What Should I do Before Teaching my Child to Read?

Edward Wong The Educational Parenting Blog Leave a Comment

Starting these simple techniques early is crucial to setting your child up for reading success

As an educational parent, you know that teaching your child the skills they need to read begins long before they can actually pick up a book.

But what can you do to teach these skills before your child is ready to read?

Here are four simple but effective things you can do to give your kids a head start once they actually begin reading.

1. Read to your child

It’s never too early to start reading to your kids. This time that you spend together will teach your children that reading is fun, and it is also a good way to model certain reading skills that they will imitate as they learn to read themselves. Check out my earlier post for tips on how to read to your child for maximum literacy gains.

2. Sing songs and nursery rhymes with your child

Singing songs and nursery rhymes together with your child gets them in on the action in a way that reading to them does not. You might not think that this has much to with reading, but it’s actually a great way to build your child’s phonemic awareness. You can also help them develop this by playing word games.

3. Build a print-rich environment in your home

Start collecting lots of books for your child to enjoy once they start learning to read. They will need fuel to practice their new skills—the more the merrier. Some posters and toys can help too, but be careful of traditional alphabet posters and letter blocks. These often lead children to focus too much on the name of letters (the letter L is called “ell”) instead of the sound they make (the letter L sounds like “lll…”).

4. Learn about the science of reading

This one is for you alone: the better you understand how children learn to read, the better prepared you will be to teach them. This article is a good place to start, or you can keep learning about phonics with the Educational Parenting Blog from English Cosmos.

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About the Author

Edward Wong

Edward Wong is a primary tutor and the Senior Designer at English Cosmos. He teaches children how to read, coaches parents on education in the home, and has been passionate about reading education since 2019. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Juris Doctor degree and qualified as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

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