Start to Read, 60 Easy Tips & Lessons

Start to Read, 60 Easy Tips & Lessons

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels


  • Help my child read fluently

  • Help my child read

  • Help my child read and write

Looking for ways to teach your child to read, below are 60 different tips. A list of suggestions to help your child read fluently, to encourage them to read at home. We have tips for children ages 0-16. A list of 20 tips for different ages.


 AGE 0-6

  1. Letters-Uppercase & lowercase

Write letters each day. Have a notebook so your child can scribble or write at anytime.

Take it a step further, make an ABC book to demonstrate the use of uppercase & lowercase letters here

2. Conversation

When your child begins to speak, it is important to have fun and meaningful conversations. For example, if you are doing the dishes, count the number of forks. If you are eating dinner, ask you child to tell you about their food. Even if their words are inaudible, this engages your child with the beginning frameworks of dialogue.

3.Read Aloud Daily

You have to be intentional to read aloud. Reading aloud might seem hard, but if you have the consistent reminder: reading is for 30 minutes before bedtime, reading is 30 minutes during breakfast. This, of course will vary with your home life, but you can make this happen. Also don’t forget to ask questions from: what color is that, tell me what you see, or what happened?

4. Flashcards

There are hundreds of flashcard publishers. But use flashcards that can have the quick way of checking memory, and providing information.

5. Routines

Establishing routines with your little one for eating, potty, outside play, nap time can provide you with opportunities of reading. You can find more here.

6. Listening

If your child hears, they are building an understanding about what is heard from that spoken language. Listening guides them on learning how to talk and tell stories. 

7. Magnetic letters or physical letters

Allow your baby to touch, see, and feel the letters. Even though you do not know what letters are, it can help them to feel them and provide the early development of letter and word recognition.

Pegboard Letters Here

8. Repetition

When reading, it is important to repeat important words. Repetition helps your child remember what was said, and helps them practice the sound and speech pattern. More Here

9. Make it a game

Children love having fun, and anytime that you can make reading/literacy a game you have made their day.

10. Real World

It is critical for our littles to know what the real world is. So if you are outside, at the store, point things out so they know what is around them. Describe and explain what they see, because this world could be confusing and overwhelming for some. So the more that you can take them into the real world and explain, describe what is around them will not only build their senses but vocabulary.

11. Music

You know if the right music is played, your child lights up. In this article, “Making music helps the body and mind work together, stimulates thinking and expressive skills, and enhances creativity. So with music, you are helping your child to connect their thinking and neural development. Article here

12. Rhyming

Rhyming can help a child understand phonemes and phonological awareness or word sounds. For example with rhyming a child does not realize they are saying consonant sounds, short vowel sounds, blended vowels, and more. With the repetition and flair of rhyme gives the child a foundational ability to “play” with the words.

13. Colors

Encouraging the learning of colors and art can reinforce the vocabulary. For example, when you read a book encourage a child to tell you the color or you can tell him/her the color. When you ask them to point out the animal or person on the page.

14. Sight Words

Sight words are words that we hear all of the time. Words such as a, and, must, and more.

  • The lists are here
  • You can find an activity here
  • Resource here

15. ABCs

No matter what language you speak, learning the ABCs and their sounds is a step.

  • You can find an activity here

 16. Alphabet Sentences

When your reader is ready, they can read sentences that are in alphabetical order.

17. Matching/Sorting

Matching and sorting is a known skill to improve your child’s thinking skills. When you read, you can find words, images, and new ideas from the readings. More information here

18. Learn Names

A way to get a child ready for writing is to learn how to write their name.

  • Dot Sticker-First Name Activity here

19. Learn Home Address

Teaching your child their own address or even phone number is an easy way to teach them about capitals, commas, and numbers. 

20. Encourage Creativity

Anytime during readings, encourage your child to draw or illustrate their thinking. You can encourage singing, rhyming, or acting out!


AGE 7-12

At this age, your reader is learning how to read. They will also have numerous opportunities to measure their understanding as well.

