How To Teach Your Baby To Read: Help Baby Learn To Read - Reading Programs For Babies

Deciding to home school and home school preschool your child is a very bold decision. You have decided to take responsibility for your child's education and not to leave it up to a stranger who might not have the necessary skills or your child's best interests at heart.

Of course there are many questions that you will need the answer before you can begin. The main one amongst these is; which reading method must you use?

Over the last 150 years of reading being taught in a classroom, two reading methods have come to light and have vied for dominance; phonics and sight reading. Each one has its advocates and its detractors.

What can you do to teach your child to read? Is it possible to make your child become a fast and fluent reader?

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So let's go through each one and look at their positives and negatives.


Phonics is currently the method in vogue and for very good reason. It is the sounding out of words, for example the word "cat" would be sounded out as "k-ae-t".

The benefits of sounding out the words are that it allows you to see an unknown word and sound it out so that you can read it. Phonics is your "translating software" which you use to translate a word. It is also the best way to teach older children to read as they will already have a large spoken vocabulary.

For all of its benefits however, phonics has a number of glaring short comings. The first of these is that young children do not have a vocabulary big enough, that if they sound out a word they would know what it is.

The second is that young children don't grasp what you want them to do. So if you show them a word and teach them to sound it out they don't know why they are doing it and this can lead to boredom, disinterest and your efforts will be wasted or take a lot longer than it should.

Thirdly, there are many words that are sight words (among these most of the 100 most common words in English) and these cannot be sounded out. Some examples of these words are "the, he, her, one and people".

Lastly, and most importantly, English is not a consistent language and as a result phonics has many different rules that have to be remembered and applied correctly.

Trying to teach a 2 year old the "rules of phonics" is no mean feat, no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary.

Sight reading

The Sight reading method, instead of teaching you to sound out a word, teaches you to learn a word like a photograph. You do not need to sound it out or spell it out.

This is similar to the way a Chinese child learns to "read" a Chinese character. This is also the way that adults read. We do not sound out the words but rather have memorized what each word looks like.

The drawbacks of sight reading is that if you encounter a word that you do not know, you have no way of determining how to pronounce it and have to rely on someone else to tell you.

Its advantages are that the majority of the most common words in English are sight words and cannot be sounded out by phonics.

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Which one must you choose?

When you home school or home school preschool your child your focus should be on ensuring that you build up your child's confidence and their passion for reading.

This can be achieved by firstly teaching your child to recognize and read the basics, and gradually working on improving their reading skills.

The biggest mistake parents all over the world make is to have a preference on which method to use. Your goal is to teach your child to read EASILY and QUICKLY. By choosing one method over the other you are limiting your child's potential.

As adults we only sight read yet we insist on teaching our children only phonics. Yet by using both methods together your results would be 100% more effective.

As such, sight reading should be the first method that you use to teach your child to read. It is a great confidence builder and children take to it easily and without effort.

You can begin by teaching your child to sight read the 100 most common words in English. This alone allows them to read over 50% of anything written in English.

They will also learn to sight read other more complex words. Repetition is key and just as we learn and remember a word, so do young children.

Once your child is reading proficiently and has read a few books, you can then take them to the next level and teach them phonics. By this time your child will have acquired an ease with words and become accustomed to what words "sound" like.

This will not only give them well rounded reading proficiency but also ensure that they can read well from an early age.

Remember, reading is like riding a bicycle. Once your child can read, they will become better at it by reading more. The more time they have in the saddle (or book) the better they will be.

Reading, like anything else in life, is a matter of practice and the earlier you start teaching your child to read, the better they will be at it.

Pay Close Attention Here-

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Watching students improve their reading is very exciting. Many of the families I work with know that I taught reading for 16 years. After leaving my full-time job, I stumbled upon a strategy that really accelerates children's reading ability. If children would use this strategy when they start reading they would be much better off. If I had focused on this strategy with students in the classroom, they would have advanced much more quickly.

Some of the students that come to our reading center are just beginning to read for the first time. For those not struggling, I would still tell them the best way to learn to read is using intensive phonics. For children wanting to finish their first book, they should use the same strategy. I tell my students and their parents, to focus on the rules of phonics when learning to read or improve reading skills and comprehension.

