Reading, a key element of life can be daunting to teach and learn.
Teaching your child is something just as daunting if you don’t have the knowledge of where to start, what’s important to master and how to go about delivering your teaching process.
How to teach your child to read is a post designed to help you map out your reading journey in a step-by-step format using the tried and true Mcguffies readers.
however, this way of teaching to read is the basic phonetic way, and I will include printable flashcards and a step-by-step teaching-to-read gameplan in this post.
knowing some simple steps to teach to read is key to being able to mentally and physically break down the process into bite-size chunks.
Both for your sanity as the teacher, and most importantly for your child’s growth of reading confidence.
(note this post contains affiliate links)
Teaching a child to read is daunting.
- 1, because there is so much to learn.
- 2 because it takes lots and lots of repetition.
In this post I talk about consistency, shorter lesson times, later starting ages and repeating a concept until it is mastered.
THE VERY FIRST STEP YOU NEED TO TAKE IN YOUR TEACHING-TO-READ JOURNEY IS TO READ REGULARLY TO YOUR CHILD.
Reading regularly to your children helps with:
- getting them comfortable with words, sounds and grammar.
- they will pick up inflections in your speech as you read stories, poems and rhymes, and broaden their vocabulary with new words and the basic concept of reading as a source of information and entertainment.
- It strengthens their ability to listen and their focus time.
- It teaches the goal of reading, that it can be done for learning, and for pleasure.
- It is the building block of teaching a child to be inquisitive, through the written word as well the physical world where they are already naturally inquisitive.
Familiarity is an important step when it comes to reading.
You must provide a solid groundwork, or vocabulary, grammar, and knowledge through reading to your child.
WHEN IT COMES TO LEARNING TO READ, CONFIDENCE IS KEY!
When you take a small child who is ready to start the process of learning to read, they are naive to the true task ahead.
As the teacher, you need to be able to approach teaching this new skill with the repetition and consistency it needs while not overwhelming and most importantly crushing the child’s learning spirit.
A bad approach to teaching to read
Demanding the outcomes of your instruction at a set pace and with a daily work quota that isn’t going to give that child CONFIDENCE.
In other words,
Do not set a pace at which you think the child should learn things in advance, instead know what you will teach and allow the child time to master it.
Do not aim for long reading lessons, 10 minutes is ample to teach reading each day.
Creating confidence in a learning child is crucial to have an easier time teaching to read.
You can do this by:
- Not starting too early. whether the learning to read process or formal education in general, learning the signs of when a child is ready to begin formal school lessons is something you should keep in mind. YOU CAN READ THIS POST HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT UNDERSTANDING WHEN YOUR CHILD IS READY>
- By taking it slow and steady. when you do begin the learning to read process or if you want to grow confidence in your child in general, which encourages more of a trying effort from them. Then you can encourage learning at their pace by doing less each lesson and being sure to hold back from structuring their learning too much, encouraging more interest-based learning as the child begins to see the possibilities in education.
Imparting Confidence doesn’t mean every lesson has to be different and fun.
true effective reading is taught through mastery of every dull sound and blend.
confidence is the child realising that decoding letters and their sounds can be easy when the right method is taught.
A child will feel confident during the learning-to-read process when you take the time to:
- teach in very small steps.
- teach for a little time each day
- do not move on until the child has mastered a concept
- encourage them to try with rewards and praise.
- know when to stop a lesson and even go back a step if the child is stumbling through or becomes frustrated
- Never tell the child they aren’t learning quickly enough in order to reach a goal set by you.
replace quotas with recording and timed lesson plans with moving on only at the mastery of a concept.
Lessons that are too long and not done with consistency, will move you at a slower and more tiresome pace toward mastery than if you were to approach the learning-to-read journey with 3 things in mind.
- Consistency of short repetitive lessons daily(10-15 minutes) over long varied lessons.
- working entirely at the child’s pace and not starting them too early.
- know that you will not move on to new concepts until the one you are teaching is mastered and the child shows confidence.
MASTERING A READING CONCEPT
In order to master a concept you want to:
- break it up into smaller concepts if need be.
- stay repetitive with the same concept.
- use dictation to have the child fully think through a sound, a word or a digraph. Use dictation in each step to drill home the concept being taught.
- spend time on a mastered concept as you introduce a new one as a confidence booster.
WHAT I USE TO TEACH MY CHILDREN TO READ
I use the Mcguffey readers.
these are OLD SCHOOL!
but they work!
They are easy to teach, fully comprehensive, and will take you from a child with no idea how to read at all to a very confident reader.
THEY DO MENTION GOD IN SOME OF THE SHORT STORIES.
but what I like about the Mcguffey stories is the lack of silly useless reading that can fill more modern learning-to-read curriculums.
ANOTHER ITEM YOU WILL READ MENTIONED IS THE PHONICS MADE PLAIN FLASHCARDS.
These work alongside Mcguffey’s readers and provide ease when it comes to introducing and mastering new and complex sounds, like EAR, ING, AUGH and so on.
For my very beginner readers, I use these colourful word-to-letter sound association flashcards.
My approach to teaching my child to read
I use the Orton-Gillingham approach (phonographs) when it comes to teaching to read.
I use this, because I believe that it is the best approach for young learners.
It is multi sensory and culmulitive in it’s approach, I like how it creates a correlation between letters and words, in ways that the child can understand early on.
I like how you can control the mastery of each concept toward reading, and take the time to give confidence to your reader, as well as taking the time to understand how your child learns.
STAGE 1: ABCS AND PHONETICS
Essentially to learn to read, your child does not need to know their ABCs by name and recognition.
This means if your child looks at the letter A, and doesn’t say “aye” this is actually perfectly fine.
Instead what you really need to invest your time into and can be done at a very early age is the sound of the letters. (phonetics)
A (the short sound of a) is for apple.
If you teach your children the sounds of the letters, instead of the alphabet as essentially a list of names of letters, you are doing them and yourself a huge favour.
when you begin the process of learning to read, many like to (and so do I) start with small words, like, hat, cat, sat, top, hen and rat.
if your child can look at these words and recognises them, not C.A.T as the letter names, but the letter sounds, then they will realise with great delight, that they can read!
Not only is this a huge confidence booster but it is the true basis of decoding in order to read.
So, if you want to, you can skip the ABCs as names, and get right onto the sounds of the alphabet.
you can do this by using flashcards with the letter, and a corresponding picture that starts with that letter’s sound. CLICK HERE FOR A FREE FLASHCARD BUNDLE YOU CAN PRINT AT HOME
OR HERE IS A NON-AFFILIATE LINK TO THE ONES I USE HERE
you can still sing the alphabet and help them memorize the song, but there is no need to get hung up on having them recognise the letters.
the most important first skill of learning to read is for a child to know the sounds of the letters rather than the names.
with a good flashcard set, the pictures will embed themselves and always be associated with the letter, this helps a child to quickly recognise the sound that letter makes when reading.
HOW TO TEACH THE ALPHABET PHONETICALLY
to begin the process of teaching the sounds of the alphabet to a young child you want to use ways of having the child associate the sound of the letter with an item/image.
this is easiest done with flashcards.
I use a set of flashcards, that make it easy to hold out the card and say the sound of the letter and the item on the card.
A pronounced “ah” is for apple.
B the sound is for bear.
C said as “K” is for cat.
and so on.
the images are clear, colourful and easy for a young mind to quickly associate that sound with the image and it’s starting sound.
this helps them to understand the basic concept that they are learning, as in they realise that the sounds of letters can become a word.
It also helps them to always be able to recall the sound a letter makes, they will think of lion, L and make the “LE” sounds.
“LE” is for lion.
mastering the sounds from a-z is the first step in teaching reading.
STAGE 3 step 1. Introduce blends to teach your child to read.
A blend is a series of letters with at least one vowel and one or two consonants that isn’t a word, but rather has the child master the ability to blend sounds together fluently.
Bla, ble, bli, blo, blu. (these blends are in the eclectic speller of the McGuffey readers)
you can also teach simple words such as:
dog. cat, hat, pot, hen, rat, sat, pat, fat, hit, sit, lit, pot, pup, sip, cap, pat.
I use the phonics-made plain flashcards for the phonetic sounds of the alphabet, the McGuffey primer for the short words, and the eclectic speller for the blend lists.
if you want to purchase these for yourself click here.
You want to spend time each day, on the lists of blends, doing one to three each lesson until they are fluent.
then you can also begin with small words. this is great for boosting a child’s confidence levels when they can see that they are able to read with the knowledge you have been working on so far.
I cannot give a specific timeline of how long it will take you to teach this step.
- it is up to your teaching consistency.
- your child’s learning ability and confidence. (age and readiness for formal learning play a huge role in this. Read this post if you want to know how to tell if your child is ready to start formal learning)
- Teaching to read is usually at the beginning of a child’s school life, so be aware of your role to learn how they learn and think, and set yourself up to adapt to your child as you progress through teaching them.
- every child is different and learning to relax in their timeline is the easiest way to make the learning-to-read journey easier.
STAGE 3 step 2: Teach small words and sentences.
So, you have mastered the short sounds of the alphabet or phonograms. step 1.
now you are reading simple words, and mastering blends. step 2.
you are also beginning to teach the next set of phonograms. which is the different sounds each letter can make. step 3
As you do this, you can begin to work through the McGuffey primer, which works alongside the flashcards and the eclectic speller which you are getting your blends from. step 4
now it just takes time and consistency!
STAGE 3 step 3: Teaching phonemes, graphemes & digraphs.
DON’T BE OVERWHELMED BY THESE FANCY NAMES. YOU KNOW ALREADY WHAT WE ARE ABOUT TO TEACH THESE ARE JUST TECHNICAL TERMS!
A phoneme is the sound or sounds a letter can make. we have already taught phonemes in part, as the short sounds of each letter of the alphabet.
In order to begin reading simple words, your child should have mastered the 1st set of phonemes or short sounds of each letter.
now it is time to introduce the next phonemes in the alphabet.
The letters a, c, e, g, i, o, s, u & y all have multiple sounds to a single letter.
such as c, which can be read as hard c, for CAT and a soft “s” c, for CITY.
these letters and their variations in sound now need to now be mastered.
you can use the phonics-made plain flashcards for this, which have EVERY phoneme, grapheme and digraph!
A grapheme is a symbol used to identify the phoneme.
Simply put. A grapheme is a letter that makes a single sound or more than one sound.
so basically it’s a written letter!
If you ever think someone is getting fancy with all these technical doo dads then don’t worry, I have never used these terms in my teaching to read years.
I placed them in here so you can know the technical terms of what you are teaching.
a digraph is when a grapheme ( one letter) uses two or more letters for a single sound.
They are more complicated graphemes or sets of graphemes for a child to learn.
for example the long e sound.
Which can be just “e“, for ME, or “ee” for LEEK or “ea” for TEAM.
or sounds such as “eight” which makes the long “a” sound.
sounds like, TCH, ING, OUGH, AUGH, ST, TH, WR and so on.
teaching these graphemes is not something you need to master all at once before you can move on with reading.
Rather you can introduce 1 or 2 at a time, usually when the child is learning to read a word with that particular grapheme.
Such as, boy.
You can use a flashcard to have the OY sound. and memorize it.
you can do this all the way through your learning-to-read journey with the Mcguffey reading box set which will do this for you. as well as the phonics made plain flashcards which have every grapheme so you can easily work through memorization of each one with the box set of the Mcguffey readers.
BEING CONSISTENT WHEN TEACHING TO READ IS CRUCIAL!
Each reading lesson should be no longer than 15 minutes.
the most important aspect of teaching to read is not the time put in at each lesson, but rather the consistency of showing up.
shorter lessons, done daily is far more effective than long lessons done 3 times a week.
one of my reading lessons for my 8-year-old who is at the stage of learning the second set of phonograms, reading blends, short words and dictation takes around 10 to 15 minutes.
We do this daily, 5 days per week.
it is minimal, just enough to work their brain and give confidence without being draining.
doing it this way will see results without too much strain and the entire process feels approachable every day, which for the teacher makes a big difference when teaching to read.
ENDING EACH STAGE 1-3 with DICTATION
if your child is not old enough to write alone then you can skip this step, however, when teaching to read this is an important step to encourage reading and writing ability as a whole as well as mastery of the concept.
Dictation is the action of dictating words to be typed, written down, or recorded on tape.
