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Help Your Child Learn How to Read

Updated on June 14, 2012
Reading with your child is a great way to bond.
Reading with your child is a great way to bond. | Source

Learning How to Read Is Important

When I was growing up my mom always emphasized the importance of reading – which was fine with me since I was “the reader” in the family. Mom told me and my brother if we could read we could do anything. How true is that?! She is right of course. If I can read I can learn how to fix a computer, how to perform brain surgery and how to prepare a mouthwatering roast. The information is out there to learn, to be read. I was taught early on that reading is one of the most important skills I will ever learn. And I have passed this life lesson on to my own children. I often catch myself telling them if they can read they can do anything. Oh goodness – I sound like my mother! Eh, I suppose it’s not all that bad.

Below are some ways to help your child learn to read. Be ready to ignite the passion for reading in your little one.

Let Me Hear From You!

Do You Read to Your Child Daily or Encourage Your Child to Read Daily?

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Dont Let the Pigeon Touch the Books video

Getting Ready to Read

5 Things Kindergartners Do When They Read a Book

  1. Think about the story
  2. Check the picture
  3. Go back and get your mouth ready
  4. Choose a book that is just right
  5. Determine "does that make sense, would we say it that way?"

The Earlier You Teach Reading Basics The Better for Your Child

Start Early – begin reading to your baby as soon as he or she is born. Baby will enjoy hearing your voice and eventually playing with, looking at, and teething on books. Let baby see you reading the book from front to back, left to right so she recognizes the proper way to look at and flip through a book. I attended some baby showers where the mom-to-be asked for new or gently used books to build her baby’s home library instead of or alongside the traditional baby shower gifts.

In Preschool introduce letters and sounds – you’ll be amazed what a kid can pick up! Read and recite nursery rhymes and continue to show your child that we read front to back and left to right by using your finger to point to each word. Let your preschooler read the words ‘the’, ‘and’, and ‘a’ with you. These can be picked up rather easily and it gets your little one involved in the reading process. (Not to mention these are very frequently occurring words your little one will need to recognize anyways.)

In kindergarten you can ask your child to retell a story, to point out the parts of a book such as the cover, the back and the title and title page and how to recognize where the author’s name might be. If you read a book with rhymes be sure to point out that the words rhyme and why (both words sound like twins at the end – spoon and moon say oooooooon).

Practice recognizing upper and lower case letters and their partners (A and a, B and b, C and c). Make flashcards of the alphabet, point to letters in books, find signs with letters and ask what the first letter is, draw mini-posters of a letter of the week (Look Ann, this week’s letter is Kk, I made a paper of it to hang beside your toybox.)

Fry Frequently Used Word List 1-100

the of and a to in is you that it he was for on are as with his they I at be this have from or one had by word but not what all were we when your can said there use an each which she do how their if will up other about out many then them these so some her would make like him into time has look two more write go see number no way could people my than first water been call who oil now find long down day did get come made many part over

If You Give a Pig a Pancake Reading

Free Reading Resources Online and In the Home

There are many programs you can use to help your child learn how to read. My local school district uses Starfall which is free and Tumble Books which requires a login and password. It does cost but if your school purchases an account parents can get free access.

Participate in library programs – they’re FREE! What else could you ask for?! You get to borrow books free of charge (unless you return them late) and you can enroll your child in a reading program that usually includes stories, a small craft, and a little snack.

Set Example – my daughter didn’t sit and read until she SAW me do it. I would read in bed every night to help me fall asleep – therefore my kids never saw me reading. One day I was bored outta my mind and I KNEW I was at a really good part of my book. I brought the book to the living room and read while everyone else watched television or played video games. Next thing I knew I had two of the three little girls curled up on the couch beside me READING! The next day I tried it again and guess who was on the couch with me again! Now I catch my kids sitting all over the house with their noses in a book.

Make it into a Habit – Set aside 20 minutes each night where the entire family has to sit and read – a quiet time. Mom can read the newspaper or grocery ads, Dad can read a baseball magazine, and children can read storybooks or have storybooks read to them.

