Teach kids to read by teaching phonics, fluency and comprehension. Read to them, and read with them. This not only gives them the background knowledge needed to learn all of the components of reading, but it motivates them to learn to read on their own.
- Teach phonics
Teach the children individual letter sounds as well as digraphs and blends. Digraphs are letters that work together to create a unique sound, such as “th” and “ch.” Letters in blends work together but keep their individual sounds, such as “st” and “bl.” Also, teach the rules regarding vowel sounds. A vowel on its own makes the short sound. Vowels that work together usually make the long sound. Examples include “silent e,” “oa” in boat and “ea” in team. Teach this information in small pieces when reading to the children. Then, have them practice the sounds when reading beginning reader books.
- Teach fluency
Many of the words in the English language do not follow the rules of phonics and must be memorized. Examples include “said,” “are” and “was.” Point out these words when reading to the children and create flashcards for review. Read the same books repeatedly. First, read the books to them, and then gradually have them read more of the text on their own.
- Teach comprehension
Teach children to understand what they are reading by discussing books with them. Ask them questions about the characters and events as you read together. Take turns retelling the important parts of the book.