Reading and Books

Children Reading – Five Tips on How to Start Early!


Children reading at an early age might seem like an impossible thing, and I thought the same until I had my children and saw how it can, actually, be quite easy to teach them this invaluable skill.

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In fact, it seems they are teaching themselves even though they are only toddlers! 

I’ve offered them books and reading time as an option to spend time together from very early on. Now they look forward to our story time on the sofa or on the floor (the cushions on the floor have to be arranged just so…welcome to the world of toddlers!) and love to pretend they are reading too. 

We have mastered our first few letters! I am so very happy for them as they proudly demonstrate their acquired knowledge and confidently pretend to know they know the rest!

In this post, you will find out about the principles and the practical tips how to help and guide your child towards learning reading and improving fluency!

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you make any purchase once you click on the affiliate link on this page, I receive a small commission that helps me run this site. 

Thank you for your support! 🙂

 

WHAT ARE THE WAYS TO START CHILDREN READING?

 

There are two main methods of teaching your child how to read:

  1. The Phonics and Phonemic Awareness
  2. The Whole Language Method

It is widely recognized as the first method is the one that teaches reading rather than memorizing word shapes or pictures! 

The second, The Whole Language Method is not as effective. This way a child learns how to recognize pictures and memorizes words and word shapes. When you remove the images, the child is still left with the task of learning how to decipher the word on the page.

The Phonemic Awareness teaches the child step by step approach to learning the letters, syllables and the whole words – with understanding and fluency. 

The English is an alphabetic language and shouldn’t be taught as an ideographic language. 

The example of an ideographic language is Chinese. It has symbols that are learned and memorized. 

The National Reading Panel has reviewed 1.960 studies in teaching reading. They have concluded the following: teaching phonemic awareness significantly improves child’s reading, more than any other system that does not teach phonemic awareness. 

 

THREE TIPS: HOW TO TEACH A CHILD THEIR FIRST LETTERS 🙂

 

  1. The fastest and the easiest way to teach your child how to read is to teach it the Name and the Sound of the letter at the same time.
  • First, the child points to the letter saying the letter name out loud
  • Then, they trace the shape of the letter with their finger while speaking the letter sound.

2. Teach your child, in a very deliberate way; the reading is from LEFT to RIGHT and from TOP to BOTTOM. 

This is a concept that is easy for an adult to understand (because we’ve been already taught it!) but the child doesn’t necessarily immediately follows it. 

3. Your child can start reading with only a handful of letters. They don’t need to learn the whole alphabet first. 

With the concept of blending the last consonant(s), children can start learning how to read with intuitive and logical steps. 

For example, with the word: ‘AT’ – CAT, SAT, MAT

or with the word: ‘AND’ – HAND, BAND, SAND

 

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO START READING EARLY IN LIFE?

 

There are a few reasons why you should at least consider teaching your child to read from when they are a toddler.

Introducing a child to books, helping them discover the love of reading, and nurturing that affection is much easier if it’s started when the child is very young.

They can learn letters and words at their own pace. Learning together develops a deeper bond between the parent and the child. 

Starting learning reading at home removes the atmosphere of pressure under which the reading is taught at schools. 

Basic literacy in one thing but the love of reading, fluency, and understanding of the text from the start, later leads to better academic success, confidence and higher achievements in life. 

Your child should never feel like reading is a chore. And to help you help them avoid this feeling, here are:

 

FIVE TIPS: HOW TO INSPIRE YOUR LITTLE ONE TO ENJOY READING!

 

1. Talk to your child. As much as possible. Babies too love listening to parent’s talk, and this way are getting used to words and sounds in those words.

2. Read to your child, every day. If you have the time and the opportunity, read to them whenever you can. The more often, the better.

3. When reading to your child, use the drama in the story. Use different voices for different characters in the book, for example. 

4. Help your child develop the comprehension of what is being read. When you read a sentence or two, ask a related question. Maybe, offer some help with answering that question, until the child gets used to the concept of explaining what they have just heard in the story. 

5. Encourage your child to pick the book themselves! (My two, love this part especially!)

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

The joy of reading, the way to academic achievement and successful life, indeed starts with learning to read early!

Please, check my No.1 recommended program for teaching your child to read – CHILDREN LEARNING READING. 

I am currently following it and teaching my toddler twins their first letters. It really is amazing what these two have accomplished in a very short period of time! 

I can not recommend Children Learning Reading enough – if you decide to give it a try, there is an offer of a trial period for just $1! Amazing! 

Do let me know, how you have got on with the program; I’d love to know! Thanks!

Happy Reading!

 


18 thoughts on “Children Reading – Five Tips on How to Start Early!

  1. I remember having to read to my babies every night AND during bath times lol. I think readers should be warned there’s a good chance your little one will chose the same story night after night for quite some time, which can get tedious for the adult but think of it as quality time and not a chore.