  1. Learn storytelling or spoken word 
    The spoken word is a creative activity. Through the spoken form, one can learn the story structure (beginning, middle, and end). The different ways of personification, and shifting the tone in one’s voice. No matter how sophisticated you get, speaking the story aloud builds comprehension and vocabulary. Click Here to read more. 

2. Spelling
Spelling acknowledges if your reader can write a word ini the correct order. A good speller indicates their ability to breakdown the word and knows the different sounds. There are different ways for spelling: (a) different lists given each week/month. (b) words pulled from the books they read. (c) lists of words that interest them. 

3. Spelling Games
There are hundreds of free and purchasable spelling games. Here is a sample product. Here

For writing you can have a variety of skills such as: responding to the reading, persuasive writing, creative writing, poetry, and many more. With writing, you are providing the specifics on the different methods to write.

Journaling can be a free flowing of writing or a usage of prompts. The difference of journaling is allowing the reader to get their thoughts out without judgement. Example here from a homeschooling mom.

5. Encourage art
At this stage, readers need content that is visual so they can have deeper concepts of the vocabulary and readings. I always encourage readers to have a pencil, notepad, and colored pencils. This could help them on remembering to sketch what they see. 

6. Prefixes, Suffixes, Affixes
Prefixes and suffixes are highly useful to learn.

  • For example the word help is a verb.
  • Help +er(suffix) now is helper.
  • Helper is now a noun meaning a person who helps.

Learning a prefix/suffix each week can give your reader the tools to understand the different words.

7. Listening Comprehension
Listening is a challenge, but asking a reader to listen and understand is even more difficult. Ultimately, practicing listening comprehension in your conversations or if listening to a program you can ask questions. Learn More Here

8. Act out
As your reader advances, allowing movement addresses their different learning styles. You can go as big as creating a play, or as low as asking them to express the character’s emotions in their face. However, these unique moments will be memorable for your reader.

9. Reading Comprehension
Reading to build understanding will be a continuous skill they will need in their lives. With the rise of social media, they will need to learn those skills to find information and make clear decisions.

  • One way to start is by asking your reader to describe what happened.
  • For fiction one would describe-the characters, setting, actions of the character, main events/plot, if there was a twist, and conclusion.
  • For non fiction-one would explain the categories, main idea and details, what would happen next, and many others..
  • Describing: Activity Here

10. Read Science & math

Practical application, vocabulary

11. Phonics

Do not be afraid to reteach/introduce phonics. Reading is developmental and ensure they have the foundation of knowing their phonemes, vowel sounds, consonant sounds, word blends, graphemes, and each of them.

 12. Vocabulary

With vocabulary, one should focus on learning the word meaning.

13. Games

At this age, you can use digital games or the good old-fashioned board games. When you are using a game, then you can integrate the usage of words or comprehension about readings. 

14. Academic/Leisure Reading

As a parent, you have so much hope for your child. You also realize that your child has their own personality, likes, and dislikes. So at this age, encourage reading for fun and reading for academics. Click Here to learn more.

15. Book Club

Encouraging the aspect of book club can encourage your reader to keep up with the readings that is assigned for the book club. 

16. Library
The library is always a useful place with resources and information. If you do not check out books often, then talk to your librarian about resources and databases that can be helpful.

17. Read as a family
Reading as a family has huge benefits of being able to engage and discuss what you all are reading. You can read at different times during the week that best suits you, and even create a group book text chat. 

18. Stay Positive
Readers will not have the best days, because they are still learning how to read. Find the bright spots in their success and keep encouraging them if they lose confidence at anytime.

19. Syllabication  
Syllabication is summarized here and the importance.
“When students are faced with reading multisyllable words, it is extremely helpful that they are familiar with the different syllable types or patterns. They will then have strategies to divide such a word into its syllables, and from there to blend the syllables so they can pronounce the whole word. Being able to spot the common spelling patterns or syllable types will aid them in the division. Instead of guessing, they will be able to attack long words and read them accurately and fluently. Entire article here

20. Have a book budget
If you have the means, consider having a budget to purchase books for your home library. At home libraries give readers immediate access to stories.


Age 12-16

Helping an Older Child with Reading Problems

You can find the full article here

1. Focus on a Reading Skill

In the 21st century, learning has taken a new approach. Learning is less about the retention of large amounts of facts and datasets. Learning is about manipulating and utilizing those data sets. As you encourage your child to read they can focus on skills such as vocabulary skills, comprehension skills, fluency skills, phonics skills, and writing skills. Each skill has a unique pathway and keeping this in place. Learning is also about collaboration, and communication to solve future problems in the world they will live in.

2. Recognize their developmental stage

Children go through a variety of developmental stages.

An example about an eleven to fourteen-year-old,

What I’m Like: I’m more independent than I used to be, but I’m quite self-conscious. I think more like an adult, but there’s no simple answer. I like to talk about issues in the adult world. I like to think for myself, and though I often feel confused, my opinions are important to me, and I want others to respect them. I seem to be moving away from my family. Friends are more important than ever. To have them like me, I sometimes act in ways that adults disapprove of. But I still need reasonable rules set by adults. However, I’m more understanding and cooperative. I want nothing to do with babysitters—in fact, if I’m mature enough I can often be by myself or watch others.” You can find more about their Stages Description Here.

When your child hits the preteen stage, then their ideas of realism are stronger than before. The best way to make their experiences, “REAL.” Is by identifying the core reasons why your reader does not read.

3. Magazines

Read teen or child magazines-talk about key points

4. Book series/Booklists

Read a series of books that is their interests.

If the booklist is realistic with topics on space, history, technology, and etc. Extend that experience to take them to the place, write to the author or an expert, or a virtual visit.

Kwame Membalia has a book series about Tristan Strong
Christine Taylor-Butler has a book series called The Lost Tribes
Renee Watson has books for Middle Grade readers

  1. Learn a Real World Skill

Find books where your reader can learn a new skill. Ask them something they would like to do in a set of months. If determined these could be books on sewing, coding, sign language, and this way you could see how they are implementing this vocation and reading.

6. Create digital content about readings

Make a blog, podcast, or private channel in TikTok or YouTube

7. Make it social

If you start a reading club with the adolescent’s friends, then ask them to decide: what they will read, how often they will read, and etc. Allowing readers to “own” the responsibility.

 8. Encourage What they like

1:1 if your reader “HATES” reading, I always encourage parents for every 1 book that YOU like, you will read an ACADEMIC text that is required by your school. Starting off will be painful, but it can work.

9. Let them choose

As a teen/preteen they want to make decisions. So think about giving reading what they want and reading what they should.

 10. Design something

Have the child to read aloud complex directions such as what an architect, building developer, and etc read. Have them illustrate those items over the course of weeks.

11. Meet with their Teacher

Beyond the conferences, gain a general understanding about their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Syllabication

Reinforcing syllables can assist your reader on decoding, and spelling.

  • More information Here

 13. Prefixes, Suffixes, Affixes

Prefixes, suffixes, and affixes change the meaning and spelling of a word. For example READ is the root word, READER has the prefix -er. Which now makes the word read a noun instead of a verb. So learning the prefixes, suffixes, and affixes can 

14. Vocabulary

As your reader advances into reading to learn, encourage your reader to keep learning vocabulary for their own work.

15. Encourage writing

Make this real for them. Ask your reader, how they want to produce the topic. For example your reader can write to their legislators, can develop a pen pal, write a series of stories and make into a video or a web series. Writing should be a decided effort so your reader will feel that they owned the piece.

16. Grammar check

Gives rules of the language, and syntax. Consider having the reader teach you a short 5-minute lesson on the grammar.

17. Reading responses

After reading, encourage their verbal or written thoughts about the readings.  

18. Build Fluency

Encourage daily read aloud. The more your reader reads aloud daily, the more he or she can build their fluency.

  1. Comprehension

Continue the building of comprehension. At this stage, they are reading to learn information and less on learning how to read. If your reader is still learning how to read then have patience and continue

  1. Problem-Based Learning Encourage your reader to read about a topic that affects their community. Then, when ready you can have your reader to an activity or project that is real or authentic.


Reading With Your Toddler During 5 Routines

Reading With Your Toddler During 5 Routines

  • Wanting to teach your baby to read?

  • Looking for ways for early childhood reading?

Introducing reading to your baby or toddler is a fun and challenging endeavor. When it was time to introduce my son to reading, I started before he was 6 months old to help him get in the habit of touching, seeing, feeling, and hearing the words from a book. You might hear from your pediatrician to begin introducing books to your child early on. You can learn more about different stages of reading from this article here.

You might be feeling unsure of when to implement time for reading. One way is to think about times when your child is being involved with routines: Eating food, potty time, bottle time, rest time, or walking time. You might use routines to teach your baby to read. Here are different ways to establish toddler routines.

Eating Food

When it is time to eat food, consider having a book near the table or countertop. Ask questions about the images. Read the story and mimic expressions. If you do not have time to grab a book, then consider reading food box labels and explaining the ingredients, spelling the words, and even discussing the interesting colors and shapes on the box.

 Potty Time

Potty training is a time where your child decides when he or she is ready. One way to encourage more time on the potty is by having books nearby. You cannot determine the length of their time, but having a book in that routine can be a consistent pattern your child expects. If it is easier, consider reading flashcards. They are quick, smaller, and could be another way to hold their attention. 

 Bottle Time

Bottle feeding can be a precious time to tell stories or read a book. During bottle time, your child is more likely still and laying back. This is a perfect time to read a book and you might discover if you are consistent that your child will want a book reading during bottle time.

 Walking Time

If you take your child on walks, bus rides, or even car rides, you can use that time to describe what you see outside. You can start by naming things, describing them, giving examples of them, and then possibly sharing a story about what you see. Walking or mobile times can be used to expand your child’s vocabulary and learn the language about their environment.

 Wake up/Nap Time

Laughter at 7 AM might be beaming through your door. Where your toddler breaks your moment of sleep. We know that bedtime stories are great ways to relax your child for sleeping. Consider other sleep times where you can read when she first wakes up. You can read before placing her down for her nap.

 Reading during routines can give you and your child different opportunities to read.  Additional information on Introducing Early Reading .

9 Ways to Introduce Early Reading

9 Ways to Introduce Early Reading

  • Language and Literacy for the Early Years

  • Early Reading Strategies for Kids

Introducing literacy skills and reading at an early age can provide the abilities to help your child grasp the language and skills to succeed as they grow. It is never too early to start, and you can provide a wonderful environment at your home. Parents can be the initial teachers to open the world for your child. Starting early does not only include reading a book but includes conversations, music, observations, and viewing images. These moments build literacy. Literacy is further explained here.

Ways to Teaching Early Reading

  1. Conversations-At the ages of 1, 2, 3, and 4 your child is experimenting with words and is speaking different phrases and sentences. With your 2-year-old, you might hear fewer words. Your 3-year-old might be forming clear and even silly sentences. Then by the age of 4-years old an expansion of vocabulary weaved into those sentences should be apparent. When you can, take advantage of any age to build their vocabulary through these fruitful conversations. If you hear singular words such as “truck,” “dog,” or “ball,” then describe what your child says, ask questions about it, or point to examples. When your child becomes older, continue the conversations and add new vocabulary words naturally to help them understand the conversation.


  1. Repetition– It is important to repeat the words that your children say because it provides more practice opportunities and memory building. When repeating, be intentional on words that might be useful. Be mindful of the language. When repeating, you can use different tones, emotions, and even objects to demonstrate how these words are different depending on the context. You can find more examples here.


  1. Read Daily-Take the time to read 2-4 books each day. Reading aloud each day gives the introduction to vocabulary words, sentence structure, word sounds, and the usage of language itself. Find ways to point out words and ask questions. Also, when selecting books, select nonfiction, poetry, and fiction text so your child can see the different word patterns. Reading aloud is a fun activity that encourages voice changes, expression, and fluency.

  1. Flashcards-Flashcards can be used for reading, viewing, listening, and speaking. Flashcards for young readers should have images so you can discuss the story, match similar images or words, identify colors, and see if you can find different categories or relationships with the cards such as animal words, food words, and more. Flashcards are great tools to display information quickly. Sample pack here.


  1. Screen Time-In the 21st century, logging on to YouTube, or giving your child a tablet to watch seems like a simple solution. If you must have your child watch a video, then repeat what you hear and expand on ideas from the video. Think about reinforcing vocabulary and encouraging your child to answer questions the character says. Technology is not the most important measure, but understand that as parents this might be one of your only options.Parenting is a challenge where sometimes placing your child in front of the television means getting more work completed, finishing up a household chore, or needing to take time for yourself. For whatever reason use screen time with the intent to learn by watching high-quality programming that can improve your child’s vocabulary and cognitive abilities. Also, consider the time limit. This article shares the impact technology can have on our children.


  1. Toys-The power of play for your child can have positive outcomes to build language, creativity, discovery, and even fine motor skills. With toys you can describe, categorize, and tell stories with. Play gives children the opportunity to try new things and learn from their mistakes. In this article, “Early learning and play are fundamentally social activities and fuel the development of language and thought. Early learning also combines playful discovery with the development of social-emotional skills. It has been demonstrated that children playing with toys act like scientists and learn by looking and listening to those around them.” When you encourage your child to play, you are providing opportunities for language growth and so much more.


  1. Routines-Decide throughout the day when you want to read a book or practice flashcards. Early language learning is critical. Children enjoy routines and predictability. I encourage you to have bookshelves or containers of books in your home. Books should be accessible when it is time for that time to read. You can establish the routine of reading a book when introducing new routines. For example, eating at the table, potty time, a new nap schedule, relaxing, and even car rides. One effective to motivate your young reader is to get into the habit of reading yourself. When your child sees you read, they might want to model after you.


  1. Be Intentional-Planning ahead might be a lot for working parents. However, reflect weekly on what it is that you want your child to do. This can be as simple as, “Each day we will read 2 books.” “Each day we will learn one new English and Spanish word.” “Each day I will ask what did you learn at school and tell me how you did it.” There are numerous ways to establish your educational intent with your child. Ultimately this pattern for yourself can help you when your child is school age.
  2. Writing/Scribbles-A pencil, crayon, marker, or paintbrush should be comfortable and familiar tools for your child. Once my son was holding a spoon for a few months, I introduce each tool little by little. Once he turned two, he identified and used each tool appropriately for use. I encourage my son to scribble, color, or paint every day so he can develop his fine motor skills and control. One suggestion is to have a notebook just for your child, and let them scribble away.

Feel free to contact us for additional information or consulting.

Additional resource here

5 Strategies to Teach your Toddler Sign Language

5 Strategies to Teach your Toddler Sign Language

  • Sign language can support oral language development.

  • American sign language is a visual language where the signer and viewer(s) communicate with their hands, fingers, and facial expression. 


Sign Language is a visual language developed from generations of signers before 1817. In 1817, the first Deaf school in America was formed by Laurent Clerc and Thomas Gallaudet now called Gallaudet University. Though Gallaudet and Clerc established the first deaf school, sign language was used many years before by indigenous tribes, immigrants, and deaf people. It continues to grow today amongst hearing individuals. Sign Language can be used by Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Hearing individuals. It is a systematic visual language that is learned and shared by others, changes over time, has its own set of rules, has its own set of symbols, and is honored by different communities. 1 As a parent, if you are considering teaching your baby or toddler sign language, it is never too late. Research has provided evidence that learning sign language early in infancy has positive effects on a child’s language development. One study showed that when a group of families used sign language, their children attained higher language skills compared to a group of families that did not learn signs. Research is still being done to provide more data and higher conclusions on sign language, but a person who signs in ASL and speaks an oral language is considered bilingual.  Other studies have shown that learning sign language keeps words in your mind. Take for example, learning to fingerspell, one has to know the spelling of that word and must know how to use it in a sign. 

ASL vs. Spoken English

American Sign Language uses words from the English language. Signs are visually represented as a fingerspelled word or as a sign. In contrast, the ASL rules on word order and even the meaning can differ. For example, in English, one would say: (Do you want to eat?) In ASL you would sign: (YOU EAT NOW DO?) In ASL question words are usually asked at the end of the phrase and the facial expression also changes.  Considering teaching sign language to your infants or toddler? There are many benefits. Below are a few key strategies of how sign language can be used easily with your family.

1. Two way

American Sign Language (ASL) can teach your child that communication requires two individuals. Think about the example I shared “YOU EAT NOW DO.” If I did not place the word “DO” at the end or if I used an alternate facial expression, the viewer might assume I am commanding instead of questioning. ASL is very human-centered and requires the viewer to view every sign to gain contextual knowledge. Once a sign is given, ASL requires the other individual to sign back or give a facial expression.  Luckily at home, this two-way communication is picked up easily with children. With ASL, your child can copy your sign, they can show you signs if you say or show the word, or answer you back in signs. This two-way visual language is building the foundation that communication requires two people. When your child become a better speaker, this two-way understanding could support this understanding as well. Teaching two-way communication is giving your child foundational literacy skills

2. Vocabulary

Learning ASL allows you to teach your baby or toddler key nouns and verbs that are commonly used on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, as they grow you can add in more vocabulary words. Eventually, when your child learns the meaning of these words, it reinforces their vocabulary and word usage. For example, if you say the word eat, and you sign the word EAT. That meaning is reinforced visually because your child learns that eating means putting food in their mouth. If you sign DRINK then you are referring that a drink is being poured down your throat. Unfortunately, there will be many words such as Color words that do not give a reference to the actual color sign. However, color signs keep the same structure. If you are attempting to introduce new vocabulary words to your child, I encourage iconic words that are representative of the visual word form. Some easy baby signs are MILK, YES, STOP, JUMP, STAND, MORE, COLD, HAPPY, SCARED, SHIRT, HAIR, SEE, Seasons (SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER). Once you learn these, you can keep learning even more signs.  For vocabulary usage, sign language gives a visual reference. These words can be an abstract or iconic symbol when signed. For example, if someone signs TREE, they place their elbow on the fingertips of the other hand and wave their arm like a tree. This iconic sign represents a real tree. Using signs that represent the iconic form of a word is a visual reference. Signing specific words is considered a referent, “The person, place, thing, idea, or event that a symbol is used to represent.” 1


3. Be Consistent

Children need consistency in their lives when learning something new. So when introducing new signs, be consistent on the usage. If new then give yourself the goal of teaching 5 words per month. Consistency will help your child learn how to use the word.

4. Visual intelligence

Sign language requires the signer and viewer to look at one another. The signer uses their hands, mouths, and even face to change the meaning of words. For example, The word NICE and CLEAN are signed with a hand palm down and the other hand palm up. Your palm down hand wipes across the palm up hand. You will wipe from the palm to the fingertips NICE The main difference between the two is that the signer should “Smile” when signing NICE. When signing CLEAN, the signer can wipe the hand twice or faster. ASL is not a visual language of gestures, it is a visual language of words and sentences.  This visual language requires the signer to use their entire body space to share a message with the viewer. ASL signs require vision to understand the meaning, and this can support your child’s visual intelligence.


5. Getting Started

List 10-20 words that you use daily with your child: Example words: MILK, FOOD, WALK, PLAY, NO, YES, STOP, ME, I, HELLO, BYE BYE, BIRD, TREE. Next test and try showing these words by signing. When I first started I tried by telling my son, “Show me “MILK.” It did not work in isolation. What worked for my family is when I said, “Let’s go on a WALK.” Or “EAT” please. Over time, he understood signs & words when I used the sign in our day-to-day activities.  Today, my toddler can show me those signs that I emphasized in isolation or conversation. My son and I are not speaking in full ASL sentences, however, I have hope that his vocabulary is building so that he will be a bilingual visual speaker and oral speaker.   As you think about your child’s literacy education know that there are thousands of safe ASL communities across the country. If you are hearing, you can be see as an ally and see a part of the world that needs to be heard. There is also a movement where Black Deaf families are reclaiming this language called Black ASL

 1 Baker-Shenk, C., & Cokely, D. (1980). American Sign Language, A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. Gallaudet University Press.