In this case, you will speak the word or blend and have the child write them down.
This is a good way to up the difficulty level in the child’s work, before moving on to the next phase in order to have them truly master the basic concepts of decoding sound and boost their confidence.
this is a simple practice.
using the list of blends and words that you have been working on already you want to give the child a writing book and a pencil and have the sit where they cannot see the words or blends.
then you will say them out loud.
and the child will write them down.
you will stay on a small list of 5-10 items until the child can write them without mistakes.
then you can move on to the next list.
while you are mastering this skill you can also begin incorporating the next skill.
Expanding your reading horizons.
- Confidence. when the child can approach a lesson and quickly and confidently speak, think and remember the rules or sounds or blends you have worked on it is time to introduce something to challenge them.
- you do not need to ditch one lesson to introduce another. a great way to slowly incorporate new information without overwhelming or hurting the child’s grown confidence levels is to continue with the mastered lesson and slowly introduce part of the new lesson.
- when the child begins to recite rather than decode. this means when you can see that your child is just reciting the sounds, blends or words on the page, it may not be time to up the lesson difficulty with a new lesson or at first change up the material in the same level to be sure they are learning to decipher and haven’t just learned how to memorize. so you can introduce a new book at the same level or some new words to learn and see how they go before moving on to a higher lesson difficulty.
If you are using the Mcguffeys reading set, then you will continue to teach the phonograms using the flashcards made plain, and work through the primer and the pictorial primer, which encourages more of a storytelling reading experience.
This will take you from a beginner learner reader who is beginning the sounds and decoding concepts, to a fledging reader.
If you are not using McGuffey’s readers, then you want to teach basic reading words in short sentences. you can use the read-it-yourself series from ladybird books
start with basic sentences and work to use more complex digraphs, and phonograms and introduce grammar, such as periods. comas, and exclamation points! and question marks?
this is done simply by reading
- don’t be overwhelmed by the names that you are teaching
- keep an eye for detail on the page
- read daily
- use a reading program/curriculum of your choice to help you maintain consistency with the learning material
it is now you can begin to introduce new books to your child, keep them simple.
A very basic reader, no matter the child’s age, rather work with the child’s reading level.
this is important to add some variation to your child’s decoding skills and vocabulary.
A visit to the library.
or slowly building up a few readers you know you can use again for another child in your home.
creating a collection is something you should slowly work at to help your child have more reading opportunities from different sources.
continuing the learning-to-read process
once you have finished the primer it is time to begin the first reader and begin more complex spelling words in the eclectic speller.
You now just want to master each and every lesson. Introduce the flashcards with the Dihraphs as you come across them
Practice dictation with each lesson’s spelling words.
have your child choose a book, with at least 20 pages, and read for 20 minutes each day.
these can be books that the child enjoys reading, including short abridged novels.
these will challenge you, child!
the books will have a vast vocabulary.
They will get a lot of words wrong, but I like to have my reader accomplish 20 minutes of reading per day, of a book that challenges him.
You can read several pages to them before they read, to acquaint them with the story and language of the book.
Or you can throw them in the deep end and have them just spend 20 minutes quietly reading.
McGuffey’s readers have levels 1,2,3 and 4 readers, which takes them right from a beginning reading of sounds and blends to great poets and writers of the English language throughout the centuries.
To continue your reader’s progress, simply work through these readers at their pace.
Use the eclectic speller to master complex spelling.
If you aren’t using McGuffey’s readers, then you want to encourage lots of reading from levels they are comfortable with to keep up their confidence.
As well as reading levels above their comfort zone to continue to grow their ability and immerse them in a new language.
the books I work through to teach my children to read are the Mcguffey readers concepts:
You buy them in a box set here.
or you can buy them separately.
How to fine-tune a beginner reader
As you are working your way through the teaching-to-read process daily you want to begin to fine-tune your reader.
At first, you will focus on only very basic sounds, and as you start reading basic words and blends, you want to boost your child’s confidence so they enjoy the learning-to-read process.
You do not want to be pulling them up for every mistake as they learn the phonetic sounds of the alphabet.
Instead, retention and gentle correction are key.
Once they are starting to establish a learning rhythm, and you are teaching short sentences, words and grammar.
you want to begin the process of fine-tuning.