    I look forward to putting your suggestions into practice once the grand kids come along.
    Thanks for such an informative and interesting post. I look forward to more.

    cheers
    Anna

    1. Dear Anna
      Thank you very much for your comment. Yes, that really is a valid point about small children loving their stories being read over and over and over… I know exactly what you mean – my twins are two and a half and at the moment are enamored with a couple of books and we have to read them a few times a day, every day! Still, I don’t mind if this means they are going to love reading.
      Glad you found the tips useful!
      Have a lovely day.
      Best,
      Alenka

  2. What a great post, I enjoyed reading it and can relate to my own experiences through it

    The tips you include are simple and also very much common sense, but I bet they are often overlooked by most

    1. Dear Dave
      Thanks for the comment and very glad you enjoyed reading the post. Yes, the tips included are very simple, but it’s surprising how many parents and the professionals still rely on the memorizing pictures method. Children Learning Reading is an excellent program that helps parents teach reading in a correct (and a super-fun) way!
      Best,
      Alenka

    1. Dear Michael
      Thank you for the comment. Glad you found the tips in the article useful. Very best of luck with your new baby! How lovely!
      Best,
      Alenka

  3. I have a four year old and we read every night. I have been questioning when it is time to move from pure reading to learning to read. Thanks for the info, I’ll check out the program. Its great to have a recommendation.

    1. Dear Carolyn
      Ah, reading together is one of my favorite activities with my kids! And now, the learning of letters has been so much fun. They keep repeating their letters throughout the day to each other, so sweet. Yes, please do check out Children Learning Reading. It’s a fabulous program, and you can start teaching your child letters and the basics away from the pressure that children are under when they are at school. Good luck, and do let me know how you are getting on with the first letters and words!
      Best,
      Alenka

  4. I love your tips! Especially the one on teaching name and sound of letters at the same time. I think it is so important that they appreciate letter names are mostly different from the sounds they make. I see among my own kids, those who go through this method actually pick up reading skills much more effectively than those who don’t.

    1. Dear Joo
      Thanks for your comment. Very glad you found the tips on how to teach children to read useful. Yes, this method makes so much sense. Children Learning Reading introduces reading to a child in a very effective and, fun way. Once you have a kid that likes to read, everything else will improve too. I passionately believe the literacy is one of the critical elements of a successful life in general!
      Best,
      Alenka

  5. Hello, I’m an educator so I totally agree with this entire post! I think it is essential kids should start familiarizing with the shape and corresponding sound for each letter at an early age, I mean since 2-3 years old. Like you said, making them memorize pictures with words and then removing the picture isn’t always the more efficient way. Great post so important for parents! Have a great day 🙂

    1. Dear Stephie
      Thank you very much for your comment. I am very glad that you as an educator agree with this method of teaching children how to read instead of teaching kids how to memorize pictures/words. My twins are toddlers but have already learned to sing the alphabet and know 3 letters. Every day I go with them through the program Children Learning Reading and they are finding it so much fun and easy to follow. I am so enthusiastic about it, I could shout out from the rooftops how every parent should get Children Learning Reading and teach their kids to read at a very young age!
      Best,
      Alenka

  6. I am not a parent but I found this very interesting. I didn’t realize how important it was to start the education process so early on in life. I feel that I will be better prepared to be a parent now, thank you

    1. Dear AJ
      Thanks for the comment and very glad you found this article interesting even though you are not a parent (yet). I have only started myself researching this since I’ve had my children. Honestly, I don’t even remember how I learned to read – I arrived at school knowing all the letters but don’t remember my parents being too engaged in teaching me the same. However, I wasn’t too bothered about teaching my kids the letters as much as I would love for them to be active and enthusiastic readers. Well, it turns out, the earlier they learn, the more chance there is they’ll love reading later on. Needless to say, I started teaching them letters there and then and they love it! Children Learning Reading program is truly amazing, it has opened my eyes to so many possibilities in the early education of children and my own too!
      Best,
      Alenka

  7. I’m a fan of phonics and phonemic awareness. I picked up on phonics really quickly as a child and as a Special Education teacher, I found it worked best for my students. I recommend that parents use phonics when they are starting out with their child and reading.

    1. Dear Melinda
      Thank you for your comment, and I’m so happy that you as a professional educator recommend this way of teaching reading. I am using it with my toddlers, and I’m astonished at their progress and enthusiasm in learning the letters. Children Learning Reading has transformed the way how I see the teaching of reading. It has now become a fun game – we play every day, and my twins seem delighted at their mastering of letters (only a few at this stage 🙂 )
      Best,
      Alenka

  8. I have a couple toddlers too and I love the idea of arranging the pillows of the couch “just so”. Makes the whole thing a little special :).

    My two guys seem to absorb so much lately that I’ve really been thinking that I need to get more intentional with my efforts to help them learn their letters and small words. Lots of good pointers here- thanks for the info!

    1. Dear Becky
      Thanks for the comment and very glad you found some good information here. Yes, toddlers are amazing with their ability to learn so quickly and eagerly. Because of that enthusiasm, it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to teach them reading too! My twins see it as a game and now play ‘letters’ between themselves. Very sweet and they get very inventive with the letters sounds too!
      Best,
      Alenka

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