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Teaching Your Child To Read

Page history last edited by Jane McManus 4 years, 7 months ago

It is much more productive to teach preschool children how to enjoy books than to teach them how to read. (Marilyn Segal, Your Child At Play: 3-5 Years)  Children who read what they want, read more; the more they read, the more proficient they get. What do you suggest for YOUR patrons?

How Children Learn to Read (The New Yorker, February 11, 2015)

  • Vocabulary -- learning words begins at birth and grows throughout a child's life. Talk, talk, talk to your child.
  • Print Motivation --book sharing time. Be enthusiastic.
  • Print Awareness -- read, let your child turn the pages.
  • Narrative Skills -- ask "what" questions, and open-ended questions. 
  • Phonological Awareness -- sing, rhyme, word games, & poetry.
  • Letter Knowledge -- knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to say written words. (see also: Word Families)
  • HAVE FUN!!!

VAT (Visual, Auditory, Tactile)  

Reading is about visual differentiation. Building vocabulary based on VAT.


1. Choose a good time. 

2. Choose a place with little distractions.

3. Start small, about 5 words, repeat 3 X throughout the day.

4. 2nd Day, add 5 words, repeat, 3X, in ADDITION to #3.

5. 3rd Day, add another 5 words, repeat, 3X, in ADDITION TO #3 & #4.

6. Day 4, 5, and 6 repeat words, avoid using two words consecutively with the same consonant.

  • Count to 10 slowly when having the child tell you the word.
  • If correct, encourage the child with praise. Tell him/her how proud you are. Give hugs to express physical love.
  • If incorrect, just tell the child what it is with enthusiasm. Avoid bribery. 

7. Slowly introduce more words, one at a time, by substituting a word the child recognizes.

               --How to Teach Your Baby to Read: The Gentle Revolution, by Glenn Doman

see also: Fry Sight Word List


Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

  • Hide flashcards with letters on them throughout the room, preferably near an object that starts with that letter.
  • Have a master list of all the letters and let the child loose in the room to find the letters.  When he finds one, it can be crossed off the master list until all the letters have been found.
  • When he is finished, ask  what object he found the letter near.  Hopefully, he will remember that he found "L" by a lamp, and make the connection between the letter and word for the  object.

                                        --Mary--Preschool Plans


Alphabet Spoons

  • Write upper case letters on one set of plastic spoons
  • Write lower case letters on a clear set of plastic spoons
  • Have the children match upper and lower case letters until you have a full set of the alphabet.




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