A Little Reading... Teaching Children to Read

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold,
Richer than I you can never be ,
I had a mother who read to me.
— Strickland Gillilan

Teaching a love of reading is the most important academic skill you can offer a child. All subjects, including math, are dependent on reading skills. The following is a list of resources and tips that opened the world of reading to my children and me. Each of these books focuses on teaching a parent how to teach reading.

1. The Read Aloud Handbook. An in depth look at how reading aloud to children, even teens, is the key to effective learning and a love of independent reading. An analysis of other countries whose literacy rates are higher than ours and why that is. Great for parents, grandparents and teachers of any age.

2. The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. An excellent day by day guide for parents in teaching reading to small children. The explanations are clear, precise, fun and no-nonsense. It will take you from preschool through a first grade level. Perfect for parents who want a tutorial on how to teach vowels, nouns, verbs, contractions, etc. Ages three to seven.

3. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. My second child really took off with this book. The print is easy to read, the pictures engaging and the stories are not babyish. It will take you from preschool through first grade level; ages three to seven.

4. I See Sam Little Books, Set 1 and 2. Once a child knows the letter sounds (not names) he or she is ready for these excellent readers. Our children, after the first fourth or so of the Ordinary Parents Guide, graduated to these books. They got to put a sticker in the back when they read it through twice. These books have prompts for the parent- I found it extremely helpful. After our children finished these series they were ready for easy chapter books.

5. The Well-Trained Mind. A 400-page book of resources on teaching your child nearly any subject. Even if home schooling isn't in your future, having access to pages and pages of the best teaching resources for every grade and each subject is priceless.

6. The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. A companion to the Well-Trained Mind, this book teaches adults how to read and analyze books for our own learning and enjoyment. Other than trips to the library and reading aloud, the single best way I have increased my children's love and frequency of reading is by reading myself. It's astounding, but even when I read brain candy (and ignore the house and other basic needs) the kids sit down of their own accord and throw themselves into books.

7. Have books all around your house. We ditched our T.V. nine years ago and instead have a house full of books. And a house full of readers. Savers sells books for $.69, buy four get one free. My sister takes her whole family, husband and wife included, to the book store once a month and let's them pick a book to buy; the children rush home to read them them.

Even my little ones who have been resistant to reading or were more wiggly than book wormy have been able to gain a love of reading. It's the love of reading that is the goal. These books aren't about producing a three year-old who will astound your family or impress other preschool moms. Instead, these books will help your child gain access to the world of words, knowledge, fantasy, emotion and fact. "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free," says Frederick Douglass. You CAN teach your child to love reading and set them free!


Lisita said...

Perfect timing, I need these tips! Thank-you!

ABrooks said...

I was just wondering how in the world I am going to teach my little one to read! thanks! Aly

Gette said...

This is what I'm looking for. Great article! Thanks for sharing :-)


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