Big Sister is now three years old and for the last few months she has been asking me to teach her how to read. This presented a problem for me because, while I know how to read, I have no idea how to teach a child to read. I of course wanted to support her request so we took a couple different steps.
We Enrolled Her in Preschool
Who better to teach my child to read than a teacher! We did a lot of research into the best preschool options in our area. We wanted her in a structured learning environment. Big Sister already attends daycare. I found a lot of the preschool “centers” in our area were more like glorified daycare than preschool.
I also looked into the teacher qualifications at each of the locations. There is a big difference between being able to supervise three year olds and being able to teach them. The school we chose requires that all teachers have at least a bachelors education, and many have masters and other advanced degrees.
And lastly, we asked around about the school’s reputation. It is one thing for a school to look good on paper, it is quite another to find parents who like the school, send their children there, and recommend it to other parents.
For us, we hit the trifecta at Early Childhood University here in Greeley. Big Sister has been attending school there for a few weeks now and really seems to be enjoying that. More importantly, she also really seems to be learning!!
Research Teaching Methods
From my online research (nothing scientific though I did go through many different resources) young children are taught best through the use of flashcards. In fact, flash cards are one of the best learning tools for children and adults alike. Teaching your young child to read is a game. As parents, it is vital to remember that games are fun! We must not put pressure on our kids to read. It is a fun activity that they participate in daily with their parents. Never attempt to teach your baby to read unless they are in a good mood!
It is best for the words to be written in a black or red font. The font must also be large enough for the babies to see easily. There are great websites like Cram that can help you create free flashcards. You can start out with 5 word cards. Hold the card up so your child can see it and say the word clearly. Quickly flip to the next card. The faster you can flip cards, the more attentive your child will be.
And of course the most important thing we can do with her is read, read, read!