Most children learn to read by 6 or 7 years of age. Some children learn at 4 or 5 years of age. Even if a child has a head start, she may not stay ahead once school starts. The other students most likely will catch up during the second or third grade. Pushing your child to read before she is ready can get in the way of your child's interest in learning. Children who really enjoy learning are more likely to do well in school. This love of learning cannot be forced.

Help the child sound out words. Once the child can identify the first sound of one syllable words, teach him to add the ending. Use a picture to break up the letters and make each individual sound, then ask the child what the word is. This will help him to understand how each of the sounds created by letters will work together to form words.[6] Have the child practice sounding out the words in the same way.
As you’ve probably noticed, there is no “magic formula” to teach your child how to read.  The points we’ve discussed in previous posts have highlighted simple, effective strategies that are easy to modify for your child.  After all, every child learns differently!  This series is not to be used as a “checklist” and think that once you’ve covered all the strategies your child will be proficiently reading.  Rather, this series provides valuable information to you so that you can guide your child while creating a print-rich, learning environment to foster his/her growth as a reader.  Don’t rush and don’t stress!  While it’s important to take advantage of the prime-learning time, it’s even more important to let your kid be a kid!
Yet, if reading comes easily to them, they will become readers; and this is the primary idea behind teaching your child to read a book in 30 days. It is important to build your child’s confidence and you do this by getting them to read a book (and doing it quickly). Once your child has managed to read one book, not only will their reading ability go through the roof, but soon they will have confidence in their reading and will want to read more and more.
I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed my article and I’m very excited to hear that you are going to teach your daughter to read; I must admit that at times it can be a challenge but it is definitely worth the effort :) If you need any more help I have quite a few more articles on my website (www.teachyourchildtoreadin30days.com) which may be of help too.
​​​Hey Sarah, thanks for getting back to me! Yes Ellie has been doing fantastic with Reading Head Start. We just started level three on Tuesday and she's excited to get going. She loves your system so much that I'm not sure what to do next once she completes level four. You should keep making more levels lol. This has easily been the best investment I've made for Ellie to date and a bunch of my friends all picked it up for their children too. I'll keep you posted on her progress!" *Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.
In nonfiction books, great readers gain new information, increase their vocabulary and link what they read with other sources of information to deepen their levels of understanding of new topics and concepts. This all shows that the reader has a full and rich comprehension of the texts they read. This is a complex skill that requires time and practice to develop fully.
Decoding is often referred to as “sounding it out.”  This is an important element in teaching your child to read, but it certainly isn’t the most important.  Once your child knows the sounds each letter makes (which is taught in real, meaningful situations), she is ready to begin putting words together.  When looking at a short word, encourage her to say each individual sound /b/, /a/, /t/,  and then put them together “bat”.

When children flow right through easy readers, they may start to talk about chapter books. If not, introduce the idea yourself — they’re probably ready, or will be soon. It’s an exciting moment! Something about the feat of working through a bunch of chapters makes a young elementary school student feel gloriously grown up. Early chapter books are mostly published in series, because new readers who finish a book frequently want more time with the characters.
Parents, it turns out, are pretty crummy reading instructors, especially when they break out the flash cards, handwriting worksheets, rewards charts and other traditional tools we all know and hate. “You don’t know what you’re doing,” Willingham says of parents in general. “If your child encounters real difficulty, there’s a good chance the child will go to school and think, ‘Reading? Oh, that’s that thing Mom and Dad bug me about, and it’s hard for me to figure out, and I don’t like it much.’ Then the teacher has to try and overcome that first negative experience your child has had.”
I love most of what you have advised. However, PLEASE rethink your comments on “sight words.” Memorized words have to go to the right side of the brain which has little language. Sight reading is the main cause of dyslexia. Training a “right brained” child to send words to the right brain (that child’s normal default) is a recipe for dyslexia. There is really no need to memorize any words by sight. Take a look at those in the bingo game pictured. ALL of them can be easily sounded out. If you teach your child all 70 English phonograms (Spaulding’s “Writing Road to Reading,” Sanseri’s “Spell to Write and Read” and many others), there will be very few words that can’t be easily sounded out once you understand how “said” is the past tense of “say” and the y is changed to I before adding the d.

