In terms of outcomes, longitudinal research, the kind that follows kids for decades, tells a sad story. If your child is experiencing reading failure, it is almost as if he has contracted a chronic and debilitating disease. Kids who are not reading at grade level in first grade almost invariably remain poor fourth grade readers. Seventy four percent of struggling third grade readers still struggle in ninth grade, which in turn makes it hard to graduate from high school. Those who do manage to press on — and who manage to graduate from high school — often find that their dreams of succeeding in higher education are frustratingly elusive. It won’t surprise you to know that kids who struggle in reading grow up to be adults who struggle to hold on to steady work; they are more likely to experience periods of prolonged unemployment, require welfare services, and are more likely to end up in jail.
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”.

Start to make word-sound associations. Before you even start getting into the alphabet and sound specifics, help your child recognize that the lines on the page are directly correlated to the words you are speaking. As you read aloud to them, point to each word on the page at the same time you say it. This will help your child grasp the pattern of words/lines on the page relating to the words you speak in terms of length and sound.
I have a 6 year old son who had some pretty significant delays due to liver disease. I never thought he would take off reading the way he has! He's doing so well with your program he will not have to repeat kindergarten. We are so pleased with your reading program! And super excited our son gets to go into first grade all because his reading skills are so good! He's a better reader than most of his friends his age who have never had delays or medical issues.

In nearly every conversation about reading instruction, educators talk about different pedagogical approaches and different philosophies, as if one is equal to another. And perhaps because some kids seem to learn to read like they learn to run, from observation and for the sheer love of it, it can appear like almost any kind of reading instruction can work with varying levels of success — for at least some kids. But researchers say they’ve come up with a straightforward formula that, if embedded into instruction, can ensure that 90 percent of children read.

The Reading Head Start program is broken up into four individual levels, each one consisting of easy learn reading videos, work books, and fun exercise and games. With just 15 minutes, three nights per week, parents can help their children as young as two years old learn to read within 30 days, even if they can’t recite the alphabet correctly yet. The system helps kids learn to begin mastering the basics and then progresses them to more advanced reading skills in a fun and exciting way.


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Researchers discovered that children with reading problems are not identical and that some students were better able to benefit from specific interventions than others. Using brain recordings, they were able to tell the difference between which students would respond better years later. Continuing research like this may one day help tailor specific approaches to individual students, so that more people with reading problems can learn to read successfully.
Make reading a group activity. Just as younger children parallel play, older children parallel read. And reading together — separately — is a wonderful way to spend time in each other’s company. Try it: Instead of organizing family leisure time around TV, movies or video games, schedule a regular family reading time. As your children begin to choose their own books and read independently, they may be less inclined to talk to you about what they’re reading. But if they are reading right next to you, you’ll hear them laugh, exclaim or give some other response, which gives you an opening to conversation.

