Board-book versions of your favorites. Not every book that started out as a picture book works in the format. The art has to scale down well, and there has to be a strong, simple visual component to the story. Don’t assume a board-book version of your favorite picture book is the way to go. It may be best to wait until your baby can experience that beloved book in its bigger, intended format.

You will not see me disagreeing with you on the importance of play. In fact, teaching my preschoolers to read has taken (at most) 30-60 minutes a week. Some of my children have had more interest in it, and we do it a few days a week. One of my sons resisted, so we took quite a few months off while he enjoyed his Legos, until he wanted to give it another go. Most days we just enjoy reading books together, and they have a lot of independent play with their siblings. LOTS of it. I absolutely do not believe in forcing children who are uninterested to be early readers, but when they enjoy it – and it’s done in a developmentally appropriate way – it’s fabulous. They LOVE being able to read, and they enjoy school because it’s not a struggle. It’s also a wonderful thing for a parent to have the joy of teaching his or her child to read, and it’s a wonderful sharing experience for both of them.
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.
The more you read to your children, the more knowledge they absorb, and knowledge is important in all aspects of life. There have many studies that show reading to babies and toddles gives them a head start and helps to prepare them for school later down the line. After all, reading with your children gives them the skills needed for when they start to read themselves.
Reading the Alphabet is the framework I use for teaching my boys to read — but because my older son has been recognizing words and starting to sound them out for quite some time, I move at an accelerated pace.  My three-year-old still needs some alphabet reinforcement, so I just do the simpler activities with him.    They’re both learning and growing – at just the right pace for each of them.
Hi, Tonya! I’m right there with you on preferring half day kindergarten. I choose that for my kids too, even though with my daughter I was only one of 3 parents (out of 31 students) who did. It sounds like you’ve done a GREAT job on pre-reading skills with your daughter. I am going to post something next week about what kids need to know BEFORE sounding out. That might clear up a few things for you… but I’d like to know more about what you’ve tried. Did you try a lesson of Reading the Alphabet? What specifically was the trouble? You’re welcome to email me instead of carry this on through the comment thread. 🙂 themeasuredmom@gmail.com

Scaffolding. When reading to young children, parents should keep in mind the image of a scaffold—one piece placed on top of another to make something bigger and stronger. If the bottom of the scaffold is weak and wobbly, the entire thing will collapse. Little children have limited experiences so parents should build upon what they already know. Reading a book about butterflies to a child who has never seen a butterfly is largely meaningless. However, reading a book about butterflies to a youngster who spent the afternoon watching them fluttering around her garden is immensely powerful.

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.


Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan shares best practices for teaching reading and writing. Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized professor of urban education and reading researcher who has extensive experience with children in inner-city schools and children with special needs. All posts are reprinted with permission from Shanahan on Literacy.
You can take part in training classes on many subjects, such as child rearing, job training, learning about health and nutrition, and using free resources in your own community. Some parents learn the English language; others learn to read. Head Start also offers assistance to parents interested in obtaining a high school General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or other adult education opportunities.

(SI Newswire) Reading Head Start, a revolutionary reading system developed by experienced English teacher and mother Sarah Shephard is helping tens of thousands of children across the United States learn to read regardless of age or current reading abilities. Reading Head Start is a simple, proven, and effective method that uses updated methods and strategies and claims to help kids learn to read within a matter of days.


I’m an educational psychologist that specializes in helping kids learn the sight words through pictures, movement, and creativity. I love the ideas in this post and was tempted to add more about teaching difficult sight words, but I got worried that I would sound like I was ‘pitching’ to your readers. So, I decided to just send you a message. Love your blogs.
As children decode words with more frequency, they will become more proficient at automatically identifying that word.  Sometimes this task is tedious, though, so it’s important to find creative ways to make it fun.  When I taught first grade, I used to buy little finger puppets that my students could use to point to the letters as they were decoding.  This was a huge hit and made this process so much fun!
Format doesn’t matter. Many chapter books with a highly visual, comics-influenced format (“Captain Underpants,” for example) were written specifically to help “reluctant readers” and children with challenges like dyslexia. The stories and characters can be rich and well developed, and children still learn reading skills with these more visually driven books. Graphic novels for young readers, meanwhile, have been steadily improving in literary quality, often winning prestigious awards and appearing on best-of-the-year book lists.
Have your child read aloud to you. You’ll be given a better idea of your child’s reading ability when they read out loud, and they’ll be forced to slow down their reading to correctly sound out words. Avoid stopping your child to correct them while reading though, as doing so can interrupt their train of thought and make comprehending what they’re reading more difficult.
The Berks County Head Start program is a comprehensive preschool program free of charge to qualifying families. The Berks County Head Start program services children ages three years through five years old. In order to qualify, families must meet the income guidelines established by the federal government. A families income must not exceed 100% of the federal poverty rate.

