Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Tips: Teaching Children to Read Naturally

Easy Inexpensive Ways to Teach Reading

Please don't be stressed that your preschooler isn't reading! Of course, it is wonderful to share books with your child and for them to see you reading. Your enthusiasm for books is contagious and extremely helpful for children to develop a curiosity and love of books. But they may not be ready to focus on the letters, or be interested in flashcards, or expensive phonics' programs. Let them be children, learning with their five senses and movement, and they will learn naturally with some easy inexpensive involvement and encouragement. 

When my grandson went grocery shopping with his mom, he pointed and yelled, "K-R-O-G-E-R. That spells grocery store!" He didn't know the name of the store, but knew those letters symbolized groceries. Be excited when children notice and recognize letters and words. 


  • Begin early reading books to your child. It is never too early to read to a child. Even small babies find pleasure in language. They enjoy being sung and read to, and they like it when you tell them stories and rhymes. They enjoy sitting on your lap or snuggling while sharing the bonding experience. 
  • Read together every day possible.  I recommend three or more books a day. They should be exposed to books that rhyme, beginner's reading books with just a few words on each page, non-fiction or science books with wonderful photos, nursery rhymes, songs, and traditional and modern stories. But the main point is that they are interested in the book, so expose them to a variety and read the same one over and over if that is what they enjoy. Memorization is a beginning step to reading.
  • Share a love of reading. Use animated facial expressions and voice when you read to children. Let them see you reading books, magazines, shopping lists, electronic gadgets, and signs. We are surrounded by words in our environment. Point to signs and make it a game (what letters do you see?). The first words they may recognize are their name, stop from a stop sign, or a sign in front of a store or fast-food place that you frequent.
Children love to participate and experience books by touching,
listening, repeating words, or filling in rhyming words.
  • Buying a phonics program is not necessary.  Buy or make an alphabet book with relevant pictures and emphasize the first letter of words - drawing out the sound as you point to the letter. Keep encouraging your child until they comprehend that letters have sounds (phonics), sounds blended form words, and they recognize some sight words.
  • The 5 Rs of Reading are Relevancy, Repetition, Rhythm, Rhyme and Routine. Go on a Scavenger Hunt and have your child cross off words as they find favorite objects. Borrow library books, buy books cheaply at garage sales, or make your own. Free beginning reading books that children can color are listed on my sidebar. Children love their name, so teach them how to read and write those letters. Teaching the most frequently used letters first, rather than teaching from the letter A through Z, increases relevancy and interest - and words can be learned more quickly (fat, cat, rat, sat, hat, mat...). Establish a reading routine at bedtime and you will cherish the bonding time.
Scavenger Hunt Ideas on hands on as we grow
If you, or your child, are too tired, ill, or stressed, do not make it a power struggle to have reading time. It needs to be enjoyable, relaxing, fun, and of interest to the child. Turn off the gadgets and just enjoy one-on-one focused time with your child, listening and answering their many questions, and extending their comments as you increase their vocabulary. This simple routine time will save you money on therapy when they are teenagers and prefer peer time.
The gift of reading continues throughout a lifetime. Parents, siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents, babysitters and teachers can be a part of wrapping a huge beautiful gift that when opened will unleash a lifetime of learning. Something about everything can be learned from reading. It is inspiring to know of people who were denied an education, but given the opportunity they learned to read in their senior years. The desire to read is phenomenal and is not quenched until achieved.

There is more treasure in books than in all the
pirate's loot on Treasure Island.
~Walt Disney

Would you like a glimpse into Kindergarten? See Kindergarten: Tattle-Tales, Tools, Tactics, Triumphs and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents. Moms of Preschoolers - let a mom and a teacher help save your sanity, one project at a time, including the child development explanations and age appropriate activities in The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn. Both are bestsellers and also available on Barnes & Noble and Kobo. The ebooks are only $3.99.

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  1. I really appreciate you for all the valuable information that you are providing us through your blog.

  2. I am impressed with your desire to teach your children to read at such a young age. All of my children started learning the alphabet in preschool. They loved their experiences. http://www.1stchristianacademy.net/Pre-school.html

  3. I am glad that there is still a school of thought that believes in teaching children to read from an early age. It seems that this has not been a point of emphasis in recent years. My mother began reading with me when I was a small baby, and she also sent me to preschool. I want my children to have the same advantage, so I enrolled them in a per-kindergarten program, even though it is not mandatory.


  4. It has been a long time since I have been to preschool. I wonder how it has changed. Do they do a lot of learning or a lot of play? http://www.littlepeoplescollege.com/

  5. Nowadays, children are into gadgets and other activities that they become 'too busy' to grab a book and read. By establishing practices at a young age, they will get into reading and become fond of it.

  6. My niece is really struggling with learning to read. My sister works all day and so it's hard for her to spend the time to teach her. I think that she should enroll her in preschool so that she'll be at the reading level of the other kids when she goes into elementary school. http://www.nicholasmontessorischool.com

  7. I have such respect for teachers in preschool. We recently put our little one in preschool for the first time and it is absolute chaos in there. When we went to pick her up one day it was insanity in the room, stuff lying around and children yelling, crying, and just having fun.


  8. hi...nice to meet you all..please visit me back..thanks

  9. A large part of children's play also ties in with having happy and healthy reading abilities for kids. There are a lot of resources that one can access to let the children read. However, I have recently found an awesome site http://helpkidsread.net/ that is just awesome to get some good books for kids. Thanks and keep sharing the nice information!!

  10. Your post on “Teaching Children to Read Naturally” is truly very informative dear!! My daughter goes to a Phoenix preschool and all these activities are conducted in their class to teach them. I am really impressed from their teaching methods.

  11. I love these ideas, I think they work perfectly well with young learners. I am actually thinking of using some of them while teaching my own kids

    fun Activities for Kids


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