Are you wondering how to teach your child to read? How about how to teach your child to read in preschool? It is possible to teach your preschooler to read, and it can still be developmentally appropriate.
Let me show you how.
How to Teach Your Child to Read
Thank you Reading Eggs for partnering with me on this post.
There is a lot that goes into teaching reading to preschoolers. I’ve talked about this in my post 5 Tips for Teaching Reading to Preschoolers.
There are specific things that need to happen before formal reading instruction. There are specific things that need to happen during reading instruction. And then to increase fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension there are specific things that need to happen after a child has learned to read.
Hold on a minute…I know what you are thinking. Teaching reading to preschoolers isn’t developmentally appropriate!
But it can be.
And your approach matters. A lot. (I’ll explain this more in a minute).
The truth is, some preschoolers are perfectly capable and in a good developmental place where they can learn to read while in preschool. To teach your child how to read successfully, however, there are four components of pre-reading that absolutely must be incorporated into your preschool literacy instruction.
Teach Your Child to Read Using “The Big Four”
Remember I said that there is a lot that goes into teaching reading? It’s more than just letters and sounds. In fact, there are four components to teaching reading to preschoolers. They are as follows:
There are a few more components to teaching reading for older students, but for preschoolers, this is all you need. They each play a vital role in how to teach your child to read, especially while in preschool.
Oral Language Development – How to Teach Your Child to Read
Very simply defined, oral language is the acquisition of vocabulary that aids in meaningful speech and conversation. Here are some simple ways to develop oral language skills:
- have meaningful and genuine conversations with your child
- model speaking kindly and respectfully
- ask open-ended questions
- sing, chant, and recite rhymes and finger plays
- encourage question asking
- use digital games that teach new vocabulary and encourage interaction via speaking
Print Awareness – How to Teach Your Child to Read
Print awareness refers to a child’s understanding that written language had a direct relationship with oral language. Parents, caregivers and teachers can build and reinforce print awareness skills by the following:
- providing repeated exposure to multiple forms of print (store signs, name tags, grocery lists, calendars, etc).
- pointing our authors and illustrators of a book
- demonstrating how print is organized from top to bottom and left to right by finger tracker
- encourage your child or students to “read the pictures” in a storybook
- invite your child or students to turn pages of the book as you read
- providing exposure to, and talking about environmental print
- reading books with strong repetitive text
Phonological Awareness – How to Teach Your Child to Read
Phonological awareness refers to the ability to recognize the variety of sound units that make up words. The following are example activities that parents, caregivers and teacher to do with their children or students to help develop these skills.
- model the use of complete sentences, and encourage your child or students to do the same
- point out individual words while reading to your child or students
- read books and sing songs with rhyming text
- clap out sounds within your child’s or students’ names
- identify syllables within a word
- name environmental sounds, such as a horn honking, a bird, or rain falling
- encourage manipulation of the initial sound in words, for example, little, jittle, bittle, etc.
Alphabetic Principle – How to Teach Your Child to Read
Most simply put, alphabetic principle refers to how words are made up of sounds that are represented by letters. Ways to help a child develop alphabetic knowledge are endless, but below are a sample of activities that parents, caregivers and teachers can encourage that are beneficial.
- acknowledge and site the letters of the child’s name
- letter sorts by shape, upper or lower case letters, or sounds
- play alphabet matching games
- provide an array of letter manipulatives, such as wooden, magnetic, foam, sponge or stamp letters
- allow the child to write letters with non-tradtional materials, such as tracing letters in sand, shaving cream, or hair gel
Best Tools for Teaching Your Child to Read
You can teach your child to read without investing a ton of money in time, resources, and materials. From many years of teaching preschool, I’ve accumulated a large collection of teaching tools. My garage has two large shelving units dedicated to my teaching resources but desperately asking to be de-cluttered.
However, you can teach your child to read with only a few. You just have to clear away to clutter and choose the very best.
One of my all-time favorite teaching tools is Reading Eggs. From their website:
The program is designed by experts to deliver fast and proven results to prepare your child for school in the best way possible.
Learning to read is made easy and fun as your child makes their way through self‑paced, one‑on‑one lessons that match their ability and feature fun characters, wonderful songs and interactive animations.
Let me address a few of those claims, as I have been using Reading Eggs with my own children for years. (Remember this post where I shared how it was a total game-changer for my oldest?)
- Reading Eggs is an effective program. With a few minutes of daily practice, your child absolutely will make progress. And fast.
- Reading Eggs has an advantage in that it is research-based. The development team is made up of highly experienced teachers, educational writers, animators, and web developers.
- Lessons are self-paced and match your child’s ability, so they can practice the skills they actually need rather than doing the exact same thing as every other student.
- The characters and animation are colorful and inviting, making learning to read fun! Lessons and online books include interactive games and catchy songs. No flashcards and rote memorization here!
Did I mention that as a parent or teacher you will receive detailed reports of your child’s progress? I love that! And those reports aren’t generated via extra testing. They are the results of the fun your child has while “playing” and learning how to read.
Who is Reading Eggs for?
Any child aged 2-13! That’s right! They have a program for developing toddlers and preschoolers all the way to upper elementary aged kids.
Did you know they have a math program, too, called Math Seeds? My own kids also love it!
For a limited time, you can get access for four complete weeks of Reading Eggs and all four of it’s programs for FREE! That’s right, you can try it out for free. Just click the link or image below:
>>> Click here to sign up for FREE! <<<
Looking for More Reading Resources?
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.