5 steps to teach your child to read

February 28, 2019
  • 1. Interest in books
    1 / 5 1. Interest in books

    The initial step is to stimulate your three-year-old’s interest in reading – typically by surrounding her with books. The fact that she can’t read yet doesn’t make books any less fascinating for her. She likes to hold them and to study the drawings or photos in them.

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  • 2. Understanding of books
    2 / 5 2. Understanding of books

    Next, she begins to understand a book’s main features.

    For instance, tell her the name of the story – point to it on the front cover.

    Tell her that you always read a story from the first page to the last page, and not the other way round.

    Show her the first page.

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  • 3. Environmental print
    3 / 5 3. Environmental print

    Without thinking about it, your child then starts to read “environmental print”.

    These are words she sees daily, such as shop and road signs, posters, shopping bags, newspapers, magazines, labels and sweet wrappers.

    Related: 5 ways to teach your child to love reading

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  • 4. Word recognition
    4 / 5 4. Word recognition

    Next, you will notice that your four-year-old is able to spot specific words on a page that she has seen before.

    But she still sees them only as whole words and probably can’t name the individual letters.

    Most children build up a “sight vocabulary” of a couple of dozen words quickly.

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  • 5. Phonic skills
    5 / 5 5. Phonic skills

    Next, she starts to point out all the words beginning with the same letter.

    This is the beginning of her phonics skills.

    Eventually she’ll be able to sound most of the letters when they start a word.

    And more sophisticated phonic skills develop from there on.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    7 things you should know about reading to babies and toddlers
    Why reading is more important than tuition classes

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