Little Giraffes Kindergarten Teaching Ideas - is a free web site full of reading resources and teaching ideas. Each week my daughter's kindergarten teacher sent home reading lists generated from this site. She created the reading pages using the Sentence Practice option. Each reading list focused on a different set of vocabulary words using.


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    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi there rebecca, agreed! You can never have too many kids books and you can never read them to your children too often.

      jpcmc, 3 months? WOW! Is it that system you see advertised on tv that teaches really young kids to read? I always wondered how and if that worked. By time I saw the adverts my kids were already in school and reading.

      Hi RosePetals, Thanks for your kind words and you vote and share =)

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image


      6 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Great hub for all new parents out there love the videos to help with the illistations. great job on the article. Voted up! pushed all the buttons on this one !!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Our daughter started out with a system when she is just 3 months old. Now that she is one, we notice how keen she is on letter recognition and sounds. She is even familiar with consonant blends. That's a big leap compared to what i was probably doing at her age.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Good job, Ardie. Lots of good kiddie books and having them read out loud is what it takes!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi 34th =)

      Aah you bring up more good points. Don't ever threaten to be quiet! If you have something good to say then I am all for it being said in the comments section of my Hub =) Your line about people getting jailed or killed for our right to vote hits home. I heard something similar when I served jury duty this past week. The woman calling names made the announcement that she knows many of us will go home and change our voting status so we dont get called again. But she wanted to remind us that so many people died and will die to protect our right to vote. I was glad she made the remark because I know several people personally who don't vote just to keep from serving jury duty. It isnt that bad!!

    • 34th Bomb Group profile image

      34th Bomb Group 

      6 years ago from Western New York State

      More accurately most voter's reading comprehension skills are at the 8th grade level. This doesn't mean they're dumbbells. We have to target that group - hoping most will understand what we're trying to get across. My chief concern is the percentage of eligible voters who don't bother to exercise this most important right. A lot of people were jailed and even died for the right to vote.

      I'll be quiet now. ;-) !!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi 34th Bomb Group, that’s actually VERY scary to think about. Hopefully the cognitive abilities are still above an 8th grade reasoning level even if the reading abilities are not. Otherwise…God help us.

      Hello Stephanie, thanks for your great comment. I agree – we are only helping our children and grandchildren by teaching them this important skill. They will always have to read, even if its just directions or a recipe.

      Hello Made, thank you for commenting. I found my kids all approached reading differently and it was slightly frustrating. One read before kindergarten, one fought reading tooth and nail, and the third was right in the middle somewhere. Luckily all three have come around now that they’re in school all day and I just know your daughter will too. Happy reading!

      Hello chef-de-jour, even your name makes me hungry! You make an excellent point. Watch your kids learn and master reading and writing…it’s an amazing journey. They’ll all learn it differently but in the end most will end up in the same place :)

    • 34th Bomb Group profile image

      34th Bomb Group 

      6 years ago from Western New York State

      Ah Chef du Jour! Very well said!

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 

      6 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      Thank you ardie. Read read and read some more! It's so interesting to watch your children start to read - the way they put the letters together phonetically, joining them up in speech, overcoming the tricky combinations before finally wrapping up their first word, sentence, paragraph of proper writing. A joy.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 

      6 years ago from Finland

      These are some very good tips. I read to my children regularly and they love listening. Some books have very good pictures that you can talk about with your children too. My 5 year old reads books all the time. He learned his first letter "W" before he was 2 years old. My daughter has not the same interest in reading, but she knows all the letters now as a 4 year old. This is a very good hub that all parents should read. Great job, Ardie!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      6 years ago from USA

      What great tips for parents and grandparents of young children! Helping our children to lean to read and to learn to love reading is one of the most important things we can do for them! Great tips and resources! Voted up!

    • 34th Bomb Group profile image

      34th Bomb Group 

      6 years ago from Western New York State

      Anyone with any political experience knows that your average voter reads at less than an 8th grade level. Note that those are the ones that DO vote. The others? God help them. God help US!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hello Winterfate, it’s great to see you :) Im glad you liked this one and voted it all kinds of things – even the things that weren’t there heheh I say we send a petition around to get HubPages to add adorable to the list.

