Five easy ways to teach your child to read
With an infinite number of distractions, it can be difficult to get your child interested in reading. Here’s our top five tips to getting your little one interested in books.
- Have a story time routine
The best way to get your child interested in reading is to establish a good story time routine from an early age. Whether this is reading them a bedtime story each night, or setting aside time in the afternoon to sit down with them and read. It’s also important to get them involved in the process, take them to the bookshop with you and help them choose age appropriate books to pick.
- Pick age appropriate books.
It’s important not to move your child on to stories too complex for their development stage. As a rule of thumb, children under the age of three respond best to colourful, textured storybooks, whereas children aged three to five responded best to nursery rhymes (which can help them associate the song they have learnt with the words on the page), alphabet books and stories with a short simple narrative.
- Ask questions
Ask your child questions about stories, whether it is ones you are reading to them, or simple books as they learn to read themselves. This helps engage their critical thinking skills and reading comprehension. From the age of about 12 months onwards you can start asking simple questions about the story, making them difficult as your child’s reading ability improves.
- Start with two letters a week
From the age of 2-3 children can pick up an average of two new letters a week. It’s best to focus on lowercase letters first, as these make up most of the English language. Focusing on phonetic sounds first are good place to start, as it is easier for the child to recognise (eg ‘fuh is for fish’).
- Speak to child’s school or nursery
Finding out the reading support that is being given to your child at school or nursery can help inform what you do at home. For example, knowing which letters your child’s school is focusing on week-to-week can inform which letters you focus teaching your child at home.