There’s a lot to know about learning to read. With pre-reading skills beginning basically at birth and learning to read extending through the second grade. . . it’s clear that learning to read is complex, and sometimes difficult.
But here’s the thing, even though it takes several years to learn to read, it doesn’t have to be stressful. This is especially true in the early childhood years. Here’s what preschool teachers want parents to know about learning to read.
Before I had my own kids, when I was teaching elementary school, I thought I would naturally have kids who loved reading. Even when I was teaching college, when my oldest was just a baby, I was confident he would turn into an avid reader. I creatively and thoughtfully planned his preschool days giving him all the right proportions of all the components of reading, just as I was teaching my college students to do.
He was a happy child in preschool, and eager to learn. He easily recited his letter names and sounds. He loved having books read to him, and I would often find him reading books in his bed after I’d turned the lights out. At four years old, this kid was an avid reader, even though he wasn’t “technically” reading.
So you can imagine my surprise when he went off to kindergarten and started to struggle with learning to read. We worked hard that kinder year, doing extra homework (which was NOT the solution, by the way), trying to help him become more comfortable and fluent in reading. That plan failed.
By December of his kinder year, I’d pushed my son into despising reading. I slumped low, as I knew I was failing my son.
The Game Changer
I knew that something had to change. I knew that having my son hate reading meant that I (and his teacher) were doing it wrong. Thankfully, I found Reading Eggs, a supplemental, online reading program for children ages 4-8 years.
Thank you Reading Eggs for sponsoring this post!
Now, here’s the thing . . . I discovered, and subscribed to, Reading Eggs back in 2014, when my son was struggling with reading. So while this post may be sponsored, this is a program I absolutely believe in because it was a game changer for my son!
It made my son love reading again. It made my daughter want to learn to read. It brought an interest in reading to my current preschooler.
Reason why? Its designers understand how children learn to read, that it’s about more than just letters. With years and years of combined training in teaching kids how to read, his teacher and I were overlooking some of the most important aspects of the process. Reading Eggs got it right, and all in a fun and appealing way to children.
What Parents Need to Know About Learning to Read
Learning to Read is Complex
There’s a lot that goes on in the brain when learning to read. While learning to read is a natural process for some children, it is laborious for others because learning to read is an intricate process. Three different parts of the brain are activated when reading a single word, so imagine how hard the brain must work when reading full sentences and paragraphs, or pages and books! (Read more about that here).
Reading Eggs understands that learning to read is complex, and their program reflects skill practice in many facets of reading, not just letters and decoding.
Children Learn to Read at Different Rates
Some children learn to read at 4-years-old. Some children learn to read at 7-years-old. Nearly all children learn to read somewhere in between. My oldest had all the phonetic tools he needed in learning to read. He had strong phonemic awareness skills, but reading was still slow and laborious for him.
Until I got him into Reading Eggs. You see, Reading Eggs first has your child do a simple and quick test (we’re talking maybe three minutes) to get a general assessment of what skills your child already has in reading. Then, it places your child in the appropriate place in the program.
But what I love most about the placement is that I, the parent, can adjust it. So, if I felt like my son needed another go at a particular lesson, or if my son accidentally did a few lessons on his sister’s account, I can reset the placement. This way, the skill level always matches exactly what my child needs in the moment.
Children Who Come From Literacy-Rich Homes Can Still Struggle
A literacy-rich home is one where reading is prominent. Books line shelves and are well used. Language is rich and parents and children have meaningful conversations. In literacy-rich homes, children see their parents reading and writing, and are encouraged and praised for doing so themselves.
My son comes from a home like that. His kindergarten teacher had a classroom like that. And yet he struggled. Reading Eggs is one more way to incorporate literacy in the home. The program includes all the essential skills in learning to read, but in such a fun and enticing way. And, since Reading Eggs can be done on a desktop or on a tablet or phone, it is a perfect on-the-go activity, too.
Reading Should be Fun
For some children, typically those who struggle to keep up with their peers, learning to read is not only difficult but it is also extremely laborious. Often times, these children have a negative feeling toward reading. But the fact of the matter is that reading should be fun no matter how skilled a reader is. Children should look forward to reading instruction and proudly share their progress with caring adults.
That is Reading Eggs. Parents get progress reports with each set of lesson completed, detailing exactly what skills were mastered. More importantly, my kids are always asking if they can play, because it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like fun!
No More Avoidance
It was such a weight off my shoulders when my son began to enjoy reading. It was followed by joy when my son began to love reading. In fact, I installed a puck light on his bed. One with a dimmer and a timer so I can control how long he stays up each night reading after hugs and kisses. Just last night, he finished a series of four chapter books he received for Christmas, asking if there were more and so very disappointed when I told him no.
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My oldest how outgrown the need for Reading Eggs, but my daughter loves it, so we use that screen time as a reward for good behavior, hard work at school, and completing chores. My preschool aged son loves it as his first experience with the computer, and my three-year-old can’t wait to become coordinated enough to use the computer mouse.
Think you have a kiddo who will love this online reading program? Click here is get reading with Reading Eggs!
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.