I am not an expert in teaching reading. So far, I have one child who is a very good reader, and 2 that are making progress. My 12 year old daughter is an excellent reader. She loves to read. We can go to the library, get books, and she will have read a whole chapter book before we get home from town. My 8 (almost 9) year old son is slowly making progress. He is in 3rd grade this year and I still sit with him for almost all of his school work (everything but math, which he does on the computer). He hasn’t caught on as quickly as my oldest, but I am super impressed with the progress he has made this year. My 6 year old son is on about the same level as my 8 year old. He can read well and is a quick learner.
Because my oldest child was so easy to teach reading to, I expected the next ones to be the same. When my second child struggled, I found myself getting frustrated and irritated because my expectations weren’t being met. Thankfully, I was reminded that each child is different and they all learn at different speeds.
Here are my top tips for teaching your child to read:
- Don’t get frustrated! – It is so easy to get frustrated with your child when they can’t figure out something that you think is so simple. Remember that they are not you, they are younger, less mature and they have not received the teaching and training that you have.
- Don’t Rush! – For some reason we think our kids need to be reading by the end of 1st grade. I guess this is because it is more convenient for us. If a child can read, then they can do more independent work, which leaves us more time for other things. Having my 3rd grader be dependent on me for the majority of his school work takes time. Would it be easier for me if he could do it on his own? Yes, it would. But soon enough he will. God gives us the perfect amount of time for the things we need to accomplish. Right now, one of those things is helping my son with his work.
- Don’t compare your child to someone else! – Comparing your child only makes you frustrated, which leads to them being frustrated. It can also cause your child to feel unloved and unimportant. God made each person different. We all learn differently, at different paces.
- Get help if you need to. – Don’t feel like you have to do it on your own. If you have a child who is really struggling and you don’t know how to help them, ask someone else for help. Find someone you trust, who is experienced with the situation, and ask them for advice. Maybe you need someone to tutor your child for awhile. That’s ok!
- Be diligent. – There is no magic formula in teaching a child to read. What works for one child doesn’t always work for another. Find what works for your child and stick to it. Don’t rush, but don’t slack either. Be diligent in teaching your child to read, but don’t be pushy. Keep your lessons short to lessen the chance of frustration.
There is no special curriculum that works best for me. We have tried a lot of them. What worked for my first child didn’t work as well for my second. I hope these tips are a blessing to you!