Learn how you can help your child now with the Reading Head Start program. The current English curriculum used by public schools in the U.S. has remained unchanged since it was implemented in the 1930s. Due to lack of funding, children in schools do not have access to the most efficient methods for learning how to read. Sadly, there are 32 million people in the U.S. who are illiterate today. The U.S. Department of Education has stated that if a child does not meet the literary standard by the time they finish 1st grade, they are 88 percent more likely to keep falling behind up to fourth grade. Parents who want to take more of an active role in helping their children succeed in their literary pursuits will find a proven and guaranteed method with Reading Head Start.

If your child is reading and comes to a difficult or unfamiliar word, encourage "sounding it out" or breaking the word into smaller parts to read one part at a time. If the word still is too hard, suggest skipping it and reading the rest of the sentence, then thinking about what word would make sense in that context ("What do you think would work in this sentence?"). 


Hi, I’m Spanish and I’m an English teacher in Spain. I’ve only spoken English to my son since he was 1 year old. He’s four now. I have a problem which I’ve realized is quite common. My wife doesn’t speak any English, so I speak Spanish with her, so Spanish is the language at home and in the street. What’s my problem? Before he started school last September he used to utter some sentences in English , but his use of English has been reduced since then. I googled my situation and other people’s children go through the same problem. Some suggested initiation to reading and that’s what I’m tring. Any other suggestions which may be useful. My kid is able to understand ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I say and cartoons in English, but I would like him to speak it more often to me. Any suggestions are welcome. I have bought a game called Zingo to work on sight words.

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.


But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby loves the most — your voice and closeness to you — and books. Spending time reading to your baby shows that reading is a skill worth learning. And, if infants and children are read to often with joy, excitement, and closeness, they begin to associate books with happiness — and budding readers are created.
Point to the place in your mouth/throat where you are naming that sound, and have them imitate it. You can also make up a motion for each letter sound and remind them which ones are in a designated word. Looking up rhymes online to remember these may help. It may also help to write the words out and point to each letter as you make the sound for visual learners. Remember to be a good example and always speak clearly. If you are talking to your child and they say something incorrectly, just clearly repeat that word in your response, without embarrassing your child. If your child is still having trouble, have him tested for a speech disorder.
I am fully confident she will learn to read when she learns to read, but as a parent, I sometimes wonder if I should be trying to speed up the process. I’ve followed the advice of friends and purchased BOB Books for beginning readers, and I often prompt her to sound words out. I can tell that she almost gets it, but I can also tell that I’m not much help. So when Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of Raising Kids Who Read, told me that parents don’t need to worry about teaching young kids the mechanics of reading—and in fact, he warns against doing so—I felt free.

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.


I totally agree that reading to your baby is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your child. However, I do think that it is an amazing blessing if your child can read before the standard age of 6. If they know how to read, they can get lost in the magical pages of books – developing a love for reading very early on. Did you ever use any DVDs with young children to help them learn to read? I have used several programs with my children – although my favorite is MonkiSee – and have gleaned many wonderful results. Do you support educational DVDs for teaching babies to read? Have you ever used any?
This is indeed a wonderful post! I have a 14 month old who loves his books. I will be socking this article away for frequent reference. I will note, however, I found the odd reference about how men are not prone to reading very strange indeed. Perhaps I am just unusually fortunate in this respect, but so many of the men in my life adore reading, that it struck me as quite false. I am, in fact, married to a male librarian who loves to read and is beyond thrilled that our little guy has begun grabbing books and bringing them over for him to read. But that assertion aside, an excellent article. Thank you!
​​​​My son Jake ABSOLUTELY LOVES Reading Head Start!!! I've tried a few reading programs in the past and he's quickly lost interest in all of them. Reading Head Start has been so fantastic because you guys are always adding new content to engage him. He's constantly asking to log on and see what's new. Whats made all the difference is that you actually have made this as much about parents as you have the kids. You've shown me how to best teach my child and that's empowering to say the least! Now I REALLY CANT WAIT to send him off to school and get back that first report card! This has been a blessing for our family." *Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.
For your children to grow smart, it is a must for them to become bookworms early.  The benefits of reading to children cannot be overemphasized.  You, as a parent, can form your children’s reading habit by starting them early – from babies to preschool kids.  The loving environment created by reading to your young children will help them associate reading with your warmth, and this conditions their minds to feel that reading is a positive, pleasurable activity.
A complete list of the Author, Illustrator, John Steptoe, and Virgina Hamilton winners (and honor books where appropriate). Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream.