Don’t let mistakes slip by when they are sounding out.
Gently correct every mispronounced sound and syllable.
make them pause at commas, stop at periods, and exclaim with enthusiasm at exclamation marks.
A question mark should be inflected in the tone of the child as they read.
You want to make sure that your child’s reading experience is thorough.
This is why shorter lessons that are done very consistently is one of the most important aspects of teaching to read.
Your job is to gently mould their decoding skills into a reader who can inflect emotion, questions and details into their reading process with ease.
How to encourage reading
Not every child is keen to read.
For some children, the learning process is a breeze and they love to pick up books and read them which is an encouraging thing to see.
Others aren’t so keen. There is nothing wrong with them, it’s just they have different interests or different thought processes which make the learning process slower, and they don’t take quickly to reading for pleasure once they can read.
It is a good idea to still encourage either child to read.
You can set small goals with them and set timers for how long they have to read each day.
To encourage reading, create a reward system, or include reading as a way to gain pocket money or as a weekly treat.
The books you choose should be a mix of levels, include books they love to read no matter the reading level, and also take time to include ones that challenge your reader.
It’s these books you will need to spend a little more time encouraging them to read, but the payoff when it comes to their skills and knowledge is wonderful to see.
My 10-year-old has a 20-minute reading per day quota. He is a fledgling reader, so he stumbles on many larger and unfamiliar words, but the more he reads, the more varied his reading vocabulary becomes.
He must read a book I choose or that we both agree on, me for the challenge and he for the interest base( at the moment it is around the world in 80 days)
He reads for 20 minutes every day, and works his way through the book, he gets many words wrong, so he finds it a little frustrating, but even he can see how far he has come since I have implemented this system.
I ask him each day about what he read and we talk about the storyline of the book.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD A CHILD BE READING?
There is no definite answer to this.
I do not believe a child should be pushed into learning to read, simply because they have turned 5 or 6 years old.
There are many factors when it comes to a child’s readiness to learn such a complicated skill.
Gender. Boys, will 9 times out of ten learn a little later than girls. they are much more interested in play and creating with their hands, and don’t care for memorizing and daily repetition.
You do not have to work against this when they are very young, 5-7, instead you can encourage other skills, and interest-based learning before you begin the more tedious work of learning to read.
How much have you read to your children? reading aloud to your children can greatly affect their ability to use and read the language, to inflect emotion in their language and think and absorb as they listen, and eventually read themselves.
If you find your child is really struggling with the early process of learning to read, then I suggest you calm down your efforts and spend that time reading to your child instead.
Read books, above their understanding level as well as ones they enjoy.
Include books with rhymes and poems as well to help their language skills.
Readiness to start formal learning. children do not have an on-switch when it comes to beginning the learning process. A child is ready to learn when they are able and taught to:
Think through basic life skill problems,
And are ready to sit at a table, and listen and think as you help them master basic concepts of reading, maths and writing.
for more on this topic read this post.
As for what age a child should be reading, from the age of 6 to 10, is a good guideline. Some children learn early, others don’t.
you shouldn’t be worried, rather you should continue to teach consistently and take time to read to your child.
READING BY LEVEL BOOK LISTS
I wanted to provide you with book lists that will help your child reach their full reading potential.
these book list all has links where you can buy them for the best price if you want to grow a varied reading library or another great FREE way is to hit the library.
Some of these books do have a Christian stance, especially the novels in the confident reader’s book lists, however, I have also picked them as they are mostly all based on true historical events, have excellent moral characters, and a wide range of vocabulary.
(NOTE: SOME OF THESE LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS)
READ ALOUD BOOKS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
These are all great read-aloud’s, with quality artwork, absorbing stories and fun rhymes and poems to get your children ready for the sound-to-word association.
These are great from the age of 1 to 5 years.
Encourage your children to memorize some of the rhymes and create singing tunes with them.