Don't Use Pictures to Teach Reading Comprehension

So a child looks at a book. They like the picture of the bear. It's fun to read! However, they should not be taught to read by looking at the picture of the bear. Do not associate the picture of the bear with the word bear. It's tempting, especially when you see so many children picture books. And many publishers try to closely match the pictures with the text.

Teach bear using basic phonics. Have your child sound the word out. Focus on the sounds - b-e-a-r. Actually, the word bear is somewhat tricky because ear sounds like air, which is not a beginning phonics rule. But I included it here, because you might see it in a beginning level book and it's such a fun character to have in a children's book.

Children who cannot read proficiently by grade 3 are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers - Here's How to Teach Your Child to Read Fluently

Choose Your First Book Carefully to Teach Reading Comprehension

The best first book for a child is one that has simple basic words where they can be taught what each sound of the word makes. For a beginning reader, their first lesson and their first book should have words with basic phonic sounds - the consonants that make only one sound and short vowel sounds.

If they are sounding out the word and not guessing or being taught to memorize words, then it will be easier for them to understand the word. Sounding out the word is a left brain activity. Understanding the word is a right brain activity. Looking at flash cards is a right brain activity and causes the child to look at words as pictures. Words are not pictures. This makes reading very confusing.

Pick a Leveled Book to Teach Reading Comprehension

Companies like Scholastic have books that are clearly marked with a level. Find one of these books and a subject or story your child will like. You like to read about things that interest you. So do your children. It might be a little easier if you pick a few books and your child gets to pick from your choices rather than having them pick a book from a library shelf or a bookstore shelf.

This may sound basic...and it is. So enjoy this exciting time with your children as they read their first book and improve their reading comprehension.

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Learning to read is the single most important achievement of a child's academic life. All other success in school depends on this important skill. Yet many parents spend more time worrying about teaching their child to tie their shoes than they do about reading. Why should you give your child reading lessons? After all, isn't that what the professionals are supposed to do in school?

True, trained teachers are an important part of learning to read for most children, but no matter how skilled and dedicated your child's teacher may be they still have a couple dozen other children to worry about in addition to your child. You can focus your attention and energy better because you do not have to worry about teaching 25 children to read. You only have to teach one child.

You also know your child's strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. You also know your child's interests. This means you can craft reading lessons and reading activities that will challenge and intrigue your child.

There is another important reason why you should be a part of teaching your child to read. Sometimes schools and reading programs fail to meet the needs of all children. Some children struggle with certain reading programs and fall behind their peers. If you are involved then you can spot these difficulties and take steps to intervene before it is too late. If you are not involved then you may now know until your child has fallen behind.

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No matter how busy your schedule, you do have time to work in reading lessons because they should be short, more like mini lessons, in any case and many can be done while you are taking care of other chores such as shopping, driving, or cleaning.

Do not feel intimidated by the enormity of the project. Teaching a child to read takes years and a dedicated staff in most schools' reading programs. However you do not need to take on the whole project on your shoulders. Work with your child's teacher and school reading program to reinforce lessons learned in school. If you have time to do more research then you can go beyond those but simply supporting the efforts of the formal reading program can do a lot to help your child.

You do not need to buy any special equipment or reading programs. Most often you can use books, paper and writing utensils from your home or local library to support your efforts.

You should give your child reading lessons because you should be a part of this important step in your child's development, you are the best equipped person to teach your child, and you do not have to do it alone. Teaching your child to read can be fun and rewarding for you both.

Many in-service teachers are not knowledgeable in the basic concepts of the English language. They do not know how to address the basic building blocks of language and reading. - This is NOT a statement that we are making, rather, this is a finding from a study done at the Texas A&M University. Their study was aptly titled "Why elementary teachers might be inadequately prepared to teach reading." To discover the scientifically proven methods, that will enable you to teach your child to read, and help your child become a fast and fluent reader, visit Approaches to Teaching Reading

Learning to read is a long process, but it doesn't have to be a difficult process. Broken down into intuitive and logical steps, a child as young as two years old can learn to read, and older children can accomplish even more. For a simple, step-by-step program that can help your child learn to read - Click Here

There are two methods for teaching children to read; whole language and phonics. Whole language is a "whole - part" method of teaching children to read, while phonics is a "part - whole" reading method. These terms will be explained more fully in the article. The advantages and disadvantages of both of these methods have been debated for decades. School systems have switched from one method to another and back again countless times over the years. The debate continues. In the meantime, we as parents are still left asking the question, "What is the best way to teach my child to read?" My answer is an unequivocal combination of both methods, with a stronger emphasis on the phonics approach.

