How to Teach Your Child to Read

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Many parents want to begin teaching their child to read, but don’t know where to start.

Yes, children do learn how to read in school. However there are many reasons why you should begin now at 3-5 years old to teach your child to read.

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First, your child enters school prepared and confident. School is so much easier when a child knows what to do.

Another reason why you should teach your child to read before they enter school is that you can understand what their needs are and what they still might need help in.


Reading is a process, so children need time to practice their skills. At school, children don’t have a lot of time to practice one skill before it is time to learn a new skill.

As I was looking for a complete reading curriculum, I found Learn to Read. My children already went through the Reading the Alphabet curriculum and I was impressed by the detailed information and lesson plans. Reading the Alphabet is good for 2-3 year old children who know their letters and letter sounds and are ready for a relaxed approach to read.

Learn to Read is a curriculum for beginning readers (4-6 yrs old) that teaches reading and spelling through common word families and beginning sight words.

Related: Teach Your Preschooler to Read for Free

4 Reasons Why I Chose Learn to Read:

  • Created by a reading specialist & homeschool mom
  • Easy to use
  • Detailed Lesson Plans
  • Variety of Activities

It is important to understand that only learning sight words is not knowing how to read. Sight words help young children gain confidence and begin to understand that words have meanings.

 

However for children to truly to learn how to read, they need to know the sounds that each letter makes. Once your child knows their sounds, they need to start putting the sounds together.

Most teachers begin teaching word families, which are words that have similar endings. For example, the –at family includes the words: cat, hat, mat, sat, etc.

Teaching word families allow children the ability to master one word family at a time, then gain confidence in their reading. As they learn more word families, they increase their reading ability.

The way that Learn to Read is set up it teaches different word families in each unit. It also includes sight word review in each lesson.

  • Unit 1: short a word families & short a review
  • Unit 2: short o word families & short o review
  • Unit 3: short i word families & short i review
  • Unit 4: short u word families & short u review
  • Unit 5: short e word families & short e review
  • Unit 6: short vowel review

Note: Learn to Read is sold in individual units, but if you plan to work with your child through the summer or continuing homeschooling through kindergarten, the bundle is a better deal and saves $12. The bundle pack also contains extra activities for children to reinforce the skills.

How to Use Learn to Read:

Each lesson includes a 5-day lesson plan. Since my twins are in extracurricular activities throughout the week and I follow a more relaxed schedule, we are doing one lesson for 2 weeks.

This also helps to ensure that your child really knows the skill, instead of rushing to the next word family.

How I Use Learn to Read:

1.      Introduce word family of the week

I use my alphabet foam letters to go over the word family. (What does a say? What does t say? Put the letters together. Then say this is the word family that we will practice this week). Learn to Read also includes word cards to practice the word family if you don't have alphabet letters.

2.      Use the cards to make new words (c-a-t says cat), etc. Add the words to pocket chart. (This is an activity to play throughout the week or two that you are going over the lesson.)

3.      Choose two reading activities per day

Each lesson has sight word activities, writing, a short reader and more that focus on the specific word family.

I try to limit activities to no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Also, it is a good idea to switch from a “worksheet” activity to a hands-on activity to keep your child engaged.

In our complete preschool homeschool schedule, I switch from a reading activity to an activity from our current theme.

4.      During your bedtime story or read-aloud time, point out the words in the word family. Say, “Do you see (at)? Point to it. Read the word.

Overall:

Pros:

COMPREHENSIVE! I mean, it has everything that you need to teach, review, and reinforce each word family.

Fun activities- my twins favorites are the

Works for struggling and special needs children- even if your child is in kindergarten or first grade and needs more assistance, Learn to Read is a good review for them.

Cons:

The only thing I don’t like about Learn to Read is there is no complete year plan. I would love a complete day to day schedule for a 9 month plan, or a 12 month plan.

This would make it easy to know exactly what to do for each day. However, since all families are different I understand that it is written to be flexible to incorporate into your day.

This is mostly because I don’t want to create my own.

Reading Tips:

Reading is a daily practice.

Be consistent and patient.

Take your time. Reading is not a rush, if your child is tired, stop.

Additional Resources:

Youtube videos for each word family: Just search “-“ word family

Starfall.com- games for each word family

Learn to Read is a comprehensive and affordable reading curriculum to teach your child to read. It is a simple way to teach your child to read. Even if your child only goes through a few units, they will be more prepared for school.

 

What other questions do you have about teaching your child to read? Leave me a comment below!