Toddler Reading Programs: How To Teach A Baby To Read

What makes a good reader?
How do you teach reading?
What skills and strategies are important to aid reading fluency?

These questions have haunted the parents of young children for decades but while learning to read is a long, complex process there are many easy and fun techniques parents can use to help their child learn to read. One of these important strategies is word families.

Research shows that strong readers are able to decode new words by comparing them to known words rather than by sounding them out letter by letter. The best way to separate between good and poor readers is repeatedly found to be their knowledge of spelling patterns and their proficiency with spelling-sound translations. That is why reading lessons that include phonograms, also called word families and chunks, are a highly effective way to help young children acquire and implement these kinds of reading skills and strategies.

What can you do to teach your child to read? Is it possible to make your child become a fast and fluent reader?

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Phonograms are recognizable chunks of letters that appear with regularity in words. For example, frog, dog, and log all share the phonogram -og. When children learn the sound and spelling of chunks such as -og they can decode by comparison--that is they can apply what they know to new words they encounter. This means that rather than struggle to decode the word "beep" one letter at a time, and then blending to come up with a recognizable word, a child can more quickly and efficiently decode the word by putting two familiar sounds together--the sound for b and the sound for -eep. Once the reader begins to learn other phonograms then you can multiple this success many times over and the result is a more efficient and happy reader.

One easy strategy for introducing word families is to have your child color a picture related to one of the words in that word family and then, either in the white space surrounding the picture or on an attached piece of paper, write down words that you brainstorm together that also belong in the family. Continue to build more homemade word family charts until you have a book of word families your child can refer to regularly.

Word families are an important part of how to teach reading because learning word families, or word chunks, can help children decode new words by comparing them to known words. Knowledge of spelling patterns and spelling-sound translation are among the key skills of good readers and word families are an important part of mastering those skills.

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Teaching your child to read at home can be both exiting and extremely daunting. There are many ways to make this more difficult and conversely, with a little more information, you can also make it a lot easier.

One piece of information that is crucial to making this process easier is knowing your child's learning style. Not sure what that is? Let me explain.

There are 3 different learning styles that we all use, (both children and adults), to learn anything. These styles are:

- visual learning (sight)
- auditory learning (sound)
- kinaesthetic or tactile learning (touch)

Let me give you some examples so that you can see how they are used.

Visual learning

Visual learning is associated with images and pictures. Your child makes an association between the word APPLE and a picture of an apple. Once this association is made, the child will always see the word APPLE and know that it represents an apple.

Auditory learning

Auditory learning is done through sounds and hearing. This is how we first learn to speak. Using the example of the apple again, when you hold up an apple and say the word APPLE, your child makes an association of the word (sound for) APPLE with the actual apple. So when he or she wants to eat an apple, they can say APPLE and you will know exactly what they want.

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Kinaesthetic or tactile learning

The third method of learning is tactile learning (or learning by touch). Again, using an example of an apple. This is when you give your child an apple. They feel it with their hands then take a bite and taste it. They will then associate the feel and taste with an apple.

As you can see, all three methods are needed for complete learning. Young children have these learning styles in equal measure. Your child will, however, develop one of these into their dominant learning style.

In order to make the learning that they do easier and more complete, always ensure that you first teach them to read using their dominant style. Then use the others to reinforce the lesson.

Using the example above, if your child is a visual learner, first show them the apple, then tell them what it is and finally let them touch it, bite into it etc.

By starting early and using sight reading (visual learning) and phonics (auditory learning) and then combining these two methods with tactile learning, you will see better and faster results than by simply using only one or the other of these methods.

By knowing and using these three learning styles, teaching your child to read can become a wonderful journey of play and discovery. Before you know it your child will be reading and you will have only yourself to thank and congratulate.

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Phonological awareness is the awareness of all of the sounds of language. It is the ability to hear and distinguish sounds.

There are five skills involved in phonological awareness. These include:

1. Listening: It is important that children have some basic skills in learning to listen for specific things to begin learning phonological awareness.

2. Words and sentences: Children need to be able to distinguish what a word is and to know that sentences are made up of words.

3. Rhyming: Recognizing rhymes and being able to make their own rhymes is the next step.

4. Syllables: The next step is breaking words into syllables. Children should be able to count syllables and blend them together.

