8 Ways To Teach A Child To Read

I decided to take the challenge to write about reading. I think every parent should make sure their children can read. As I believe reading is an important tool and skill to use throughout life.

If the parent has trouble reading. The parent should get a tutor or help through the school to help teach their child to read.

My oldest son loves to read now. When he was in elementary school, he had a hard time learning to read. By the time he was in fourth grade, he was behind in his reading skills. He could not read but maybe a few words.

It took me a few years of complaining my son was falling behind because he could not read, to get the resources I needed to help my child learn how to read. As the internet and computers wasn’t available in most homes. Like they are nowadays. I started working with him one on one at home and taught him how to read. As I realize he was slipping through the cracks at school. As he was pushed aside.

My son could write and recognize the letters of the alphabet. Putting them together was a struggle. Sometimes he mixed his letters up when trying to spell. He got tested to make sure he did not have any cognitive or other disabilities.

8 Ways To Teach A Child To Read

  1. I took a tub and filled it with water. I had my son trace the letters of the alphabet over and over. Till we moved on with words.
  2. I drained the tub of water and filled it with sand. I had my son write the letters of the alphabet in the sand. Then proceeded with words.
  3. I bought a window screen. I had my son trace with his fingers the letters of the alphabet over and over. Words came next. I always started with writing his name.
  4. I read my son two books a night. I had him repeat the words back to me. Till he was able to read the book back on his own.
  5. My son would sound out words when I held up on a card. At first I would place similar word cards back to back like a game. When he learned those. I would mix them up to see if he could say the words without similar ones to help him.
  6. I started labeling everything around the house he would use. I would have my son say the name of the item. As well as spell it out before using it.
  7. In a vehicle, we would play a game called what do you see. It is played by someone saying what do you see with the letter A. My son would have to find something with the letter A. We would do this with the entire alphabet. If he got a letter right. He was able to ask me.
  8. That game transformed in to spelling what you seen starting with a letter of the alphabet as he learned to read.

I am no teacher. Only a parent that has a love for reading and books. I wanted my children to know the joys of curling up with a book and reading it. I was able to teach my son how to read. Something the school failed to do. Do I deserve a medal or some kind of recognition? No, the joy of knowing my son can read is all the payment I need.


    1. Barbara Radisavljevic

      So did I. But many children aren’t as lucky. My little brother had the same advantages I had — lots of books around, lots of adults and even me, to read to him. He loved the stories, but it was later discovered he was dyslexic before anyone knew what that was. The more we tried to help him learn to read at home, the more frustrated he got. We didn’t know what was wrong until he was in middle school and then we got help.

  1. Pat Z Anthony

    You have some good points here. One of the best ways to be sure a child wants to learn to read and will always love reading is if the parents are in the habit of reading and often seen with a book in hand. Young ones love to imitate what older ones are doing.

  2. Donna Thacker

    Excellent ideas you have listed to help a child read! So very creative. It is very important that a child learn to read, but it is something else to be able to teach them to love to read. So glad you wrote to the prompt!

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      Thank you, I have always believed reading is very important in life. That is the one thing that can hold a person back from moving further in life.

  3. Kyla Matton Osborne

    These are fabulous ideas, Sandy! Especially the gross motor/sensory methods like using the sand and the window screen to trace his letters. There is some science to back these methods up, as they use a different part of the brain than using a pencil to draw or trace letters on paper.

    Good on you! And yes, you do deserve a medal. Not every Mom would go to this much effort to teach her child to read. You and your son both gained from this experience and I’m so glad you’re passing it on for other parents too 😀

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      Aw, thank you. I do know not every mom would go to as much as I have. My teens aunt has a daughter who she refuse to help in school at all. She believed it was the schools job. In the second grade when teh child did not know her math. her parents refused to help and ripped up her homework. That did not go over well with the school.

    2. Kyla Matton Osborne

      I can relate to the urge to rip up a homework assignment – especially when it’s full of mistakes or obviously not targeted at kids of the right skill level. But I’m guessing that’s not what you’re talking about here…

    3. Sandy KS Post author

      No, not at all. That child is now living in a group home. As her mother allowed her to do what she wanted all her life. The girl does not know how to take care of herself.

  4. Olivia Morris

    You have taught all of us an important lesson, advocate for your children, if you don’t do it then they will fall through the cracks. Glad you were able to bring your son’s ability to read up so that he could join his peers….the joy of knowing that you have made such a big difference in his life is indeed a great gift.

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      I am happy I was able to help my child to read. I really pushed him to learn. I also pushed my daughter to learn when she was younger to. As she struggled in school and still does.

  5. Vickie Ewell

    Nice job Sandy. You’re a great mom. Reading is so important. One of my sons had difficulty reading as well, so I could really relate to this, including the school’s indifference. My son was luckier than most, however. His brother’s teacher specifically asked for him to be in her class the following year, and she helped him get to where he needed to be.

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      That sounds like a great teacher. There are not many of those still around. They are far and few in between.

  6. Donna

    A great mother you definitely are to take time to be so creative in teaching not only your son to read but enjoy it

  7. Tania K Cowling

    We must remember that parents are a child’s first teacher and should always remain in that position. Yes, we send our kids to school, but reinforcement at home helps to solidify a skill. I love your ideas for teaching letters and sight words. If you make a task fun, kids will stay glued into the learning process.

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      Yes, parents need to realize that once the child goes to school, we are still teaching them and helping them. The help never stops.

  8. Bill Kasman

    Some good ideas here. Probably the best way is to sit down with your child and a book and read it with them – and take your time doing so!

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      Sitting down and reading to him was not working. I wish it would of been that simple. I still did it as I knew it was good for him.

  9. Gil Camporazo

    I have been a classroom teacher and I had taught reading to my intermediate pupils. I had used different methods or styles of making them read. This is the first time that I have encountered this type of method. I will going to use this to our 3-year old smart daughter.

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      I am surprised you have not heard of these methods. My son is 25 years old now. These ideas have been around for along while. I assure they did help my son learn to read. Thankfully he loves to read a good book.

    2. Gil Camporazo

      Do I need to express my ignorance if I have already known this? It’s good you’ve brought this up. Thanks!

  10. Barbara Radisavljevic

    You gave your child a wonderful gift — the gift of your time and effort to help him succeed. I have seen those tactile methods recommended many times because some children need to use all their senses to learn. Some of use were able to pick up reading as our parents read to us and answered our questions about letters and sounds. We loved being read to and wanted to be able to read so we could get to the stories in the books by ourselves. What reading to a child does is help him or her realize that books contain hidden treasures only a reader can find.

  11. JP Carlos

    Reading is an important skill that has to start early on in life. We started with our daughter very early. We read to her when she was just a few months old. We showed her words, letters and made sure that we spoke to her properly. She started reading C-V-C words around 2 years old. And her vocabulary is quite advance for her age. Just last week, she insisted to read the prayers of the faithful at church so we allowed her to read in front of hundreds of people. She enjoyed it and got a special thanks from the priest. OK, I am rambling on and on about my daughter…I am a proud dad. LOL

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      I am glad you daughter is catching on early. You have every right to be a proud dad.

    1. Sandy KS Post author

      I am glad there is more than one method to teach our children how to read. Not all children learn teh same way. Some children brains seem to be wired differently.

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