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.
When my sons were in middle school, they loved participating in the “Battle of the Books,” a nation-wide program to promote reading. Kids formed teams and read selected books that were high quality and age-appropriate. Then they competed against other teams at their school and other schools, answering questions about the books: characters, plot, symbolism, etc. The team and competition aspect motivated my boys to read, and they had a fun time doing it. I also read a couple of the books aloud to them. Because the books were chosen by a committee of professionals, I enjoyed reading them and discussing the important ideas they covered (immigration, bullying, discrimination) with my sons.

You may go through a period when your child favors one book and wants it read night after night. It is not unusual for children to favor a particular story, and this can be boring for parents. Keep in mind, however, that a favorite story may speak to your child's interests or emotional needs. Be patient. Continue to expose your children to a wealth of books and eventually they will be ready for more stories.

Table 1 includes the prerequisites, activities, resources, and evaluation for each credit-hour option of this module on dialogic reading. Use the table to select the links and follow the instructions for completing the option(s) you select. You must do the options in order, beginning with Option A, but you can stop at any time and are not required to complete the remaining options.
Although I do agree that children learning to read is a must have skill in life, I don’t think that you need this program in order to make that happen. I am also a big lover of holding a paperback book in my hands. I much prefer my children read actual books than reading off of a computer screen. In my opinion, children spend enough time on electronic devices these days, and should keep some things as they are meant to be – hence the term “curl up with a good book”.
You seem very passionate about reading and I think that’s great. However, you seem very defensive about the method. Quite frankly my only goal is to help children learn to read and I have found that starting with sight reading is the easiest and best method. You, of course are entitled to your opinion as is Mrs Freeman. My son is now turning 10 and he is reading and memorizing Shakespeare (having learned to read from – YES – “call words”!). You are welcome to go to my website and see him doing it if you doubt it. And BTW, my son is 100% homeschooled and he too remains above grade level.
They make facts fun. Not every picture book has to tell a story. Many of the most memorable approach their role differently: They show fascinating information about life, often broken up into bite-sized chunks. The books of Richard Scarry, for example, give children a lot of stuff to look at (and sneak in ministories that don’t require a long commitment). For many children, picture books that are organized like catalogs or encyclopedias are even more compelling than stories, and even the most story-loving child likes to occasionally get lost in these “fact books.”
It’s made a huge difference in our child’s life, and it can probably make a huge difference in yours. Not only is Jen rocking her grades at school more than ever, but she’s feeling confident about her skills. She wants to read everything she can out loud, and we’re thrilled to have discovered kids’ phonics lessons that spark a passion for learning in her.

Whether it’s right before bedtime or sometime during the day, make sure there is a time where you focus on reading together. It doesn’t have to be long, twenty minutes a day will still make a huge difference. During these times, take note of what types of stories your child is interested in. If there is a certain theme or author he seems to enjoy, try to find related books that he can start to practice with.
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Picture books are bigger than board books, with (be careful!) rippable pages and, usually, a slightly longer, more developed story. You can introduce picture books into the story time mix right from the newborn days, but the sweet spot for picture books is later toddlerhood and beyond. Your child’s awareness of the world is always expanding, and picture books tell more ambitious stories, going to new places, and helping the child to understand and navigate each stage of life (a new sibling, the beginning of preschool, conflict with a friend, fear of the dark, picky eating, and so on).

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.”
With four levels in total, children of all ages can benefit. With 10 weeks worth of lessons in each level, your child will benefit from thousands of reading hours. Education is the key to success and by encouraging children to start reading sooner, they can develop key life skills that will promote long-term growth. She is now helping thousands of children improve their reading skills, supporting their future success.

Other activities that support the child's growing intelligence and curiosity are activities designed to apply previously learned knowledge. So if the child learned shapes before, now he can match and group objects of the same shape. If she learned colors, she should be able to do the same. Puzzles are another useful toy at this age, as they improve hand-eye coordination as well as develop problem-solving skills.
Ask questions about the stories. Similar to when you were reading stories to your child, every time your child reads ask them questions about what they’ve just read. At first it will be difficult for them to think critically about meanings of words and the buildup of character development and plot (or the semblance of those things in the most basic of stories), but over time they will develop the necessary skills to answer questions.
Children's songs and nursery rhymes aren't just a lot of fun—the rhyme and rhythm help kids to hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps them learn to read. A good way to build phonemic awareness (one of the most important skills in learning to read) is to clap rhythmically together and recite songs in unison. This playful and bonding activity is a fantastic way for kids to implicitly develop the literacy skills that will set them up for reading success.
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