Have your child describe the story to you. After every reading session, have your child describe what the story was about to you. Try to get them to be detailed, but don’t expect an elaborate response. An easy and fun way to help encourage this is to use puppets who represent characters in the story, so your child can describe it to you through them.
A very good and informative book for homeschoolers. Actually, one doesn't have to be a homeschooler to appreciate the information, ideas, suggestions, recommendations listed there and brought to you in a nice conversational fashion.I did a lot of highlighting and felt inspired to go and look up the recommended curricula and purchase the math manipulatives and start teaching my child right then and there :). Very well written and helpful.
Beyond the “reading log” mentality. Many students have to keep “reading logs” from elementary school through middle school, a well-meaning, but somewhat controversial practice that risks turning reading into a chore. If your child must keep one, consider the fine irony in bugging your student to crack a book every night, if you rarely do it yourself. Seeing you choose to read can help with your child’s approach to mandated reading time.
Long, long, loooong series. The first chapter books your child encounters are often part of series that have turned into mega-franchises by now: “Magic Treehouse,” “Flat Stanley,” “Fancy Nancy.” Some of these series have books counting into the hundreds, which makes many parents groan. As strong as the original concepts may be, the freshness factor may indeed be lacking in later titles. Still, if your child is into these, keep them coming. Tip: Borrow, swap and otherwise obtain these books used, as your child races through each one once, never to crack it open again.
Say you're reading the word "cat" (as you've done just now): Your eyes perceive the cluster of squiggly lines, and send the image to the area of your brain that attaches meaning to things you see. This information is then shuttled over to the brain's auditory area, so it can be translated into phonemes  -- the K sound, the A sound, and the T sound. A third part of the brain, called the angular gyrus, then synthesizes the individual phonemes and their meaning as a group: the word "cat."
READ 180 is for struggling readers in grades 3–12. It involves teacher instruction, working on a computer and reading alone. Kids also listen to someone read aloud and then read the same text. The program includes workbooks, books for reading alone, audiobooks and software that tracks student progress. It’s most often used by reading specialists to give extra support.
Ok, so I was a middle school math teacher for over 15 years and thought: how hard can it be to teach reading to my preschooler. Well, I just attempted to start with what I thought was a great lesson only to frustrate both my daughter and me! We have subscribed to ABCmouse.com for a year and she really loves doing it. I dont see how it is going to teach her to read, but she is only at level 1 lesson 11. I want her to do a half day kindergarten in the fall but have been warned that she will not learn to read unless she is in a full day program. She will be in school all day for the next 15 years or so and forgive me for wanting to give her one more year of just being a kid! That said, I feel some obligation to supplement her learning in school with some learning at home. We have been doing basic things 3 days a week which she loves -art work connected to the letter of the week at preschool, letter recognition, letter sounds, etc and she has mastered all of that. I need to move to the next level and dont want to spend a fortune on several different programs….. My mother in law – along time 2nd grade teacher – is an advocate of phonics which is how I learned to read, and it worked obviously, but while I can teach your kid Algebra, I feel incompetent teaching her how to read! Help!!
First grade teacher Angela DiStefano, a 12-year teaching veteran, says the Literacy How approach to reading has changed her professional life forever. “Before that, I thought it was my job to teach kids to share my enthusiasm for reading.” Now, she teaches them to read with explicit instruction on how to sound out words. Not long ago, she gave a seminar for first grade parents to teach them some rules about vowels (for example: vowels make their short sound in closed pattern words like tap and the long sound in open pattern words like hi, so, and my) so parents could reinforce the lessons at home.
Hi, my daughter is 3 years old (turning 4 in 2 months) she also knows the letter’s names and sounds, and some sight words, and she reads a lot of simple words, but with words that are not very familiar for her, she will only say the sounds of the letters of the word, but can’t actually say the word and sound all the letters together :-( like she would see the word “glass” and would say the sounds of each letter separately not being able to say the word.. Should I just tell her the words so she can try and remember for next time, or should I wait until she gets it by herself?

Forever friends, complex plot. Remember Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown, Fern, Charlotte and Stuart Little? Chapter books are where your child meets characters who will be important friends — they will play big, ongoing roles in a reader’s life as he or she grows into a more independent, self-sufficient person. In these books, children also begin to follow longer, twistier stories, to enter into enchanting and breathtaking literary fantasy worlds with their own rules and logic, and to discover stories that will help them work through the many changes they are experiencing in their world and in themselves.

My daughter just finished lesson 25, and the transformation is amazing. She's gone from mixing up letters to reading simple sentences such as, "The cat is in the sack. The sack is near the man." On top of that, because she has experienced success herself, she is proud of herself and far more willing to engage in the activities! I won't lie; at first it was like pulling teeth, and mommy needed a big glass of mommy juice after a lesson. But she now picks the book up on her own in the morning and practices all by herself.
Fun. Adventure. Playfulness. These are the books that invite your children into the world of readers, where they will spend the rest of their lives. That’s a leap filled with prestige and accomplishment. But if your child feels constantly judged, or that too much attention is paid to the pace of progress, the experience may not be fun. It may even get in the way of learning. You can help by making sure your child has early readers that surprise and delight. Dr. Seuss revolutionized this category and set the standard that still holds, so keep in mind the outrageous fun of Dr. Seuss when you select these books. No matter the topic or story, an early reader book should make reading seem like a club your child wants to be a part of — not a lesson to be graded on.
Hi, thank you very much! Reading your posts really enlightened me. You have advises that change my view on how to teach my son. Most of the times spent teaching my son reading made me impatient, my son saw me very frustrated which I felt he became frustrated as well. And I felt so sorry every after sessions we had. I was the one so pressured. Thank you for these words “concentrate on making reading fun and enjoyable for both of you” It really tells me that I am the one who lost strategies. Please pray for me as well… Thank you.
The distinction is between being able to read a book and being able to master a book. I regret that I came upon Adler's book years after I finished college and that its lessons on reading never got ingrained in me. As a result I fall short of my potential in my mastery of the books I read. When your child gets into high school, or maybe even sooner, consider introducing him to Adler's four levels of reading.
I love this post! As a former first grade teacher, I am thrilled to see that the information you shared comes from experience. ;o) I feel exactly the same way you do on all points. One thing I realized when teaching my first graders is that parents would often push their children to read more challenging books, but never allowed for their child’s comprehension to grow with their reading skills. I also think that a huge developmental challenge for these little guys is confidence. My little 6 year olds struggled with confidence and so it was always hard to explain to the parents that they might be reading what seems to be “easy” books, but they can’t grow as a reader until they have the confidence to take chances and move forward. Great post! Thanks for sharing ;o) Consider it Pinned ;o) lol
A useful article, although with learning to read we have never had problems. Having 3 children I can say this: It is necessary to remember that the child perceives the world through movement. What about the memorization of letters? Draw huge chalk letters on the asphalt or stick on the sand, walk along them along with the child. Make letters of dough, wire, plasticine, etc. Maximize the ability of the child to perceive the world through the senses. Play in the “riddles” – “draw” a familiar letter with a finger on the back of the child, let him guess it.

