Years ago when I was longing to be a teacher, my desired grade was 1st. Why? Because at the time this is the grade when teachers taught their students to read. I LOVED reading and volunteered throughout Jr. High, High School and College in the reading lab.
When I first began homeschooling I started out with an eager 5-year-old who was longing to read. We purchased the curriculum and got to work. To my surprise, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be! Fast forward 6 years and I am working on my 5th reader (2 of my own, 3 extras). I have learned a few things about what works, and what doesn’t. Here are three tips to teaching a child to read.
Immerse them in Books
From the womb, we have read to our children. As infants we offered sensory books, as toddlers we offered board books, and at the preschool age, we began reading good quality literature. We have immersed our kids in books at a young age, and so far it has paid off!
Kids LOVE books! IF they are offered to them. In order to create a reader, you have to encourage a love of reading in your kids. Reading often will give your children the longing to learn to read themselves. It will create in them a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
I am not the most patient person, and sadly that shows in our beloved phonics curriculum. In the first book, there are pencil marks where I circled words over and over again that my daughter missed. I remember those moments; I remember the tears and the frustration (from both of us). And, I have left the pencil marks there. Why? As a reminder that patience pays off. The second book has little to no pencil marks in it, and you know what? She breezed through that book.
Patience is SO important when it comes to teaching a child to read. Patience builds confidence, and confidence is a skill that is required for learning to read. If a child does not feel confident in their own abilities they will not offer their best work. So, be patient!
Be an Example
This goes along to an extent with being patient. Modeling patience will encourage our children to be patient while they are learning. BUT, we should also model a love of reading. Let your children see you read, take them to the library, let them see you checking out books, let them see that reading is something fun to do. By being an example, you will encourage your child in their own reading endeavors.
These are just a few tips that can help when teaching a child to read. Come back next week as we take a look at some of the best reading curriculums!
Misty Bailey is the owner of the blog Joy in the Journey and podcaster at Joyfully Homeschooling. Her goal in this online space is to encourage and inspire you on your homeschool journey by providing practical tips for real life homeschooling. Through real stories, real struggles, and real life, Misty shares how to embrace imperfection and strive for a more joyful homeschool.