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.

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.

I’m going to walk you through 7 fun ways (with resources and links) to help your child read.


#1 Sight Words

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

To find lists of grade appropriate sight words, you can visit sightwords.com and print word lists, flash cards, 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.

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

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

 

#2 Whisper Phone


By far, this is 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.

#3 Reading Games

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 flash cards 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, 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 student to swat the word first, wins.

 

#4 Easy Readers

BOB Books

Reading BOB Books

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.

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

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

#5 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 are:

ABC MOUSE    www.abcmouse.com– 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  www.starfall.com- 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.

 

#6 Go to the Public Library

Library time!

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

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!}.

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.

 

#7 Read to Your Child Daily 

Never underestimate the value of reading to your child every day.  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.

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.

 

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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