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.
Let your child build a personal collection. Children love collecting. Make your child’s book collection a point of personal pride and identity. Every child should have a special bookcase. Plan for long-term storage for the best of this collection. When your children reach adulthood and discover that you still have the books that meant so much to them in childhood, they (and you!) will appreciate it.
Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, "notable" is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.

If you have been raising your child in a literate environment and fostering a love of reading from an early age, by the age of three, you could start teaching your three-year-old preschooler to read. What's more, your child will be able to do so successfully. If you are teaching your child to read through a method based on phonics, she should be able to learn to spell and write at the same time. This is often a highly rewarding period for parents.

This article is phenomenal!!!! Thank you for emphasizing the importance for creating a love for reading and not a ‘system’ for learning to read. I’m a 1st grade teacher and mother of 2 preschoolers. Even with all my background knowledge on teaching children to be successful readers, I still find myself stressing out when it comes to my own children by comparing them to others (mainly family members around the same age). I’ve always said there’s so much more to reading than just sounds/words on a page. I look forward to reading more on your blog.

I truly agree with you when you said that reading helps in improving the child’s imagination because it allows them to imagine what’s going to happen and think of the settings as a reality. My wife has been trying to tell me to read stories to our daughter, but I never actually did it because back then, she was too young to understand anything. Now that she’s already three, I know that I can start stretching her imagination. Thanks! She loves dragons, by the way, so I’ll go buy her a dragon book.
I’ve read to her since she was a newborn and she loves books. She likes me to read the same books to her over and over. I ask her questions about the story, she looks at the pictures and, without my provocation, she loves to study the pictures and talk at length about the story. I realize now, thanks to your suggestions, that while she is not sounding out and decoding, she is comprehending the actual story, which is more meaningful and productive.
The key to increasing your child’s reading volume is motivation. Choose books that match your child’s interest. Or, explore reading with other media your child loves. Is she a fan of princesses? There is a world of online fairy tales for her to explore. Kids who love superheroes can enjoy easy-reader comic books. Don’t be too picky about what your child reads at this age. Captain Underpants may be more meaningful than Little House on the Prairie — and that’s fine!
Once you’ve watched the introductory video, we know you’ll have a great overview of the success children around the country have had with Reading Head Start. Just scroll down from the video on the first page and hit ‘Order.’ All you have to do is enter your payment info (they’re currently offering a $1 trial), and you’ll be on your way to reading success.
Introduce your own taste. You’ve been reading a long time, and you have a sense of what you like in grown-up books. As a parent, you have the chance to rediscover your taste in children’s books. Pull out your old favorites, and find what’s new that catches your eye when you’re in bookstores, libraries or friends’ homes. The good news is that the best authors and illustrators of children’s books aim to please their grown-up audience, too. Try it: Tweak the text when you’re reading out loud. Many classic children’s books are now considered sexist, racist, outdated and, in certain ways, downright awful. Feel free to make them better.
The parent-child pas de deux. The more you can make reading mutually satisfying, the more it will be associated with pleasure and reward. If your child doesn’t like your silly ogre’s voice, don’t use it. Remember, it’s your child’s story time, too. Try it: Let your child turn the pages, to control the pace. (It’s also great for developing fine motor skills.)
Expand your toddler’s world. Sometimes toddlers seem “stuck” on a certain book you’re not crazy about. Don’t deny them the books they like, but try to actively steer them toward other books as well. Most important, don’t be afraid to expose toddlers to subjects they don’t have any context for. All topics — even geology, the history of art, and life in different cultures — can be broken down into small parts and made interesting by a great children’s book. Try it: At a certain age, children may start to gravitate exclusively to stories that feature a protagonist of their own gender. This is not true for toddlers. Take advantage of this time to expose them to a balanced menu of characters.
If you’re looking for a book that is not your typical alphabet book, this one is for you. The author introduces each letter with an image that starts with that letter surrounded by a black frame. When you lift the frame, the image transforms into the letter. While no more complex than any other alphabet book, this one’s illustrations and interactive nature will surely delight your child.
Hi. I came across your page quite by accident as I was so frustrated with trying to get my son to read. He received absolutely no instruction in Kinder and now, in first grade, is terribly behind and I am at a loss as to how to help him. He will see a word, can sound it out, but if you turn the page, it becomes a totally new word. He doesn’t remember what he has just read. He can spell his word wall words like a champ, can write dictation like a hero, but reading? He is failing miserably. I am so worried he will fail first grade because he can’t read. I don’t know how to help him. I have just purchased your book, but it seems as though I have failed him already as we did NONE of this prior to school as I had no idea about any of this. How can I help him learn to read at this late stage in the game and save him from failing first grade?

