Reading is something I am very passionate about. As a child I remember reading with my parents, staying up way to late to finish a book, and getting trouble when I couldn’t track down all my library books. I have always loved reading. It was this deep loved that led me to teaching as a career. I cherished my time in the classroom teaching kids to read and helping fuel their love of reading. Now I am able to pass that love onto my children as they enter the age of learning to read themselves. There are so many ways to start readers off on the right foot and to create a positive atmosphere for reading.
I received compensation and samples for this post. All opinions are my own.
Book-Rich Home Environment- Your home can support language and literacy learning by creating place where reading, writing, talking, and listening are a part of your every day life. Read books and other media daily. Take trips to the library. Talk about books you loved and let your children see you read. Talk to your kids, play games that require communication. Let them have access to and free reign of books that they love.
Read Alouds- Reading aloud to your child is HUGE. Way before they can really understand what you are doing and why you are doing it, you are building a foundation. This foundation will help your child love to read. They will associate reading with snuggling and time with you. They will listen to your voice and learn sounds language patterns. They are never too young or too old to read with!
Talk About Sounds- We have a few games we like to play in the car that help my kids identify sounds and patterns in words. We start by me giving them a word and they tell me what it starts with. After they have mastered that, I give them a sound and they give me words with start with the sound. As they get better and better we try adding in ending sounds or rhyming sounds. These all help them make connections between sounds and letters.
Reading Buddies- Once your child is actually beginning to read, introduce them to reading buddies. Have them grab a favorite book and a favorite stuffed animal and let them read a book to their friend. This allows them to practice reading aloud without feeling nervous or afraid. It also makes practice fun!
Find Books They Love- There is a quote that I love that says, “There is no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books.” -James Patterson. No one wants to read books they don’t like, once you find something your child loves, they will want to read more. For my daughter that is all things girly. She loves Fancy Nancy and fairies, but my son adores non-fiction. He will struggle and stumble through books way above his reading level with patience because he wants to know about everything he is reading. Find what peaks their interest and let them go crazy.
Embrace Technology- So many times I feel like people who love books feel like technology is their enemy, but they are so wrong. Technology provides us with so many wonderful reading resources. One that we love to use at our home is Hooked On Phonics. Did you know over 5 million children have learned to read using Hooked on Phonics? It is a program that works, like they say, “Learn to read, guaranteed!” and now it is available in both physical and digital formats.
Hooked On Phonics follows the Learn, Practice, Read approach: a proven, simple, and fun method to give your child a strong foundation in phonics and reading skills. They have lessons for kindergarten and first grade students with pre-k and second grade coming soon. Each lesson starts with a song introducing a letter sound and then leads your child through some games and exercises before ending with a book they can read.
Your child can repeat the lesson as many times as they need or want to before moving onto the next lesson. The program is based on research, approved by the Children’s Reading Foundation, and designed in conjunction with leading educators, renowned authors, and most importantly, parents. Each lesson only takes 20 minutes. My kids, ages 4 & 5, both LOVE to use the Hooked On Phonics app to practice their reading skills. It is highly effective, and incredibly fun.
The Hooked On Phonics app is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Kindle. Once signed up, your account links across all your devices so you can pick up where you left off, no matter where you are. With over 200 songs, games, lessons, and eBooks, your child will have so much fun learning how to read and love collecting trophies and rewards as they go. Each account can have 3 readers registered to it, each tracking their progress individually. For just $1 you can try the app for 10 days, but I promise you will be hooked after giving it a try! Pun intended.
If you prefer to have a physical edition as well, you can! Hooked On Phonics also offers The Complete Hooked On Phonics Learn To Read Kit that includes the full digital edition as well as 28 original storybooks, 8 bonus books written by award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators, 8 Workbooks, 8 DVDs filled with music videos and fun introductions to each lesson, 8 Sets of Stickers to celebrate reading success, 4 Sets of Letter and Picture Flashcards and 1 Quick Start Guide. You can the try complete set for free for 30 days, all you have to do is pay $9.95 for shipping and handling.
How do you encourage reading at your house?