Reading

Teach Kids to Read in 5 Easy Steps!

Step by step guide to teaching children how to read. Develop pre-reading skills with Unabashed Kids.

Scroll down to view the first step to learning how to read and click each step to find the skill set your child needs to master.

  1. Develop Pre-Reading Skills First (matching, direction, rhyming, and concepts of print)
  2. Learn Letter Sounds and Names
  3. Blend Letter Sounds together
  4. Reading CVC words and Word Families
  5. Understanding Vowels (Reading Tricky and Long vowel sounds)

Step 1: Develop these Pre-reading Skills First.

What are pre-reading skills? Pre-reading skills are the skills needed before a child can begin to learn how to read. A simplified list of pre-reading skills: matching, direction, motor skills, concepts of print, language skills, and rhyming. Of course, we must develop oral forms of language with newborns and toddlers. Pre-reading skills can also help develop oral language skills.  The 3 FREE worksheet packets below will help develop pre-reading skills and comprehension.

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  1. Matching 
    • Young children should learn to match shapes, patterns, letters, and then words. Part of what we do when reading is matching. That is why many adult readers can understand or read material with large amounts of errors.
  2. Concepts of Print
    • It is fine to make up stories at bedtime but reading an actual book helps to emphasize the concept of print. Letters make words when they come together and words make sentences when they are put together. Sentences are put together to make a story. 
    • Teach children how to hold a book properly. Tell them that words and symbols mean something. See if they recognize logos. When reading books to children point out the front cover, back cover, title, author, and illustrator. Teach them how to differentiate the front cover from the back cover of a book.
    • To teach about author and illustrator, say “Eric Carle is the author. What does an author do?” Teach the response “an author writes the words.” Do the same when it comes to the illustrator.
  3. Motor Skills
    • A motor skill is the ability to cause a predetermined movement outcome. Motor learning helps children perform the necessary tasks through practice. Infants love to imitate. Turning the pages of a board book is a great way to build fine motor skills. Every home and every classroom should have a small library. Please buy books for your infant. Soft feel and board books are designed especially for the infant to toddler age group. Use our affiliate link to discover infant and toddler books on amazon
  4. Develop Direction and Sequencing Skills
    • From the beginning of this article, you can already tell that reading books is much more than just knowing the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes. Some adults make the mistake of teaching children sounds, blends, and memorization of words without developing basic skills. Understanding direction and sequencing is a skill that is often skipped when teaching a child how to read. Direction: we read left to right and top to bottom. Sequencing: what comes first, second, third or first, middle, last. 
    • Children must be able to recall what they have read. Children who learn how to sound out words but never learn how to recall events of a story will struggle with reading comprehension.
    • Early intervention can prevent comprehension issues. Build these pre-literacy skills at the toddler stage. This can be done by reading books to little ones and asking questions about the story as you read. To take it a step further, you can ask a child to re-tell the story in the proper order. Do the same with a child’s day, have them retell what they did during the day, in the proper order. A teacher can create a daily schedule and end the preschool day with an afternoon circle time where students tell their favorite part of the day. Ask questions like “What did you do before, we played outside?” This builds sequencing skills. Check out our Unabashed Kids sequencing worksheets for kids age 2 and above.
  5. Develop Rhyming and Language Skills
    • Children may know how to speak their native language but may not recognize some phonemes (sounds) that make up the English vocabulary. Silly songs and rhymes can help draw their attention to these phonemes. Check out the activities below to help build phonemic awareness in toddlers.
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