IN 3 EASY STEPS
This article is written from my own experience. By the Grace of Allah, I was able to teach my son to read fluently when he was 4 years-old. Now that he is 5, he can pick up almost any book, read it and enjoy it. At the moment he’s especially keen on our encyclopedia!
Whether you home educate, or your children go to school, this article will help all parents who want to help their children to learn to read insha’Allah.
Not all children are developmentally ready to read at 4 years-old.
PLEASE PLEASE don’t force a child who is not ready!!! It will do more harm than good!
However, if you’re child is ready and eager to learn to read, this article will show you how I did it, so you can ‘Teach YOUR Four-year-old To Read In 3 Easy Steps.’
Step 1: INSTILL A LOVE OF BOOKS
If you have to force your child to read, it will be much harder for both of you, take longer, and may even cause your child to dislike reading altogether.
Read to them
Surround them with books
Fill your home with as many books as you can afford. There should be a small collection of books in every room for your children freely to look at.
If you have space, you may even make a little ‘reading nook’ for your home, a specially designated space, used only for reading and enjoying books.
Take a trip
Step 2: TURN OFF THE TV
There are many benefits to turning off the TV, but the most relevant to this article is that it WILL cause your children to read more. I have seen it in my own home. With no other distractions, children will pick up the books you have put in each room and read for fun.
Even if you can’t remove the television completely, at least restrict how much TV they watch. Limit the hours that the television is put on, and keep it off the rest of the time.
|Reading Dr Seuss. mashAllah|
Step 3: BUY THE RIGHT BOOKS
We have used the Primer:
The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading by Wise and Buffington
Another highly recommended alternative is
It teaches the rules of reading, beginning with the phonetic sounds of each letter, and then progressing to blending, through to difficult multi-syllabic words. By the time your child finishes one of these primers, you can be completely confident that they can tackle any other book out there.
Although these books are printed in the U.S. they are suitable for children in the U.K.
Once your child has learnt the sounds of the letters, they can also begin reading short books called ‘Easy Readers’, as well as continuing the lessons in the primer.
For the early stages I would recommend:
Having progressed through one of these box sets you can move onto more challenging readers. There are many sets and curriculum available that you can follow if you wish.
My advice would be to choose books according to your child’s interests rather than following a rigid curriculum.Whether its fairies, cars, horses or monsters, there are a multitude of easy readers available to buy online and borrow from the library.
|Dinosaur Easy Readers|
Do not worry that you are not completing every book in the series, or reading them in the correct order, because if you are working through a primer, then your child will not miss any of the ‘rules’ they need to know.
What is more important at this stage is that they continue to love reading and books, and the act of reading does not become a chore to them. After the ‘Easy Reader’ stage they can read anything they want to (with some guidance from Mum!).
For more comprehensive reading lists, ordered by age, ability and topic, I would recommend Honey for a Child’s Heart
by Gladys Hunt.
If at any point your child seems to loose interest, just take a break for a few weeks. Pinterest is full of fun activities for you to do with your child to improve her reading skills without opening up a book. She will be learning to read without realising it!
On those days when the kids are sick, or they just don’t want to cooperate, we use Reading Eggs, an online reading programme full of games and songs.
At this young age it is vital that you remain flexible and take a relaxed approach to teaching reading. Make it enjoyable and have fun!
So that I how I taught my Four-year-old to READ in 3 Easy Steps!
Of all three steps, step one (instilling a love for books) is the most important.
Without it you will face a constant struggle with your child, in an effort make them cooperate and do something they have no desire to do. If they love books, they will want to read.
Please leave me a comment below and tell me how you are teaching your children to read. What resources have you used? What are some of your children’s favourite books?
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