Positive Momma

Positive Parenting & Teaching

teach your child to read
teach your child to read

Teach Your Child to Read

Pre-Reading behaviors are important for your child to develop before they begin learning to read. Once they have developed these behaviors, you can begin to teach your child to read. I am going to cover all of the essential five areas of Pre-Reading behaviors with different posts for each one. This post is focused on print awareness. The other links will be included on the bottom of the posts as they are added.

Print awareness: Teach your child to read

A child who has print awareness understands that print represents words that have meaning and are related to spoken language. Really, Print awareness is simply a fancy name for knowing how to use a book. You open it, you make sure it’s right-side-up, you read the print from left to right, you use the pictures to help tell the story, etc. There are SO many activities out there that can help your child develop print awareness. You probably already do these things! You can enjoy engaging activities that will help your child develop print-awareness while having fun with such as:

Read-Aloud Strategies

  • Read-Aloud: read a variety of picture books to your child. There are some amazing picture books for children to choose from! As you read, make sure to:
    • Model your thinking process as you predict what the book could be about by pointing to the picture on the front and saying “Oh, there’s a cat on the cover of the book! This book must be about cats! “What is he doing in the picture, lets read and find out!” “This is the last page, The End!”
    • Allow your child to turn the pages. Show them how to be gentle with the book as they turn each page.
    • Run your finger under words as you read them to show the direction (left to right) that we read.
    • Ask your child if they can point to the first word on the page. If they get it wrong, just show them and then ask again on the next page. They will catch on at their own pace.

More Print Awareness Practice to Teach Your Child to Read

  • Make a Sign – Help and encourage your child to create signs that can go around the house, such as “Welcome to ______’s room,” “Door,” “Bathroom,” “Mom’s room.”  Doing this helps your child understand that words can be used to give us information.
  • Tell a Story – Encourage your child to tell you a story. Ask them to think about something that happened or a fun time they recently had… then ask them to tell you what happened first, next, then last. Here is an awesome tool for prompting stories. 
  • Teach the Alphabet – teach your child to recognize the letters in the alphabet. There are so many activities that can help you easily begin teaching your child the alphabet. Below I have added a few of my favorite activities.
  • Play with Letters – Read the book, “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr., and John Archambault. This is my favorite book to read to my students! Play a game where your child can choose from several letters in a bowl. Ask your child to say the letter’s name and, if the letter is in his or her name, have them keep the letter. Repeat this until your child has all the letters to spell out their name. This can be a fun game with more than one child. I play this game in my class, and the first to get all of the letters for their name wins!

             Checking your Child’s Print Awareness:

Ask him or her to show you:

  • The front of the book
  • The title of the book
  • Where you should begin reading
  • A letter
  • A word
  • The first word of a sentence
  • The last word of a sentence
  • The first and last word on a page
  • Punctuation marks
  • A capital letter
  • A lowercase letter
  • The back of the book

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Reading Rockets is a great resource for parents and will help you teach your child to read! Also, see this article from Cedar Mill about Print awareness.

See my post on how to prevent meltdowns in children!