Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

5 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Learn to Read

Learning to read is hard work! Kids can easily become frustrated or impatient when they’re first starting out. We’ve highlighted five things you can do at home to support skill development in your early reader and help them learn to read in an organic way:

1. Read every day.

Studies show that children who are read to every day have the opportunity to develop a more robust vocabulary, learn empathy, and increase intelligence. Carving out as little as 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference. Make it a part of your daily routine and allow them to just enjoy listening to a story. For regular shipments of I Can Read! books perfect for shared reading, try the I Can Read! Book Club, and get two books free!

2. Practice sight words.

As children hone their pre-literacy skills, such as letter recognition and associating sound with letters, memorizing a few sight words can be instrumental in their success. Choose a couple of sight words to start with, and practice sounding them out. You can see a list of popular and grade appropriate sight words here. You may want to make word flash cards with your child or simply pause in your reading after practicing the word to allow them to “read” a word on their own.

3. Rhyme time.

Rhyming is incredibly beneficial for kids who are on the cusp of reading. Among other things, it encourages speech development, reading comprehension, and enhances creativity. Read or recite nursery rhymes with your child or practice sound recognition and work with them to think of words that rhyme. It’s an easy game to play with them when you are on the go or relaxing at home. 

4. Let them see you reading.

Children aspire to what they see. If they see you prioritizing reading and books in your own life, they’ll want to follow suit. Make books visible wherever you are. If you are going to a class or practice for a sibling, bring a wordless picture book to occupy your younger child, and while you’re at it, bring a book for yourself.

5. Find just right books for them.

Leveled readers are essential for young readers. One way that you can avoid frustrations is to choose books that are right for them. We suggest following the Five Finger Rule to help. Have your child open up a book and read just the first page. If they know every word on the page, the book may be too easy for them. If they struggle with four or five words on the page, it may be too difficult. Look for the sweet spot and find a book where they need help with just two to three words on the first page. The Five Finger rule is also easy for kids to understand and can help guide them when they are reading independently.

How do you keep your kids inspired by and engaged with literacy? We’d love to know!