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Top Tips for Teaching Your Child to Read

AD| Reading is a fun thing to do with your child, but it’s also hugely educational for them. They’re learning a lot about vocabulary, sentence…


AD| Reading is a fun thing to do with your child, but it’s also hugely educational for them. They’re learning a lot about vocabulary, sentence structure and their first big words, so it’s important to keep reading entertaining so they don’t fall behind.

I try to read to Leo, we have a lot of short fairytale books but he isn’t very good at listening yet! He much prefers interactive books that he can press sounds and touch! I’m excited for him to get a bit older where he enjoys me reading to him, then starting to read himself.

Here are some top tips from an independent school in North London to help your child with their reading progress as they grow up.

Teaching Your Child to Read

When they’re young, have a set hour for reading time

Kids can be excited at the prospect of having a story read to them at bedtime – a perfect time to get them ready for a good night’s sleep. First, read through picture books and aim to describe what’s happening on each page. Toddlers learn a lot more than you think even when you’re just reading aloud to them.

Once they’ve begun speaking regularly and have the capacity for reading time before bed or before dinner, then get them involved in the reading. Have them read aloud often so you can help them practice on their pronunciation of words. Make this set hour enjoyable or revolve reading time around a reward at the end of the session to keep them engaged.

Keep sessions short and sweet

An hour can fly by, but it can also be a long time for children to keep their focus. If necessary, break down these times into smaller chunks throughout the day and increase the time as they get used to the routine. It can also be overwhelming for a lot of children’s minds to keep their brain working for so long. Regular breaks help ensure what they’re learning stays in their minds and can be easily revisited in smaller sessions throughout the day instead.

Use songs and rhymes to make reading fun

A lot of picture books or stories have a section where your child can sing or practice a rhyme – a way of remembering what they’ve learnt much easier. You can use the classics like Never Eat Shredded Wheat to help them understand directions, or use claps to recite sounds and syllables over and over. This is a great way for kids to practice their speech skills, how things should be pronounced and their phonemic awareness – key elements crucial to developing your reading skills.

Every child will learn at their own pace; some are a bit quicker to learn than others, but it doesn’t mean you should fret over it with your child. Let them be the guide in certain circumstances and see what books they fancy reading, or using multiple methods to see what sticks. What’s important is that your child is enjoying getting to read each day with their parents without making it a chore.


  1. Oh I really can’t wait to have the chance to read to my kids or nephews. I think reading has been such a huge help for me and hold so many memories when I was younger. Rhymes and songs are such a great tool to help too! I can still remember some of the ones I learned x

  2. Songs and rhymes make reading so fun! They are usually simple and short while still telling a delightful story. Reading them aloud is enjoyable, and the words are short enough that little ones can start to read them sooner than longer picture books. 🙂

  3. Awesome post. It pays off. I had my first born reading by preschool. Now she is a College level reader in high school and the 90th percentile, in the state! I loved reading to my kids, and the bond it created.

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