How To Teach A Toddler To Read
Let’s me show you how to teach a toddler to read…
A child’s mind is porous like a sponge. It effortlessly absorbs everything that goes into it. Children are born explorers. Discovery almost comes natural to them. They love learning new things – sounds, sights, tastes, smell, and texture. Everything is meant to be studied and inspected from every angle. We are sure you as parents agree with this as well. Finding your toddler fascinated with the simplest little thing is not unusual.
Knowing of this urge to learn, the notion that many parents hold of a child being too young to learn to read is a dangerous thought that can actually impede their intellectual potential.
No child is too young to read.
On the contrary, a child with a good vocabulary at a young age will actually have great success in reading later in life – at a higher grade level.
How much they know at age 3 is actually instrumental in determining how well they read in 1st grade. Furthermore, a longitudinal study that followed the progress of a group of 1st grade students up to the 11th grade, found that how the students did in first grade was a strong predictor of how well they will be able to read in the 11th grade.
The results also show that the faster the child acquires the ability to read, the stronger will they hold onto that reading habit later in life.
This is very important because it has been proven time and time again that reading expands your child’s intellectual abilities. All of the world’s most successful people are voracious readers.
Teaching toddlers to read: Is it even possible?
Many parents have a tendency of underestimating their kids’ abilities. Because they are small, they think that the child won’t be able to handle complex tasks like learning how to read a paragraph…forget about a book in its entirety.
The truth though is that they can!
Kids are literally thirsty for knowledge. Their imagination is as vast as the ocean, and the curiosity of how the world works inspires the desire to learn and discover. Many adults think that kids have too short of an attention span. This is not entirely true.
Let’s take an example. Let’s say your toddler found a small rock. Chances are he or she might be hooked on playing with that rock for half an hour, and in some cases even longer. They will look at it really well. Put it on the ground, pick it up and repeat the action several times, then discover the art of throwing the rock, farther and farther and farther.
The point is, as long as there is room to learn, and the lessons are taught in a very creative way where the child takes it as playing, you will find that your child will want to learn. Just like with toys, they will only lose focus once they have learned everything about it.
They will keep playing till the task at hand poses no more challenges for them.
The point of all the information above is to emphasize the fact that your toddler wants to learn, and they look up to you to teach them how to do so. They think of it as fun, so why not provide them with the most vital skill they need to succeed in life?
How To Teach Your Toddler To Read
The best way to teach toddlers to read is to approach the task in stages. This starts by reading to them and getting them interested in books. It then progresses to learning how books are designed to be read and then teaching the different sounds that the letters in words make.
Read To Them And Get Them Excited About Books
The first step to teaching a toddler to read is to get them excited about books. You can do this before they start learning to read. When they are very young you need to start reading books to them on a consistent basis.
Children’s books with lots of pictures are best for this. Your child will begin to understand that they can look at these pictures over and over again in the books, and this will bring back fond memories of you sitting with your toddler and sharing the excitement of reading the book to them. This will ensure that your baby starts to love books as they associate fun and pleasure with them.
When you are reading books to the very young it is not necessary to read the exact text in the book. You can go on a tangent here and talk a lot about the pictures of the cat or the boy or girl and relate this to something in real life.
Use a fun tone in your voice when you are reading to your baby. You can even sing some of the story to them. All of this adds to making a fun and interesting connection to books for your toddler.
Get The Right Books For Them
Buy some baby books and put these where your toddler can access them and open them. At this stage you want to go for books that cannot easily be destroyed by chewing and pulling. There are even cloth books available that will prevent this.
Go for books where your baby can feel different textures when they open them. There are some really fun books around that have push and squeeze elements to them where a sound will be made, and some even have mirrors so that the child can look at themselves and laugh at this.
Later on you can migrate to more conventional books with pictures as your child starts to understand more and is less likely to want to eat the book! These will have more text in them and a small story which will make it more fun.
Young children like stories about animals, other children, cars and other vehicles and small boys and girls doing interesting things like playing or discovering something. Read the book yourself before you buy or borrow it to see if it is suitable. After all, nobody knows your toddler better than you do.
Bear in mind that if your child likes the book and the story they will want you to read it over and over again! You will need to have the patience to do this as you want to encourage every interest that your child has in books.
Prepare Them For Reading When They Are Ready
When your child has developed an interest in books it is time to teach them some skills that will prepare them for reading. Your toddler should understand that books have a beginning and an end, or a front and back, and that the story unfolds on a page by page basis.
You need to explain to them that reading words happens from left to right and that the words and letters all have different shapes which tells you what they are as you read the story to them.
It is important that you keep reading books to your toddler at this stage. As you read the words use your finger to point them out and move steadily along the sentence. Use the pictures in the book to determine what the story is about and ask your child about the story.
Find out what your child liked about the story and ask them to tell you what a certain character did. If there is an animal in the story ask them what their name was and how they looked for example.
Go for books that have pictures that are funny and vivid and text that is not too complex. Books that have rhymes in them are very beneficial as your toddler will soon learn the structure and rhythm of these rhymes.
The listening skills of your child will also improve and it won’t be long before they are able to understand the initial sounds of the words being spoken. When you are reading rhymes you can ask your child to say the final word such as “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great…?”
Teach Them The Sounds Of The Letters
Now it is time to teach your toddler to read by discussing the sounds of letters with them. It is a good idea to start with your child’s name. When you do this be sure to sound out the letters by using their phonemes so if your child’s name is Amy you will explain the sounds /a/, /m/ and /y/.
Make this as fun as you can. Once your toddler knows the sounds of some letters play a game when you are out by pointing to street signs, or anything which contains the letters, and ask your child to make the sound. You can get toy letters to play in the bath with and also magnetic letters for the fridge.
In time your child will be able to spell their name with the toy letters. They will learn the different sounds and at this stage you want to help them blend the sounds together to form complete words. By doing this you will be teaching the principles of synthetic phonics and developing your child’s phonemic awareness.
Patience is required here. At first your child may struggle with the different sounds and make mistakes. This is fine. Just explain the correct pronunciation and move on. Don’t ever be angry with your toddler for getting anything wrong.
Why Teaching Toddlers To Read At Home Is Best
It is because you are the BEST teacher they will ever have. Think about it. You are the person who spends the most time with them. Your child is comfortable with you, and you know how they learn the best. Even if they haven’t started going to school yet, you can still start to teach them how to read the alphabet, words, and sentences. It will help them a lot once they officially start school.
Many parents are intimidated by the idea of teaching toddlers to read. They think, “I don’t have any formal training. I don’t know how to teach my toddler to read. So I don’t think I am qualified enough to teach my child how to read.” This is a fallacy that keeps many parents from actively engaging in this very important educational process of their children’s life.
There is no teacher better than YOU for them. Moreover, it is not as hard as you think.
Most parents are afraid to teach because they find the idea overwhelming. They just don’t know where to start. How do you actually start to teach them how to read? What’s the first step? Do you start by teaching them the alphabet? Or do you just make them memorize words by sight?
Want to hear the good news? The Children Learning Reading program actually provides you with a step by step strategic process that is incredibly easy to follow. The lessons are neatly and creatively designed to be short and powerful. In fact, you will find that these lessons progress gradually in complexity. Basically, this course is innovatively designed in a fashion where at no stage will your child find it too hard to follow.
The main concepts are broken down into easily digestible chunks, and presented in a very creative manner, where your child will actually never think they are actually learning at all. They might just think it’s a play session.
This is the exact course, Jim Yang, the creator of this program, used to teach all his kids how to read before they even turned 3.
Click the button below to be directed to the Children Learning Reading Program: