homeschool, Learning Resources, Reading & Literacy

How To Teach Your Child to Read Without Stress

Over the summer I taught my five-year-old to read utilizing phonics.  Though I appreciate the expedient fluency that comes with reading with sight words, I believe every child should have a base knowledge of phonics before being taught solely to rely on memorization to read.  There is far more freedom in developing an understanding of phonics versus the extreme limitations of word memorization.

Whether your child is 2 or 10 there is a great benefit in utilizing these tools and tips to build up their literacy.

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Introducing the Concepts

Before reading and comprehension must come a core knowledge of the sounds each letter is capable of making.  With 26 letters that can sometimes alter with short or long rules, combinations, or additions of e’s, it can at first come off as a very daunting task of organizing just how you want to teach your child.  There are so many books out there, but this book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, is the core foundation of my reading curriculum.  This book introduces children, not to the alphabet, but instead, to their sounds.  It also teaches to read with phonics without pausing between each letter, stopping the debilitating habit before it can even start.

The lessons are 15-30 minutes apiece, depending on your child’s cognition, focus, and willingness to learn.  Some days will be easier than others, especially considering the book essentially in itself is a large, dull, black and white textbook.  It’s your most valuable asset but not quite the most riveting piece of literature.  Be excited about your child’s progress, have friends and family listen and congratulate your new young reader throughout his/her progress.   I found this sticker chart, and for every 10 stickers she was allowed a dollar to peruse the toy aisle of dollar tree, and then the mega prize was a teepee where she could spend her days reading away.

Make Reading Active

Whether you want to create your own or purchase some already made worksheets like these great ones we used, hands-on practice is a great way to instill the learning for the day for those not so auditory or visual learners out there.  You don’t need one for every lesson, but one in every five really does help your reader grow their confidence and find a whole new interest in it all over again.

Instilling Their Confidence

After Lesson 10 I began incorporating these BOB books.  They are pint-sized for small hands, easy to read, and limited in the sounds that will be read in each tiny tale.  This was a great way to spark the excitement and confidence in my little reader by giving her an actual book that she could touch, hold, and read independently.

I would issue new books as she learned the new sounds in them, only occasionally having to introduce a letter out of turn to keep her reading material fresh.

Instilling Fluency

The Usborne series: My First Reading Library is perhaps the most expensive thing I have ever purchased for the sake of my child’s education, and most likely will remain that way until she hits junior high.  But reading is the base of all learning and is worth the investment.

Once she was about a third of the way through the lessons I began introducing these books into our nightly routine before bedtime.  These books are designed so that parent and child can read together, the more complex sentences are placed in one font face for the parent to read, and then the simpler sentences are in a larger font for the child.  Now the child hears the smooth fluency of the parent while simultaneously sharpening their own skills.  As the collection continues the parent vs. child portions make a shift, and the stories are actually fun and interesting for the most part.

Quick Tips:

  • Daily Routine is key
  • Sight words will begin to happen naturally with reading practice!
  • Avoid negative words while your child is learning such as wrong or no.  Instead, just review the correct sounds.
  • Create Flashcards for the sounds in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, this gives them something tangible to hold that’s not just a giant heavy book.
  • Remember we want reading to be fun, not frustrating.  You are not always going to be supermom or superdad, if you feel yourself becoming frustrated don’t be afraid to call it a day, or tag team it off to a fresh face and mind.
  • Watch more Super Why!
  • Morning/early afternoon: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
  • Nightly: My First Reading Library
  • In all the frustration, scheduling, and life don’t forget to enjoy reading with your child.


Reading Countdown Chart

Use this PDF to help encourage your child, by having a visual way of seeing their incredible progress, as you work your way through the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  There may seem to be a lot of boxes, but I kept my daughter’s focus per row, allowing her a dollar allowance for the toy aisle of Dollar Tree for every 10 Lessons completed.

Flashcards Lessons 1-16

Laminate and cut this PDF and use them again and again for phonics review.  These flashcards are more manageable for tiny hands.

Flashcards Lessons 1-16 With Pictures

Laminate and cut these and use them again and again for your child’s more independent practice times.  These flashcards are manageable for tiny hands.



0 thoughts on “How To Teach Your Child to Read Without Stress”

  1. I was lucky because I had an older sister (15 years older) who took the time to teach me to read. She taught me to sound out the words, not to memorize what they looked like. We shared and talked about books and characters right up until she died a couple of years ago. Reading connects people and I think it’s the most important subject any child can be taught.

  2. In my opinion, when kids learn to read without stress it becomes a habit for them and it is never seen as a chore. Great tips!

  3. Iโ€™m so old school that I didnโ€™t realize there was a way of learning other than to sound out the letters! Great info thatโ€™s so nicely organized.

  4. Isla is taught at school in a different way than I was. Makes reading at home really interesting. Me: That’s an A. Her: That’s an ‘Ah’. Me: That’s an F. Her: That’s a ‘FFF’ Me: I’ll allow it.

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