Teaching Children To Read

Teach reading at home
A fun & easy learning to read program

Reading and comprehensionReading and comprehension - butterflies

The purpose of reading is to make meaning from the text. It is important to be reading books about things they are interested in.

Children are far more likely to gain meaning from books that have familiar words and topics of interest.

Reading for meaning

When children can relate personal experiences to the text in a story, then reading comprehension will more likely occur than if they are unable to relate to the book or if the story is not interesting.

If your child has a fascination with wombats, find books about wombats. If kids are interested in the story, they are far more likely to want to read it.

Mother and son - Reading comprehensionWhen children are learning to read, there is a difference between the stories that are read to children and the stories that children read. Many schools use basal readers, commonly called ‘readers’ for children’s first reading books. Basal readers come in sets where the vocabulary becomes increasingly more difficult as children move through the graded readers. The readers usually have accompanying activities and worksheets.

There is debate in the educational community regarding the use of basal readers. Some critics consider basal readers focus on skill development rather than fostering an enjoyment of reading.

The quality of the basal readers is often questioned; some believe that the readers are not particularly interesting or meaningful for children.

Children experience comprehension difficulties if they cannot accurately or fluently identify the words in the story. If they have to stop to decode a large percentage of the words they read, their attention is diverted away from the story line and from the important task of comprehension. They have actually read the text, but they have not comprehended or understood it.

For more information about how children learn to read check out this great site: How to teach children to read.

Sight words

Teach your child commonly used sight words, this will make reading comprehension a lot easier. Sight word cards can build your child's word bank and increase their reading skills.

Create books specifically for your child

Children need books that are interesting and important to them. The first books you introduce to your child need to be simple ones. You can make reading especially for your beginner reader.

There are many different ways to write stories specifically for your child.

1. Take a piece of art work they have completed and ask them to tell you about it. Write the story down, type it out and attached it to their drawing.

2. Children often draw pictures about what interests them, so you may be able to take a series of their art work. Type out simple sentences to match the illustrations, staple the art work together and create a story book.

3. Make up a short story using words that they know. Type it out and then ask your child to draw the illustrations to go with the text.

4. Take a series of photographs of a family member throughout the day and use them to  make a story. Type out the words and glue the photographs to the relevant pages.

5. Use simple story phrases that incorporate commonly used words, these are ideal for creating your child's first story books. Add a story line with things your child is currently interested in and you have a recipe for success.

For information about improving your own reading skills here is a link to a site about how adults improve their reading comprehension.

...Next - Reading fluency

 Quick links
 Book of rhymes  Family word wheel  Sight word Cards  Blending word cards
 Alphabet flash cards  Sentences with sight words  Books for babies  Beginner books