Inside: It’s never to early to start raising a reader! These are 10 things parents can do to help teach kids to read at home. Sponsored by Reading Eggs.
When schools were temporarily closed this past spring, one of my biggest worries was how to teach my then-kindergartener to read.
They’d started the basics in class and she was able to read short words and sentences. However, I was nervous that I wouldn’t know how to make sure she really “got it” at home.
The good news is that we did it!
A few months later and my now 6-year-old is reading books at the second and third grade reading level. I’m truly amazed by how much she’s processed!
While I have three kids, I don’t consider myself an expert and I have no formal teaching experience. So that means that you can do it too!
In this post I’ll share what we did — including bedtime stories together as a family and exciting interactive apps like Reading Eggs — that helped our daughter’s reading abilities explode!
When do kids learn to read?
There isn’t necessarily a “right” age to learn to read. Just like any other skill, different kids will learn and progress in their own time.
However, schools often have their own timetables for when kids should be reading and classwork is designed accordingly. Kids who aren’t reading when schools say they’re supposed to may struggle to keep up with their classmates.
That can definitely be a stressful experience for both kids and parents!
10 Ways to Teach Kids to Read at Home
The good news is that there are many ways to help your child learn to read and LOVE to read. These are things that not only are recommended by experts, but that our own family used to help our girls learn to read.
Patience is the key to parenting in general! I find that if I get frustrated, my kids can sense it right away…and then nothing gets done!
Learning to read is not an overnight thing — and that’s ok! Some kids pick it up quickly, some need a little more guidance and time.
Read together often
The best way to foster a love of reading is to do it! Bedtime stories are a big deal in our house and something we all look forward to doing.
However, throughout the day we’ll often take “quiet time” breaks. This is the perfect opportunity for independent reading (for the big kid) and story time for myself and the younger ones.
We are our children’ biggest influence — if kids see that you love books, they’re more likely to love them too!
Discuss what you read
After you’ve read a story, take a few minutes to talk about it. One thing I notice with both of my older daughters is that they will get excited and try to read something as quickly as possible. The problem is that when they speed-read, they don’t always soak in all of the information.
Discussing what you read together makes sure that your kids remember and understand what they story was all about. It will also help them down the road on reading comprehension tests!
Practice high-frequency sight words
If you have an elementary age child, then you’ve probably heard the term “sight words” or “high frequency words.” These are short, common words that young readers should know at first sight, without having to guess or sound them out.
Practicing sight words and regularly adding more to the list will help your children read better and faster because they’ll have a bigger vocabulary.
Related: Easter Egg Sight Words Game
Keep track of what you read
Seeing is believing! Starting a reading log is an easy way to track progress and let kids see how many books they’ve read.
Just like in video games, setting goals and achieving milestones are big motivators for kids. With a reading log kids could earn rewards or treat when they read 5 books, 10 books, etc.
Make reading fun!
This is the big one! Reading shouldn’t be a chore, it should be exciting!
My oldest daughter loves to read fantasy and adventure books — it’s always been her way to relax and escape to new places.
Now that my middle daughter is reading, it’s opened up whole new worlds for her too!
One of the ways that we make reading special is by allowing the girls to pick out new books for their collection every once and a while. New books are rewards for good behavior, good grades, etc.
My uncle has also started sending us collectible editions of classic books for our collection. Whenever we get a book delivery in the mail, that is an exciting day for sure!
We also use apps like Reading Eggs to help the girls build skill and confidence, while having fun.
Kids these days are surrounded by technology, so why not use that to our advantage when teaching them new things?
What is Reading Eggs?
Reading Eggs is an award-winning app, developed by a team of experts with over 30 years of experience. These elementary school teachers, writers, and developers pooled their knowledge to create a truly remarkable resource for parents to help their kids learn to read.
How it Works:
Each child creates their own profile for a personalized experience tailored to their specific needs.
Once that’s done, your child takes a quick placement exam which allows the app to start your child at the correct reading level.
After that, kids can choose from a variety of interactive lessons that practice skills like phonetic awareness, sight words recognition, and reading comprehension. My daughter especially enjoyed the car racing game — with each correct answer, the car drives further around the race track!
Everything is self-paced, so kids can work at their own speed. There’s nothing to “keep up” with, so it really helps kids become self-motivated and build confidence.
Kids earn golden eggs for completing lessons, which can be used to “buy” items for their avatar, like customized clothing. They can also redeem the eggs to play in-app games, such as Concentration.
These rewards are quite motivating — my daughter loved to show me how many eggs she could earn. The games also allow children to enjoy what our family has dubbed “brain breaks” after working hard on lessons.
After your child completes a map, you’ll receive an email with a progress report. That way you know exactly how they’re doing, without having to stand over their shoulder.
Why Reading Eggs Works
The Reading Eggs program is based on scientific research and focuses on the five essential keys to reading success:
- Phonemic awareness
The science behind Reading Eggs is solid and when used consistently, can help teach kids to read in as little as a few weeks!
Over 91% of parents reported a noticeable improvement of their child’s reading skills when using Reading Eggs!
My 6-year-old enjoys the app and loves to earn golden eggs. In fact, Annabelle’s older sister saw how much fun she was having and wanted to play too!
Anything that gets my kids excited about learning is a definite win in my book! (Pun intended!)
The other thing I like about Reading Eggs is that there are a LOT of different games, lessons, and stories, so kids never get bored. There are over 2000 online books for kids too!
This is a robust app, it’s well programmed (no glitching!), and overall an excellent value! You can even try it out free with my link below:
Raising a Reader
Even if your child already has a basic grasp on reading, using tools like Reading Eggs can build their confidence and make sure that they don’t just “pass” but master the skills needed to be a lifelong reader.
Raising a reader has always been my goal for all of my girls, but I’ll admit that I was a little intimidated to try to do it at home. If you’re feeling that way too, take my story as proof that you don’t have to be an expert in education to teach your kids! That’s what the experts at Reading Eggs are there for!
Here a four more ways to encourage reading at home, from the experts at Reading Eggs:
- Create a print-rich environment at home, with lots of posters, labels, etc. that allow kids to see and practice reading throughout the day.
- Sing songs and nursery rhymes to build phonetic awareness and build vocabulary.
- Play word games while in the car or waiting at restaurants and appointments. Use every opportunity you have to learn!
- Use letter magnets to practice spelling and word recognition. We’ve done this and the girls love it! This is a picture of Annabelle as a toddler playing with her letters:
How to you try to raise readers at home? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!
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