How did I teach my children to read?

A frequent question I get asked is what resources/books do you use to teach your children to read.

From day one read to your child as much as possible as this will train their ear to the sounds of speech. In a study at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island, 18-25 month olds whose parents said they had been reading to them regularly for a year could say and understand more words than those parents that hadn't. So I read to my eldest as much as I could when she was a baby and by my fourth and fifth their older siblings would read to them. Especially as part of their bedtime routine,

The Alphabet

Then as soon as they were ready they learnt the letter sounds of the alphabet (not the names of the letters). The Jolly Phonics scheme is great as they learn a group of letters at a time. The first group is (s,a,t,i,p,n) as from there they can start reading simple CVC words such as sat, pit, tin etc.

As they progress through the groups they learn all the sounds of the alphabet and sing along to the alphabet song which then teaches the names.

Digraphs & Blends

They are then ready for the digraphs such as CH, SH, TH, AI etc and then the blends BL, PL, ST etc.

I usually teach one sound at a time and prepare an activity to go along with each.For example the 'ai' sound we made a cloud mobile and attached raindrops with 'ai' words written on. Other ideas and pics can be found on our Instagram @ theworldistheirclassroom so please check out!

I love love the Letters and Sounds book which I was able to receive a free copy of many years ago, still available to download at:

Along the way I have supplemented the learning of these sounds with activities such as drawing out the letter they are learning and they can stick things onto it like craft materials.lentils etc. which you can find on my Instagram account.

I also printed booklets and worksheets for the sounds here:

As they get ready to read CVC, CVCC words they can actually start reading simple words in books such as those from The Book People.

The Oxford Reading Tree is also really good, some books you can read online here:

Books can be reserved at your local library, ours is free and there is a bookstart bear scheme for your child to earn stickers, certificates and prizes along the way. In the Summer there is also a reading scheme for 4-12 year olds to take part in where they have to read 6 books through the summer.

A favourite amongst Home educators is the Reading Eggs Scheme which all chidren seem to enjoy on their reading journey. Check it out here we have used it in the past along with the free apps.

Sight Words & High Frequency words

Some children can easily pick up new words and remember them through books and other words around them (signs, street names etc.) A couple of my children have found this stage a bit trickier. One of my boys used to ride along our hallway on his bike and read & collect sight words from the wall as he went. He was a bit reluctant to sit and read them from a list or flashcards.  Today my 5 year old wanted to play catch with his beach ball so I just wrote them on the ball and turned it into a game.

This game can be played in a number of ways. If the child cannot read they can point to a word for you to read out aloud and they can repeat. If they are reading have them read a word out aloud as they catch or make a short sentence with a number of words.

High Frequency word lists can be downloaded online. I have q few packs of flashcards which can also be used in a number of games.
Key Words: Flash Cards - Hardback - 9781409302766 - LadybirdRead with Biff, Chip & Kipper Phonics Cards: Word Games - Other - 9780198486633 - Roderick Hunt


  1. Teach Your Child to Read Today!

    Reading is one of the most important skills one must master to succeed in life. It helps your child succeed in school, helps them build self-confidence, and helps to motivate your child. Being able to read will help your child learn more about the world, understand directions on signs and warnings on labels, allow them to discover reading as an entertainment, and help them gather information.

    Learning to read is very different from learning to speak, and it does not happen all at once. There is a steady progression in the development of reading ability over time. The best time for children to start learning to read is at a young age - even before they enter pre-school. Once a child is able to speak, they can begin developing basic reading skills. Very young children have a natural curiosity to learn about everything. They are naturally intrigued by the printed texts they see, and are eager to learn about the sounds made by those letters. You will likely notice that your young child likes to look at books and thoroughly enjoys being read to. They will even pretend to behave like a reader by holding books and pretend to read them.

    At what age can you start teaching a child to read? When they're babies? At 2 years old, 3, 4, or 5 years old, or wait until they're in school?

    If you delay your child's reading skill development until he or she enters school, you are putting your child at risk...

    Did you know that 67% of all Grade 4 students cannot read at a proficient level! According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, of those 67%, 33% read at just the BASIC level, and 34% CANNOT even achieve reading abilities of the lowest basic level!

    There is a super simple and extremely effective system that will even teach 2 and 3 year old children to read.

    This is a unique reading program developed by two amazing parents and reading teachers, Jim and Elena, who successfully taught their four children to read before turning 3 years old. The reading system they developed is so effective that by the time their daughter was just 4 years 2 months old, she was already reading at a grade 3 level. They have videos to prove it.

    >> Click here to watch the videos and learn more.

    Their reading system is called Children Learning Reading, and it is nothing like the infomercials you see on TV, showing babies appearing to read, but who have only learned to memorize a few word shapes. This is a program that will teach your child to effectively decode and read phonetically. It will give your child a big head start, and allow you to teach your child to read and help your child develop reading skills years ahead of similar aged children.

    This is not a quick fix solution where you put your child in front of the TV or computer for hours and hope that your child learns to "read"... somehow...

    This is a reading program that requires you, the parent, to be involved. But the results are absolutely amazing. Thousands of parents have used the Children Learning Reading program to successfully teach their children to read.

    All it takes is 10 to 15 minutes a day.

    >> Click here to get started right now. How to Teach a 2 or 3 Year Old to Read.


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