Once you’ve seen science-based reading instruction delivered well, you’ll want it for your kids. For six years, Kristina Matuskiewicz, a kindergarten teacher at Edna C. Stevens Elementary School in Cromwell, CT, believed that, like all the teachers at her tidy suburban school, she was helping to make good readers. She read them stories, she identified words and described their meaning, she offered them a variety of good books and worked to shift them to independent reading. “Each teacher had their own approach to teaching reading,” says Matuskiewicz.
my 3 1/2 year old hyper active daughter knows her alphabet and I am trying to teach her to real the two letter words “in, if, is, it , of , on “. However she does not seem to be able to differentiate between “if” and “it” or “of”. however I am not sure if she can’t differentiate or she is not interested. How to teach a child who CANNOT sit quietly.
I agree this is an awesome price, and in general I admire This Reading Mama a lot! I wish I knew about her curriculum 3 years ago when I taught my daughter to read starting before she was even 3. I used http://progressivephonics.com/. It’s also free, and comes with the same hassle of downloading and printing all the material. It was totally worth it though as Ms Smarty Pants was reading fluently at 3.5. So, yes, I am very much with you – you CAN teach your preschooler to read.
And here’s a critical fact you need to know: scientists have shown again and again that the brain’s ability to trigger the symphony of sound from text is not dependent on IQ or parental income. Some children learn that b makes the buh sound and that there are three sounds in bag so early and so effortlessly that by the time they enter school (and sometimes even preschool), learning to read is about as challenging as sneezing. When the feeling seizes them, they just have to do it. Other perfectly intelligent kids have a hard time locating the difference between bag and bad or a million other subtleties in language.

It’s hard to know where to begin evaluating this program. First, it is difficult to find accurate reviews of this system because they have chosen to name it after one of the US governments largest pre-K programs, Head Start. When you do find reviews, you will find they are pretty much all written by affiliates and partner websites, meaning that it’s difficult to determine how biased they may be. 


Parents of infants and toddlers lay the foundation for reading success long before there's a need for systematic instruction. While some gung-ho moms and dads get seduced by products that claim to promote early reading, they should resist the temptation to buy them. Introducing formal instruction too early may actually backfire—making youngsters see reading as a task that wins parental favor, not as a pleasurable activity unto itself. Studies show that youngsters who receive early instruction are less likely to read for enjoyment when they get older.

Incorporate writing in with the reading. Reading is a necessary precursor to writing, but as your child develops reading skills have them practice their writing in conjunction. Children learn to read faster and easier if they learn to write at the same time. The motor memory of the letters, listening to their sounds and seeing them in writing will reinforce new learning. So, teach your child to write letters and words.
According to Shane Michaels, “The entire premise of Reading Head Start really just makes sense—like how babies learn to speak by listening, Sarah Shephard uses the same principles of teaching kids how to read by having them listen to the sounds the individual letters make, rather than them just memorizing the association between words and certain images, the method most kids learn to read by in school. But perhaps what is most impressive about this system is that it is designed in a way to get parents involved with their child’s learning process in reading, so their child gets much more of a benefit than simply learning how to read words. They get a complete learning experience that is positive, encouraging, and gratifying.”
The Voyager programs are most often used by reading specialists in addition to the general education reading program. Voyager Passport is a small-group program for grades K–5. It includes letter-sound understanding, sight words and vocabulary. Voyager Passport Reading Journeys is for teens who struggle with reading. The program is taught in a group using science and social studies topics. There is also a Voyager Universal Literacy System. This is a K–3 curriculum that includes a program for struggling readers.

Español: enseñar a un niño a leer, Português: Ensinar Seu Filho a Ler, Italiano: Insegnare a Leggere a Tuo Figlio, Deutsch: Deinem Kind das Lesen beibringen, Français: apprendre à lire à votre enfant, Nederlands: Je kind leren lezen, Русский: научить ребенка читать, Čeština: Jak naučit dítě číst, Bahasa Indonesia: Mengajari Anak Anda Membaca, العربية: تعليم طفلك القراءة
What’s my place in this big, crazy world? Children of this age are interested both in defining their own identities and in investigating questions about the larger world. A good middle-grade book can be surprisingly philosophical, taking on notions like fairness, justice, freedom and compassion. Some of the best are historical fiction set in challenging time periods like the Civil War, the Holocaust or the Civil Rights Era. They often deftly address, in an age-appropriate way, real-world problems your child is just becoming aware of: ideas like racism, refugees, the foster care system and mental illness. Tip: Whatever personal challenge your child is navigating — bullying, the end of a friendship, social anxiety, a cross-country move, or death or illness in the family — there is a good middle-grade novel that can help him or her get through it. Ask a librarian or experienced bookseller for a recommendation.