Phonics: The "part - whole" reading method

In the phonics method, children are taught how to "sound out" new words. Phonics is a series of rules that children have to learn, memorize and apply when they are sounding out new words. Children are taught a rule, for example, "short a", and then they practice reading words with "short a" (hat, cat, sat, bat, rat, etc.) Then children do skill sheets at their desk highlighting the "short a" rule. Children must learn letter sounds to an automatic level - they must be able to see the letter(s) and say the sound immediately.

Most teachers who rely on the phonics method teach the rules in the following order:

· Teach your child alphabet letter names and sounds. Start with the consonant letter sounds: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z · Blend sounds: br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, wr, bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, scr, str, sm, sn, sp, sc, sk · Short vowel sounds: a, e, i, o, u Always teach short vowel sounds first: a - apple, e - elephant, i- igloo, o - octopus, u - umbrella) · Digraph sounds: sh, ch, th, wh Two letters combine to make a totally different sound. · Double vowel sounds: ai, ea, ee, oa These pairs say the name of the first vowel. · Other double vowel sounds: oi, oo, ou, ow · Silent e: Silent e is bossy, it doesn't say anything but makes the vowel before it say its own name. · R controlled vowel sounds: ar, er, ir, or, ur Notice that er,ir and ur make the same sound.

Reading makes your child SMARTER, here's how to develope early reading skills

The problem with relying solely on a phonics approach is that usually the reading/practice materials aren't very interesting, "See Spot run. Run Spot run. Spot runs fast." In addition, children who struggle in reading memorize phonic rules, and then are unable to apply phonic rules to connected print. To remedy this problem, two things must happen: 1. Only the most important phonic rules should be taught in the least complicated manner possible. For example, in teaching vowel sounds, it is distracting to talk about "short versus long" vowels. Instead, a child should be taught the short vowel sounds first. Then when a child encounters a long vowel as in the word find, tell him, "That vowel says its own name."

2. Phonics must be taught in a way that allows children to immediately practice phonic information in real stories. Every time a child is taught new phonic information, he should be given a short reading selection that highlights the phonic rule. Completing a skill sheet is good, but even better is to help the child practice applying the phonic skill to connected print.

Whole Language: The "whole - part" reading method

In the whole language approach, teachers use connected print to introduce reading to children. Children are encouraged to memorize words as whole units. They do hands-on activities such as writing in journals, and analyzing words in context, by using pictures, for meaning.

Teach your child how to read a couple of sentences or one paragraph until it sounds great. The whole language method helps your child learn to read "sight words." Sight words must be memorized because they don't follow phonic rules. Half of all words in the English language are sight words (the, said, find, etc.)

Whole language has strengths in that children begin to write early. They are involved in connected print, and they are using personal language skills making the process of reading more interesting. The weakness of whole language methods is that some children never get a full phonics foundation. They are unable to decode (sound out) unfamiliar words. Research has shown that good readers always use phonics to decipher new words.

To summarize, reading is best taught using a combination of three methodologies: · Auditory training - training for the ears to prepare the child's brain for reading. Auditory training was discussed in the first article in this series. · Phonics - knowledge of letter(s) sounds. A child cannot learn to read without proper knowledge in phonics. It is the foundation for success in reading.

* Whole Language - immediate application of phonics into connected stories.

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When reading to your child, read slowly, and point to the words that you are reading to help the child make a connection between the word your are saying and the word you are reading. Always remember that reading should be a fun and enjoyable activity for your children, and it should never feel like a "chore" for them. Click here to help your child learn to read

Author's Bio: 

Now you can teach your child to read and make him or her develop critical, foundational reading skills that puts them years ahead of other children....even if they are having difficulties at learning to read! Visit Techniques for Teaching Reading

The first few years of life are the most important and critical for the development of literacy skills, and having a literacy-rich environment at home will ensure your child becomes a successful reader. Aside from reading to your child, specific instructions and teaching must be used to teach your child to read. For a simple, step-by-step program that will help you teach your child to read, visit Best Way to Teach Reading

Reading Makes Your Child Smarter, and Your Child Misses a GOLDEN Opportunity, If You Do Not Teach Your Child to Read Now. Discuss your child's reading problems on our forum. We can help you easily teach your child to read! Go to: Reading Forum