10 Steps to Teaching Your Child to Read

Reading doesn’t always come easy to every child. It can be frustrating trying to teach your child to read when you aren’t sure how. Maybe the way you learned to read isn’t working for your child. Whatever your struggles, here are the 10 steps to teaching your child to read that have been proven to be effective.

10 Tips for Teaching your child to Read

1 Model Reading

The first step in teaching a child to read is to model it by reading. You can read to your child or you can choose a book of your own to read. If your kids see you reading, it builds an interest in books. Ultimately your child looks up to you, and wants to be like you. So, before you even push
reading skills, show them how amazing reading can be.

2 Read to Your Child

Reading to your child can fall under modeling, but it is crucial to start reading to your child at a young age. Reading to your child even before they can talk gets your child interested and excited about reading books. It also helps them identify words, build comprehension, and confidence in reading.

3 Walk through the Book

Before a child can read a book on their own, they have to be able to understand the book as well as written language. Talk about the pictures in the book and ask questions such as:
● What do you think this book will be about?
● Where does this story take place?
● What happens if we start the book from the back?
● What do you think will happen next?
Using questions is a great way for kids to comprehend what they are hearing.

4 Use Your Finger When You Read

When you read a book to your child, begin by reading slowly and using your finger to point at each word. Your child will begin to recognize words that you point at. He or she will also learn that you read from left to right and up to down on the page. You don’t even have to teach this unless you want to. Just reinforce it each time you read.

5 Build a Child’s Confidence

Children have no connection to the letter A. Nothing in their life talks about the letter A. They are learning life through the experiences they have and the conversations they have with adults. You can begin to build your child’s confidence in reading by building a reading foundation. One of my favorite things to teach my kiddos is their color words. Kids understand colors, and there are a ton of fun songs that you can use to teach their spelling. Here are a few that I use:
Red Song
Orange Song
● Blue Song
● Yellow Song
Purple Song
● Green Song
Black Song
● White Song
Research actually shows kids learn better through music and dance, so get out these songs and start building some reading confidence.

6 Start with Sight Words

You might think that teaching a child to read is by teaching them their alphabet first. However, the alphabet can be super challenging to little ones. They have to learn lowercase, uppercase, and the sounds each letter makes. Then, they have to blend those sounds together. This can make reading frustrating. Instead, start with some sight words such as it, the, as, or other two- letter sight words that kids can easily memorize. Here are some games you can play:
Swat a Sight Word
● Zingo
● Sight Word BINGO

7 Work on Letters

Once your child has a good foundation of sight words that they can easily read, you can begin teaching letters and letter sounds. Look around the house and find things that start with the letter you are doing. I like to do a letter per week.

8 Work on Blending Sounds

Blending sounds can be difficult for children. Start with words that are meaningful to the child such as mom, dad, cat, dog. When you begin to help your child blend the sounds to sound out a word, start with three letter words. Don’t move on until they have mastered these three letter
words. Here are some games to help ease the stress of this part of reading:
CVC Word Builders Activity Cards
Blending Puzzles
Roll a Word

9 Begin Teaching Digraphs and Diphthongs

These are super tricky for kids because these are the letters that blend to make different sounds and even silent letters. You don’t want to teach these higher level words until your little one has the confidence they need with the three letter words.

10 Consider The Reading Patch System

Are you ready to grow a confident reader? Although you can figure out this reading curve on your own, we can help you every step and every day with each of these steps using the Reading Patch. This is an innovative system that builds reading confidence first and foremost to grow your reader into the best readers they can be. The best thing about it – we give you explicit directions and hand-hold you to make sure you succeed.


Madreen Karle and Meeghan Karle Mousaw
Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips (Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading, Mrs. Karle's Reading Patch, and Mrs. Karle's Handwriting Patch). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created "sunshine moments" to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read.

Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 7 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch. With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles.

The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets. Over the last 7 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.