Early reader books use a limited number of words and are heavily illustrated. Most have a more workmanlike appearance than picture books. They often have no jacket and are slightly taller and narrower. Many are branded with names like “I Can Read” or “Step Into Reading,” and three or sometimes four levels. These are called “Leveled Readers” — you can always spot one because it will have a giant number or letter on the cover identifying its level. Your child is likely to encounter these in school, starting in kindergarten. For that reason, many parents shy away from bringing branded “leveled reader” books home, but there are plenty of early reader books that don’t create the pressured atmosphere those numbers can convey.
They are made by talented authors, illustrators and author/Illustrators. Some of the very best picture books are by author/illustrators like Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, Leo Lionni, Jerry Pinkney, Lois Ehlert and Taro Gomi. These masters of the form can make a picture book seem like a whole world. But books written and illustrated by separate people can be just as amazing, combining a word-centric talent with a highly visual one — and you’ll often find well-known author/illustrators performing just one of those roles. Maurice Sendak and Ruth Krauss collaborated on the classic “A Hole Is to Dig,” for example. More recently, Adam Rex and Christian Robinson split duties on the charming “School’s First Day of School.” Tip: Get to know the names of well-regarded picture book authors, illustrators and author/illustrators.
Do not worry about grammar.. Preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders are very concrete in the way they think and cannot handle complicated concepts. By age four, most English speaking children already have an excellent grasp of grammar and in due time, they will learn all the formal grammatical rules. At this point, you need to concentrate only on the mechanical skill of reading, that is learning to decode new words and incorporating them in memory to build fluency.
Great information. Speaking from personal experience, homeschooling is definitely the way to go, better than social schooling in my experience, but the parents do play a major role on how well educated the child will be. I have found a very informative FREE pdf file that coached me every step of the way on how to home school my children. If anyone is interested..it’s free

At 6-7, many children are interested in chapter books that are a bit more challenging than they can handle on their own. Let your child pick a book she would love to read and take turns reading paragraphs or pages to each other. If your child gets tired of reading, you can always read aloud as she follows along. You’ll enjoy talking about the characters and plot of the story that you are experiencing together.
Second and third grade. Kids in second and third grade continue to learn more phonics patterns and sight words for reading and spelling, read aloud more expressively and fluently, use reading to discover more about the world around them, and perhaps show a preference for specific authors and types of books. You'll likely start to see a shift as your child begins to focus his/her energy on learning new information from text. Ideally, children at this age have learned how to read, and are now reading to learn.

When choosing books to read to your baby, make sure that the texts are simple, and the sentences not too complicated.  Rhymes work best since at this stage, you are reading for ear appeal, rather than comprehension.  Rhymes are a type of sound that the young brain craves.  One word per page books are good too since these books help in starting to build your baby’s spoken vocabulary.


Once you’ve seen science-based reading instruction delivered well, you’ll want it for your kids. For six years, Kristina Matuskiewicz, a kindergarten teacher at Edna C. Stevens Elementary School in Cromwell, CT, believed that, like all the teachers at her tidy suburban school, she was helping to make good readers. She read them stories, she identified words and described their meaning, she offered them a variety of good books and worked to shift them to independent reading. “Each teacher had their own approach to teaching reading,” says Matuskiewicz.

As you’ve probably noticed, there is no “magic formula” to teach your child how to read.  The points we’ve discussed in previous posts have highlighted simple, effective strategies that are easy to modify for your child.  After all, every child learns differently!  This series is not to be used as a “checklist” and think that once you’ve covered all the strategies your child will be proficiently reading.  Rather, this series provides valuable information to you so that you can guide your child while creating a print-rich, learning environment to foster his/her growth as a reader.  Don’t rush and don’t stress!  While it’s important to take advantage of the prime-learning time, it’s even more important to let your kid be a kid!
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