Reading Eggs makes this easy with a comprehensive program that takes your child from being a non-reader, all the way through to reading long chapter books. The depth of the program means that your child can continue their journey for as long as they need. Reading Eggs enables children to learn to read, and then helps them improve by building real, long term reading skills, empowering them to become lifelong readers and learners.

I have a 6 year old son who had some pretty significant delays due to liver disease. I never thought he would take off reading the way he has! He's doing so well with your program he will not have to repeat kindergarten. We are so pleased with your reading program! And super excited our son gets to go into first grade all because his reading skills are so good! He's a better reader than most of his friends his age who have never had delays or medical issues.

Last year, I spent lots of time with our brand new granddaughter, Emily. I drowned her in language. Although “just a baby,” I talked — and sang — to her about everything. I talked about her eyes, nose, ears, mouth, and fingers. I told her all about her family — her mom, dad, and older brother. I talked to her about whatever she did (yawning, sleeping, eating, burping). I talked to her so much that her parents thought I was nuts; she couldn’t possibly understand me yet. But reading is a language activity, and if you want to learn language, you’d better hear it, and eventually, speak it. Too many moms and dads feel a bit dopey talking to a baby or young child, but studies have shown that exposing your child to a variety of words helps in her development of literacy skills.
My son is 3 and has 2 full shelves of books. Every time we go to a store he always wants to get another one! He knows his alphabet and can recognize about 1/3 of the letters. I really have been wanting to teach him more but I don’t want to push him and have him lose interest. Anytime he sees words he will say look mom, ABCs! He doesn’t know what it says or what the letters are but he gets very excited to see them! Do you have any tips on how to get them to recognize the letters? We tell him what the letters are and what they say when he asks but is there a more structured approach that works better for a 3 year old? I can tell he really wants to learn, I’m just not sure how to teach him! lol
First grade teacher Angela DiStefano, a 12-year teaching veteran, says the Literacy How approach to reading has changed her professional life forever. “Before that, I thought it was my job to teach kids to share my enthusiasm for reading.” Now, she teaches them to read with explicit instruction on how to sound out words. Not long ago, she gave a seminar for first grade parents to teach them some rules about vowels (for example: vowels make their short sound in closed pattern words like tap and the long sound in open pattern words like hi, so, and my) so parents could reinforce the lessons at home.

My tip is to incorporate learning into play instead of trying to get him to sit at the table. If you are teaching letter sounds, for example, make a game out of it. Write them on the driveway and have him jump to them. Write the letters on paper plates, tape them to the wall, and have him throw a ball on the letter you call, etc. If he is learning to read, put the letters on connecting blocks and show him how when you connect the blocks you can make a word. You can easily take math outdoors in a variety of ways, and there are many ways to make math activities fun without using worksheets.

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.
It's often a good idea to talk about a story you are reading, but you need not feel compelled to talk about every story. Good stories will encourage a love for reading, with or without conversation. And sometimes children need time to think about stories they have read. A day or so later, don't be surprised if your child mentions something from a story you've read together.
Robyn – At four, I would say that the important thing is not to specifically get her to colour or write, but to have general fine motor skills. Do open-ended crafty and arty things which are about having fun and experimenting, not producing a specific outcome like a coloured-in drawing or something that looks like a word. Look at pictures of different styles of art and talk about them with her, encouraging her to observe the detail, and have feelings and impressions about what she likes and doesn’t like. Encourage any fine motor activities that she likes, and don’t stress if writing or colouring is occasional. Writing probably feels very laborious to her if her other language skills are so good. Have you tried offering to help her write a story and just get her to help you with the occasional letter or word, so she feels like she is getting a story out that has the complexity she’s interested in without getting stuck on the work of manually getting down the first few words? I’d perhaps look at incorporating little moments of writing or drawing into daily life, rather than being a task in and of itself. So perhaps you could make labels for things together, or you could play a game of snakes and ladders but introduce a new rule that if she lands on a snake she can go down the snake or draw a snake or write an s (the choice is hers – I’d avoid making it something she has to do as well as going down the snake cause then it will seem like a punishment rather than an opportunity to escape a punishment). Look at ways to make games of it that make it a bit more exciting: eg. (“Let’s see how small we can write your name? Can we get it smaller?” Then take chalk or water and a paintbrush out to the footpath and say, “Now let’s see how BIG we can write your name?”) Decorate soaps, glasses, and t-shirts. Write in the sand at the beach or playground.
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