engaged.

Youtube Videos on Sight Words

Youtube is a great resource when it comes to teaching reading. There are a lot of videos on sight words, but these are a couple of our favorites.

>> This Youtube video is a fun way to practice sight words:

>> Another fun video by Jack Hartman on Youtube

| 4 | 
Use a whisper phone to teach reading.

By far, whisper phones are my favorite tool for teaching children to read.  Whisper phones allow for the reader to use a very quiet voice, yet still hear their reading and articulation.

This is particularly useful when you have more than one child reading in the same room.  Whisper phones add a calming and intimate element to reading and kids will love getting to use these simple, yet amazing tools.

| 5| 
Play reading games that are fun.

Learning to read should be FUN!  Incorporating games into your daily routine will keep things from getting stagnant.  

Here are three simple games that have a quick set up, yet engage readers and encourage reading:

Sight Word Bingo

This is a great way to engage your emergent readers.  The caller calls out the word, and players search for it on their card.  The first one to cover a row of words (or play blackout for a fun challenge!) wins!

Word Hunt

Using flashcards or sticky notes, hide a few sight words around the house.  As your child finds the words, they can read them aloud.  

Sight word flash cards can be found HERE for FREE, just choose the appropriate grade level sight words to get the right PDF to print.

Swat the Word

You will need a fly swatter, sticky notes and probably tape.  Write down a sight words on each sticky note (start with 3 words, and then add on as each word is mastered).  

Stick the words on the wall and then call out a word.  

The goal is to see how quickly your kiddo he can swat the correct word.

| 6 |
Use easy readers to encourage reading and build confidence.

The best kind of books for beginning readers are easy readers.  Since that seems obvious, let’s look a little closer at what that might entail.

The most appropriate easy readers for beginners are going to be books that only use sight words, or very simple words throughout the story.

Beginning readers should not be presented books that are beyond their level and frustrating.  

The point of easy readers is to get your child reading confidently.

7 ways to help your child readBob books
Bob Books are simple and easy for kids to read.

Reading the same, simple book over and over again is okay!  In fact, repetition is a great way to build confidence and encourage them to move on to the next level when ready.

Our favorite easy readers are BOB Books.   A step up from the BOB Books Sight Words:  Kindergarten is the BOB Books Set 1: For Beginning Readers

Bob Books were the exact resource my daughter learned to read with. We continued graduating to the next appropriate set, and her progress continued.

Related Post:  5 of the MOST AWESOME Books to Read to Your Kids!

| 7 | 
Go to the public library.

Your local, public library is an amazing, FREE {or very inexpensive} resource that is often overlooked. 

When you are trying to help your child learn to read, it’s important that they have an array of books to choose from to spark their interest.

It’s also important to make library time part of your routine.

You and your child can read a multitude of books, without having to spend a bunch of money actually buying them {though you might find your favorites that you want to add to your home library!}.

7 ways to help your child learn to readgo to the library
My kids love library time, even as they get older.

Many libraries also offer free storytime classes that engage children and really instill a love for reading.  Some libraries also have computers and/or iPads available for educational use.

Ask your librarian about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program that tracks your child’s complete books and encourages early childhood reading.

You can find a list of public libraries HERE.

 

Final thoughts on ways to teach your child read:

For a parent, there are few prouder moment than when their child begins to read.  

Be patient.  

Be encouraging.  

Be a reading role model for your child.  

They will do great things and will move mountains, just wait and see!

 

Questions?  Comments?  Resources to add?  Drop me a line below!  

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