- The Beatrix Potter box set. one combined volume: https://amzn.to/3DlHYCB
- Box set of 23 separate books in the Beatrix Potter series: https://amzn.to/3xjLiKK
- Classic nursery rhymes: https://amzn.to/3ShjIWL
- Appley Dapply’s Nursery rhymes by Beatrix potter https://amzn.to/3qAxQOK
FOR BEGINNER READERS
- Usborne reading collection level 1-3 https://amzn.to/3LdnJJu
- Level 1 science Usborne series. https://amzn.to/3BdSYiG
- Level 1 readers, Usborne nature, https://amzn.to/3DmKtEO
- Level 1-3 readers, Usborne history set: https://amzn.to/3RVYo8Q
- Read it yourself level 1 the tale of Peter rabbit https://amzn.to/3QFAUnB
- Read it yourself series level 1 the three billy goats gruff https://amzn.to/3QDbEyg
Books to look for that beginner readers love:
- the read-it-yourself series from ladybird books.
- The well-loved tales series.
- Usborne series from levels 1-4.
A fledgling reader is a reader who no longer finds the level 1 readers challenging enough, but who will still struggle with a few big or varied words they aren’t familiar with.
they can read basic sentences alone and are fairly able to sound out most words alone.
While a fledgling reader will struggle at first with some of these books, the idea is to grow your child into them, both with the ability to concentrate and read, and to grow their reading vocabulary.
The Charles Dickens box set, for children includes Oliver twist, great expectations, a tale of two cities, and a Christmas carol. (fledgling reader)
Stuart little E.B White (fledging reader)
the secret of the hidden scrolls M. J. Thomas (ages 6-9 fledging reader)
the boxcar children series (books 1-4) Gertrude chandler warner (fledgling reader)
the magic treehouse series Mary Pope Osborne (fledgling reader)
BOOKS FOR CONFIDENT FLEDGING READERS AND CONFIDENT READERS
- A confident fledgling is one who can read simple books, and even small abridged novels with relative ease, perhaps only stumbling on complicated words you can introduce these books to again step them up to becoming a true confident reader.
- A confident reader is one who reads confidently, without much help at all and who is able to be challenged by the depth of the English language used in the books.
A child of any age can read these books from a confident young reader to a teenager.
They are selected for their great storylines, and their vocabulary which will stretch your child’s horizons and the historic novels are a great way to learn and enjoy a good story at the same time.
Oliver twist Charles dickens (confident reader)
little women Louisa may Alcott (confident reader)
The swiss family Robinson Johann de Wyss. (confident reader)
the secret garden Frances Hodgson Burnette (confident reader)
the little pilgrim’s progress John Bunyan (confident fledgling)
war on a Sunday morning Teresa R Funke (confident fledgling)
little house on the prairie series. Laura Ingalls Wilder (confident fledgling)
the borrowers. Mary Norton. (confident fledgling reader)
around the world in 80 days. Jules Verne (the abridged version, fledging reader, the classic a fairly confident reader)
The My story historic Novel series is A set of my favourite books growing up, great for confident readers)
A Viking quest series Lois Walfrid Johnson (another absolute favourite, Confident reader)
flight of the fugitives Dave and Neta Jackson (confident fledgling)
Trial by poison Dave and Neta Jackson (confident fledgling)
the hidden jewel Dave and Neta Jackson (confident fledgling)
kidnapped by river rats Dave and Neta Jackson (confident fledgling)
Mao’s last dancer Li Cunxin (confident reader)
HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR TEACHING TO READ JOURNEY
Planning something like teaching to read should be without time constraints and 100 % adaptable.
What you want to set up for your child is a ladder of learning, each wrung a step towards reading but taken at their own pace.
This post itself is a way for you to create a plan.
But I also have the four stages and ways to deconstruct each stage into a daily lesson plan you can repeat and use to help you create a planning outline you can adapt to yourself HERE.
- Reading aloud as a daily habit
- Teaching the letter sounds.
- Teaching small words and blends.
- Teaching the next set of sounds
- More complex words and full sentences.
- grammar and punctuation.
- adding more extensive reading
I have a four-stage reading plan you can print or download and use as a guide.
CURRICULUMS FOR TEACHING TO READ
I use the Mcguffey series.
however, there are many great reading programs out there!
I will just give you a list, and you can check them out yourself!