5. Onset and rime: This is breaking syllables into two parts. The onset is everything before the vowel in a syllable, the rime is the vowel and everything after. For example; the /c/ in cat is the onset, the /at/ is the rime. The /fr/ in frog is the onset, the /og/ is the rime.

These skills lead children to learn to blend and segment individual sounds and phonemes. Blending (putting sounds together) is the foundation for reading. In order to blend children must take individual sounds, put them together and make a recognizable word. For example sometimes a child might be able to put three sounds together /c/ /a/ /t/, and still not know that the word says cat. Segmenting (taking words apart into individual sounds) is the foundation for writing. It can be a challenge to learn to hear all of the individual sounds in a word.

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These skills train children's ears to hear and process information necessary for reading and writing. It is important to start young in helping children develop these skills. Whether in a formal preschool time, or informal anytime practice, teaching these skills can be a natural part of everyday. There are many fun and engaging ways to practice these skills. The following are a few ideas:

1. Practice giving 1 step, then 2 step, and then 3 step instructions.

2. Say a short sentence and help your child take a step forward for each word in the sentence.

3. Make silly rhymes with the child's name, and other familiar names.

4. Start by breaking a word into onset and rime and such as /fr/ /og/. You say the two parts aloud and have the child put them back together. Eventually, as the concept becomes easier, give the child a word and have him or her break it into onset and rime. This is a difficult concept because it is not very natural, so it takes a lot of practice. It is a very important that children learn how to segment onset and rime, because once they have mastered it, blending and segmenting individual sounds is much easier.

As you help your child develop these phonological awareness skills, learning to read and write will become a much easier process.

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What is the best way to use your time to teach baby to read in the most effective way? We have hectic, busy lives and it is good to make the most efficient use of the time we have. The tips here will help you to make your child's reading experience a positive one. Choose the aspect of reading you want to teach from the Reading From Birth Program for example, and follow these ten tips.

1. Ten to fifteen minutes is the best length of time for a formal reading session. After this length of time concentration levels drop and teaching is not as effective.

2. Repetition is the key to permanent learning. Revise the material from the previous lessons before you begin teaching the new material.

3. The brain works on newly learned material during sleep. Make sure you child has plenty of sleep so their brain can assimilate newly learned material.

4. Newly learned knowledge is forgotten over the following days, unless it is reinforced by repetition. The more regularly it is reinforced, the more secure the knowledge becomes. So a daily routine and regular reading time is important for remembering.

5. The brain stores most of its memories in a visual form. It is useful to attach a picture to a letter to help memory. For example use the image of an apple to reinforce the shape of the letter a.

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6. Make sure you emphasis the sound of the letters and words clearly to help visual learners hear the sounds and connect the symbol with the sound.

7. The more multisensory and actively engaging an activity is, the more easily the brain stores and remembers the information. To see and hear is better than just seeing. To see and hear and do is the best learning experience.

8. Stress stops the brain working properly. It is a basic fight or flight mechanism. If a child is not happy about reading because of past failures, for example they will not learn well. A sense of success and achievement will work wonders on the memory motivation and self esteem.

9. Use immediate praise and encouragement at all times. Reward all efforts with positive feedback. 'Good try' and 'well done' followed by the correct word is better than 'no' or 'that's wrong' if you child doesn't know a word.

10. Set a regular routine if you can so your baby knows that it is important. Encourage and reward your older child to take the initiative rather than waiting for you to remind you child it is time read.

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When reading to your child, read slowly, and point to the words that you are reading to help the child make a connection between the word your are saying and the word you are reading. Always remember that reading should be a fun and enjoyable activity for your children, and it should never feel like a "chore" for them. Click here to help your child learn to read

Author's Bio: 

Now you can teach your child to read and make him or her develop critical, foundational reading skills that puts them years ahead of other children....even if they are having difficulties at learning to read! Visit Techniques for Teaching Reading

The first few years of life are the most important and critical for the development of literacy skills, and having a literacy-rich environment at home will ensure your child becomes a successful reader. Aside from reading to your child, specific instructions and teaching must be used to teach your child to read. For a simple, step-by-step program that will help you teach your child to read, visit Best Way to Teach Reading

Reading Makes Your Child Smarter, and Your Child Misses a GOLDEN Opportunity, If You Do Not Teach Your Child to Read Now. Discuss your child's reading problems on our forum. We can help you easily teach your child to read! Go to: Reading Forum