      Hi Wilbart :) I appreciate the read and the feedback!

      Hi TToombso! Great going getting your little one prepared ahead of time instead of waiting for the school to teach him everything. He will have a better start and a more comfortable adjustment period :)

      Haunty :) Hiya friend! So uh, who is Ann? Hahah

      Tim :) glad to see you here. You always have the sweetest things to say and the best points to make. I can only imagine a person’s discomfort when he or she is required to read something for a living and yet that person just doesn’t have the skills necessary. When I worked at the library in town a woman would volunteer her time to teach adults to read (she’d use our meeting room). I was amazed at the number of adults who would come to her for help. It was sad and beautiful at the same time. Sad that these adults weren’t already taught this important skill and beautiful that someone volunteered her time and the adults swallowed their pride to come to the classes.

      Hi elfprincess, you’re getting your son off to a great start by introducing him to literacy early :) I’m always amazed at how young a kid can learn the basics for reading if he is given the opportunity. Good luck with the web site. Its one of my faves!!

      Hello ChristinS, yay for you and your kids! You were taught something important and you are passing that life lesson on to your own children :) As parents it is our job to pass on the good things to our kids – like a love for reading!!

      Hi chamilj, thanks for taking the time to read and comment :)

      Hi Marc Rohde, I love that you encourage your 8 year old to read to his siblings! It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Mom and dad get a break, the oldest child gets reading practice and the little siblings get a bonding experience with the 8 year old. Thanks for adding to this Hub – I hope other parents read what you do and use it at home.

      Hello Mark B :) thanks so much for reading and commenting. I hope your feeling is right and this Hub will promote reading support for kids at home.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a fantastic hub you have masterfully pieced together, I do like the tips advice you have shared and I do feel this will promote the extra home learning from the parents.

    • Marc Rohde profile image

      Marc Rohde 

      6 years ago from Racine, WI

      Great tips! We not only encourage the kids to read and they have made it a bed time habit (even the 2 year old) but we have also been encouraging out 8 year old to read to his younger siblings since he was in kindergarten. We figured if it was good to have mom and dad read to the kids it might be better to have the older read to the younger as well--it off sets all the bad habits he teachs them with one great habit. :)

      This strengthes his skill and we saw everybodys interests in books raise as we encouraged this.

    • chamilj profile image


      6 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Very useful and important tips. Thanks sharing!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 

      6 years ago from Midwest

      voted up useful, interesting etc. - great hub with great tips and resources. I think so many people don't value reading and learning enough. I was taught at a young age if you can read well, you can do anything. That lesson stuck with me and I was an avid reader and so are both of my children now. My 3 year old is just getting started but he already loves his daily books :)

    • elfprincess profile image

      Arwen Hann 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Great hub. My pre-schooler loves books and is beginning to recognize words now so I am always looking for ways to help him. Will definitely check out the link in your hub.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      This is really awesome and beyond Ardie. Any parent with a desire to see their children both excel and accelerate in life should READ this article. Very well written, highly informative, fantastic helpful hints and sources are available here. Take notice . . .

      Reflecting on the importance I remember when an employee would just stand there looking at a manual, which in the automotive industry is writ at a 14 grade level in many cases. It took me a bit to finally realize they simply could not read passed the Xth grade level, not all, just those special cases. And, those who spoke a different language getting frustrated. Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to impose, just pointing out how important reading is later in life. AND, more importantly how we who do read can influence and encourage another to learn.

    • Haunty profile image


      6 years ago from Hungary

      Top-notch Hub, Ardie! Is it time to teach Ann how to read?

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      This was great...and timely. We have a little guy that will be starting kindergarden in the fall and we've increased our at home activities to get him ready. Reading more is on our list. Voted up and more. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A must read hub for parents, and very informative hub of teaching children how to read. Keep up the good work!

    • Winterfate profile image

      Darrin Perez 

      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Voted up and adorable...

      Wait, adorable isn't in that list... :(

      Pity. Still, voted up and awesome. ;)

      Hope you're doing great Ardie! Great writing as always! I'm sure it'll be of great use to parents all around!


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