Teaching reading is not difficult if you know what to do. Children are often taught to recognize and name the letters of the alphabet by the time they enter kindergarten or first grade. Children should also learn the sounds of the letters. Unfortunately this is not taught in every reading program, but it is easy to teach.
If you have already taught the alphabet to your child you can teach the sounds of the letters, a few at a time. If you have not taught the alphabet yet, your child can learn letter names and letter-sounds at the same time. For the next several blogs, I am going to show you how to begin teaching your child to read, step-by-step. If your student is a little older and having difficulty learning to read, you can help your child learn to read by following this series even though the beginning will seem a little too easy. Caution: I do not recommend teaching children any younger than age 4 to read.
Here’s your first assignment. Teach the sound of one letter. Post one letter of the alphabet on the refrigerator (or on a door or a wall) at the eye level of your child. Tell your child the sound of the letter. Ask your child to say the sound with you. Then ask your child to tell you the sound. That’s all. A bit later, point to the letter and ask your child what sound it represents. If he has forgotten, tell him the sound again, and ask him to say the sound aloud to you a few times. That’s all. You want your child to treat this as a game.
When your child can consistently tell you the sound of the first letter without your help, then and only then, you post a second letter on the wall and repeat the process. Now ask your child to tell you the sounds for both letters. If you wish to go more slowly and spend more than one day for each letter-sound, then do so.