From the building blocks of reading to classroom strategies to the Common Core — everything you need to know to help young and struggling readers succeed! Here you'll find proven ideas for the classroom, tips to share with parents, video of best practices, expert interviews, and the latest research — on print awareness, the sounds of speech, phonemic awareness, phonics, informal assessment, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, comprehension, and writing.


Also, it’s important to note that not all books will fit into one of these genres, especially books that are considered “phonics readers.”  I would suggest that you do this exercise only with high-quality children’s literature, not with books that are attempting to get your child to “sound-out” on their own.  Most picture books found in children’s libraries will fit into one of these genres.

Sometimes, parents are told early teaching is harmful, but it isn’t true. You simply can’t introduce literacy too early. I started reading to my own children on the days they were each born! The “dangers of early teaching” has been a topic of study for more than 100 years, and no one has ever found any convincing evidence of harm. Moreover, there are hundreds of studies showing the benefits of reading to your children when they are young.

Fantasy worlds rule. Many of the best middle-grade books are fantasy, and some of the best fantasy novels, period, were originally intended for middle-grade readers (from “A Wrinkle in Time,” to a certain young boarding-school wizard). Middle-grade readers like a chance to escape through reading. That’s where fantasy novels come in — they offer fully thought-out worlds that have their own rules, with just enough distance from reality for a young reader to reflect on the rules of his own world.
In this video I show how I teach my child to read only three years old! This is a proven technique that I have used with all of my children. Teach your child to read phonetically in just one minute a day of practice you can have your child reading two and three letter words! Thousands of subscribers have told me they were able to successfully teach their kids to read easily with my technique! It works! Have a child who has problems reading try this!
Teach sight words. Sight words are any short, common words that a child will see often. Some examples of common sight words include plant, father, their and here. Many of these words are difficult to sound out. The best way for a child to learn these words is through repeatedly seeing the word in the context of a sentence and alongside the object it represents.[7]
All in all, we feel that Reading Head Start has completely changed our destiny as parents. We’re writing this review because there’s simply no better way for parents to educate THEMSELVES on how to educate their child. Nothing is as important, and there’s unfortunately very little information out there about how to take advantage of proven learning techniques based on extensive research that even schoolteachers don’t know about. This stuff shouldn’t be a secret. You just have to try it to know how powerful it is.
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.
That magical breakthrough moment — when your child shows an interest in letters, and begins to make out words on a page or in the world itself — happens at different ages for different children, even within the same family. Most parents describe a long period in which a child can’t keep letters straight or identify words, then a quick burst of comprehension, followed by more regular, but still sudden leaps. It really can seem like magic — so don’t rush it.
Studies show that children with weak phonological awareness become weak readers. Parents can almost guarantee their youngsters will become proficient readers by starting early with phonological awareness. They should forget flashcards, workbooks, and pricey kits such as “Hooked on Phonics” and just keep it fun, light, and simple. Phonological awareness is about being silly with words, making it a game, and celebrating the magic of language. There's no need for parents to sit their children down and give formal lessons. Instead, parents should teach it throughout the day in a fun and organic way by remembering the mantra: When you're out and about, sound it out:

Award-winning and certified, Reading Head Start will eliminate the need for expensive tutors or developmental delays. And that in itself is worth the investment. Your child can become a leader in their classroom — and you can teach them how. Become more hands-on with your child’s willingness to learn, utilizing the guidance of Reading Head Start. The results will shock you.
My daughter got her first book from the hospital at birth ;). I love that hospitals are even promoting reading at birth. Can I just say I hate hate hate sight words. My middle daughter is 9 and sight words were the death of her. Now that she is being taught all of the rules and exceptions through the Wilson program she is doing much better. I get that most kids learn to memorize sight words, but not all of them do. And I truly wish so much stock wasn’t put on memorization in reading. Especially since the amount of sight words or high frequency words they expect children to memorize seems like an awful lot of words that don’t follow the general rules of reading. They can be taught to break down every word. My oldest did fine with sight words though so I know my middle daughter is probably the minority here. However, I have also noticed that my oldest doesn’t have the skills to break down a word she doesn’t know the same way my middle daughter can.

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”.
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