- teach to read in 100 easy lessons
- sonlight reading
- the good and the beautiful from level k, right through to a confident reader
- all about reading
- Logic of English
- reading eggs
- hooked on phonics
TEACHING TO READ TIPS TO SUCCESS
so, you are moving along the plan at your child’s pace, and you are now getting used to the flow of your daily lessons.
Your job as the teacher is to create time to learn, deliver the learning matter and listen to your learner.
1. Pay close attention to how they say their sounds.
they should be clear and easy to understand, and do not get in the habit of adding an “ah” sound to your letters.
For example. The “b” sound should be just “b” as in big, or bear or bob.
Do not say “BAH” and this goes for all your letters. Just say the EXACT sound the letter makes.
Don’t say “cah” for ‘c’ or “LEH” for ‘l’ say “c” and “l” with the back of your throat for the c, and movement of your tongue for the “l”
this is important for you to demonstrate, and for the student to mimic.
2. Stage two stumbling
when you are finished learning the forest set of phonemes, you can begin reading small words, this is exciting for the child.
If your child however stumbles on certain sounds and does not recognise the sounds with the letter, spend some more time on those flashcards as you either stop the stage two reading of small words or combine the two for a time.
3. MAKE SURE THEY READ PUNCTUATION.
As soon as you begin reading small sentences you are going to come across punctuation.
Even if just a full stop at the end of a sentence.
Teach them what this is, and how to react to it.
For flashcards with basic punctuation, you can download the reading bundle here.
4. USE DICTATION AS A WAY TO FULLY MASTER NEW SOUNDS, WORDS AND GRAMMAR LEARNED .
From writing the alphabet, down in random order, as you say it to them.
Writing simple words in list form each week until they are mastered.
Copying the sentences and short stories in the books they read.
You can use dictation (giving them the word orally) and copy work (the child copies from a book) to have the child master any given concept.
You want to use these tools to help your child be able to take information that you are helping them learn, that they read with you out loud, with your instructor and take it to the page with their own ability to recall what they have learned.
You can begin this process by starting with copy work.
Have the child copy a small list of words, (no more than 10 for young children) and they should stay copying those words from either a book or a list you write for them until they can write them with you saying the word aloud with no visual aid for the child.
You can do this with words, blends, digraphs, letters and full sentences and poems.
A final word
Reading is important, it helps us function in society, helps us to keep the written word, and we can learn a great deal from reading good literature.
Reading, however, is not easy for everyone.
And not everyone thrives from learning from reading.
I think there is a point that everyone should aspire to reach when it comes to their ability to read and comprehend words on the page into useful information.
For some this process, the bare necessity is as much as they ever desire to achieve.
This is fine, I say this as a person who greatly enjoys reading, and who was reading novels at an early age.
Will I push my children to read as I did?
Did reading help me learn?
Yes, but there are other ways to get involved with good literature or to learn in general.
Listening to books read aloud by you and audible or wherever you get your audiobooks.
Even then, while it can’t hurt to have books playing in your home, you don’t have to stress over reaching a quota.
I think all children should learn to read and read until they are confident. Help them achieve 20 minutes of reading a day, and work through some novels, even if it takes months to read.
you do not need to create lengthy book lists and set unrealistic goals for a child who does not thrive when it comes to reading to learn. (dyslexia is more common than you think if you want more information on dyslexia and how it affects reading click here.)
I must NOTE.
I am talking of children who have difficulty learning to read, who may struggle with the learning process and then who can become confident but don’t enjoy the practice.
I am not speaking of children who choose video games over reading, even though they are able to read and learn to read just fine.
In a world where reading a book is too slow to be entertaining, you need to ensure that you do push your children to read through a book list, limit your home’s screen time and encourage as much reading as possible.
In my home, we have daily read-aloud time.
We listen to audiobooks in the car and at home.
My oldest reader works his way through short novels and my other boys are encouraged to spend time reading books before bed.
Another thing I do is read myself.
Not only is this great for my mind, both to relax with a good novel, or to learn something new with a more educational title.
I also do this so my children can see that I too read.
That reading is a pastime that should never be replaced by screens and quick entertainment.
Reading can be a true source of joy and learning.
And so can teaching it, using the four stages, and the knowledge that it is never too late, in fact in most cases it is started far too early.
Keep yourself relaxed, rely on consistency and confidence building and you will GET THERE!