Inside: Follow these five steps to teach a child to read. Helpful for parents, homeschoolers, and teachers that are teaching beginning readers. This post contains affiliate links.
This is the Cliff’s Notes version of the things I learn from trial and error, helpful colleagues, and professional books as I taught those kids to read:
Step 1: Pre-Reading Behaviors
- awareness of print on signs, labels, packaging, etc. Kids can know that a sign says “McDonald’s” before they can actually read the letters
- sound manipulation games, think “Hannah Hannah banana, banana-fana, fo-fana, me-my-mo-mana, Hannah”
- awareness of rhyme
- concepts about print – Does the child know which way is up on a book? Do they have a sense that the pages turn one at a time and always in the same direction? As you read, point to the words so they can see you are reading from left to right.
- sound discrimination – “Max is eating a muffin. Mmmmax…mmmmuffin…. those start with the same sound.”
Step 2: Learning Letters
Step 3: Blending Sounds
- Using a 2 or 3-letter word, point to the letters and say each sound.
- Then start back at the beginning of the word. Slide your finger slowly under the letters as you stretch the sounds and put them together.
- Have the child try to do it, too.
Step 4: Start Introducing Sight Words
Step 5: Work With Word Families
Step 6: Phonics Skills
- asking questions about what they just read.
- encouraging them to reread if they didn’t understand what the author was saying.
- demonstrate your own reactions to the text
For more on how to teach a child to read: