Teaching your child to read isn’t as hard as it sounds. In fact, you CAN teach pre-reading skills without a curriculum. Read this post to learn how I personally taught my child pre-reading skills without a curriculum and how you can too.
This is a two-part series. In this post I’ll cover how to teach pre-reading skills. If your child has the skills necessary to start reading, check out this post to learn how to teach your child beginning reading skills.
I recently shared a review of the reading curriculum I started out with when I began teaching my son to read. Unfortunately, the book didn’t help me as much as I had hoped, however it did give me the confidence to start teaching pre-reading skills without a curriculum.
If you feel like you’ve got the confidence to teach your child to read but you just don’t know where to start, I hope this post will help you. I’ll break down for you exactly how I taught my son the skills required to start reading so you too can teach your child to read without a curriculum.
Know the alphabet. Believe it or not, teaching your child the alphabet is a reading lesson! Obviously words are made up of letters and knowing the alphabet and being able to recognize the letters is the first step on the reading path.
So simply start by teaching your child the ABC song. Sing it every time you get in the car or while your child is cleaning up their room. Sing the ABC song at least once a day until they know it by heart. Take care to slowly enunciate the L, M, N, O, and P part of the song so that your child understands the individual letters.
When they can sing the whole song to you without any errors, introduce the letters themselves. You really don’t need anything special for this part. In fact, I’d encourage you to resist the temptation to purchase fancy alphabet charts, magnet letters or other abc manipulatives.
Keep it simple. Keep it cheap. Unless you already have those things on hand, you can simply write the upper and lowercase letters on a sheet of paper. I just used some index cards on a ring and wrote one letter (upper and lower case together) per card.
Then all you need to do is sing the alphabet song everyday like you’ve been doing, and point to the corresponding letters. After awhile, have your child point to the corresponding letters as you sing the song together, then have him do it all by himself.
After you are confident he can recognize the letters without the song for help, jumble them up. Identify the letters from Z to A. Point out letters you see while shopping or driving. Play a game by calling out a letter and having him find the right card. There are many ways to have fun with this. Get creative!
Now it’s time to start adding the sounds of each letter. Again, you don’t need anything fancy. Keep using those index cards, only this time, instead of going through each card and singing the abc song, you’re going to have your child repeat after you.
Say the letter and then the sound. They repeat; letter then sound. Do this all the way through the alphabet. Everyday. Once a day. Easy peasy.
After awhile, ask your child to say the sound of the letter card you hold up. Don’t say the letter, just have them ‘read’ the sound. Do this everyday until you are confident they recognize each letter and can say the corresponding sound. Mix it up further by jumbling the cards or reading the letter sounds from Z to A.
Believe it or not, that’s all it takes on how to teach pre-reading skills! This is exactly what I did for my son and what I plan to continue to do for my daughters when it comes time for them to learn to read.
As a recap, here’s a super simplified guide to teach reading without a curriculum:
- Teach the alphabet
- Teach letter recognition
- Teach letter sounds
This is a very relaxed approach to teach pre-reading skills without a curriculum. Take as much time as your child needs through each step and don’t worry about spending more time on one step than another. Teaching pre-reading skills is the perfect opportunity to just have fun with your little one.