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What’s the best way to teach children to read? According to the National Reading Panel, “teaching children to manipulate phonemes in words was highly effective under a variety of teaching conditions with a variety of learners across a range of grade and age levels and that teaching phonemic awareness to children significantly improves their reading more than instruction that lacks any attention to Phonemic Awareness.”  This is a statement made by the National Reading Panel (NRP) in their report titled “TEACHING CHILDREN TO READ: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction.”
Phonemic Awareness instruction was selected for review by the NRP in their report because studies have identified phonemic awareness and letter knowledge as two of the best predictors of how well children will learn to read in their first 2 years of entering school. There is strong scientific evidence to suggest that phonemic awareness instructions are an important part of helping children develop reading skills.
Children who are taught with phonics and phonemic awareness instructions are consistently able to decode, read, and spell, and even demonstrated significant improvement in their ability to comprehend text. Even older children who receive these similar teachings can improve their ability to decode and spell.
3 Tips to Teach Your Child How to Read
Learning to read at a young age is important for the development of the child. It helps them develop a better understanding of their surroundings, allows them to gather information from printed materials, and provides them with a wonderful source of entertainment when they read stories and rhymes. Children develop at different rates, and some children will develop reading skills quicker than other children; however, what’s important is that as the parent, you are keenly aware of your child’s maturity and reading level to provide them with appropriate books and activities to help them improve.
As parents, you are the most important teacher for your children. You will introduce your child to books and reading. Below we have some tips to help you teach your child to read.
Teach Your Child How to Read Tip #1
Teach your child alphabet letters and sounds at the same time. Studies have shown that children learn best when they are taught the letter names and letter sounds at the same time. In one study, 58 preschool children were randomly assigned to receive instructions in letter names and sounds, letter sound only, or numbers (control group). The results of this study are consistent with past research results in that it found children receiving letter name and sound instruction were most likely to learn the sounds of letters whose names included cues to their sounds. 
When teaching your child the letter sounds, have them slowly trace the letter, while saying the sound of the letter at the same time. For example, if you were teaching your child the letter “A”, you would say:
“The letter A makes the /A/ (ah) sound.”
Then have your child say the /A/ sound while tracing the letter with his or her index finger.
Teaching a Child How to Read Tip #2
When teaching your child to read, always emphasize with them that the proper reading order should be from left to right, and top to bottom. To adults, this may seem so basic that anyone should know it. However, our children are not born with the knowledge that printed text should be read from left to right and top to bottom, and this is why you’ll sometimes see children reading from right to left instead – because they were never explicitly taught to read from left to right. When teaching your child how to read, always emphasize this point with them.
Teach Your Child How to Read Tip #3
Teach final consonant blends first. Teaching words such as “at” and “and” can lead your child directly to learning words that rhyme with these. For example, for “at”, you can have:
For “and”, you can have these rhyming words:
and so on…
You can start teaching blends once your child has learned the sounds of some consonants and short vowel sounds. You don’t need to wait until your child has mastered the sounds of all the letters before teaching blends.
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.
Teaching Phonics to Children
Phonics is a necessary part of any good method of teaching children to read. Teaching Children phonics and helping them develop phonemic awareness is the key to mastering words, which is the first key step toward successful reading. Children need to develop a knowledge of the letters, the sounds represented by the letters, and the connection between sounds created by combining the letters where words are formed.
This is an essential part of mastering reading and enabling children to become independent readers. By learning phonics and phonemic awareness, children gain the ability to pronounce new words, develop clear articulation, improve spelling, and develop self-confidence.
When it comes to teaching your children to read, it must include three basic principles:
1) Reading for the child, whether it’s a word, sentence, or story, must appeal to your child’s interests.
2) Never pressure or force your child into reading, turning it into a negative “event” in their life. It should be a fun, enjoyable, and rewarding experience. This will take ample amounts of patience on the part of the parents, and some creativity.
3) Teaching your child to read must begin with the mastery of the phonemes – the individual sounds which make up the words.
The basic process of teaching phonics and phonemic awareness to children includes teaching them the letters and letter sounds; then you teach the child to combine (or blend) various letter sounds together to form words; which is then followed by reading sentences and simple stories. This is a logical progression for children to learn reading, where they develop accuracy in decoding words and pronouncing words. This method of teaching also helps the child to spell correctly. Gradually, the different elements of phonics are combined to produce new words, and leads to the discovery of new words by the child using this process which becomes an “automatic reflex”.
Teaching phonics to children should take 10 to 15 minutes each day, and these “lessons” should take place in several small sessions each day – such as 4 or 5 sessions lasting 3 to 5 minutes each. For older pre-school children, lessons can be slightly longer; however, several minutes each session is all that’s needed.
One way to start teaching phonics to children with ear training – by helping them develop the understanding that words are made up of smaller units of sounds, or known as phonemes, and when you combine these sounds, a word is formed. You can start this with very short sessions, as already mentioned. A few minutes a day is all that you need. The key, however, is consistency and patience.
During these short sessions, sound out words slowly and distinctly. You can do this without even making the child aware that you are trying to teach them. Simply take words from your everyday speaking to your child and include oral blending sounds into your sentences. For example, if you wanted to ask your child to drink his milk, you could say: “Joe, d-r-i-n-k your m-ilk.” The words drink and milk are sounded out slowly and distinctly. The level of sound separation can be set by you to increase or lower the difficulty. Thus, if Joe has a tough time figuring out that d-r-i-n-k means drink, you can lower the difficulty by blending the word as dr-ink instead.
Alternatively, you could simply pick different words and play blending sounds games with your child. You simply say the sounds of the word slowly and ask the child to try to guess what you are saying.
This concept of individual sounds forming words may take some time for your child to grasp. Some children will pick it up quickly, while other children may take longer, but one thing that’s certain is that if you keep it up, your child will catch on. Below are some sample words which you can use to play blending sounds activities with your child.
The first word is more segmented than the second word and will be more difficult to sound out. Please note that hyphens are used to indicate the letter sounds instead of slashes.
ie: J-u-m-p /J/ /u/ /m/ /p/
This is done to make things easier to read; however, when you read it, you should not read the names of the letters, but instead, say the sounds of the letters. This type of ear training for phonics and phonemic awareness should continue throughout the teaching process, even well after your child has grasped this concept.
It can be applied to words with increasing difficulty. Again, please always keep in mind that not all children can readily blend the sounds to hear the word, so you must be patient, and drill this for days, weeks, or even months if needed. Consistency and frequency is the key to success here and not sporadic binge sessions.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Reading Program
All children are different with different learning abilities while learning to read is necessary it can also be a little overwhelming for both of you, how different letters fit together, what sounds they make etc.
For children with difficulties, it can be even harder to overcome these challenges. Therefore carefully choose a learning program that fits your needs.
The teaching method that’s most effective is Phonics. Phonics helps children understand what sound the letters make and how they behave when other letters surround them and where they fall in the word etc. Phonics lays the foundation for lifelong learning. Understanding why a letter sounds the way it does means even when they encounter a word they don’t know they can sound it out quicker.
Understanding Phonics is a lifelong skill that your child can use to adapt to. You may even find success in using a combination of different ways to learn to read to help them the most.
Your child should not only be able to read but also understand and remember new concepts, reading should more engaging and fun.
As parents, it is our duty to take the time and effort to give our children the most important skill in life-Reading!