How to Teach Reading

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  • CDBakker

    OK, I need some ideas/encouragement here.  I have twin boys that will be 6 in February.  We started Kindergarten this fall, September 2020, but did some light schooling in the summer.  All of this is at their request.

    One son has been teaching himself to read since he was 4 and is doing VERY well.  The other has a desire to read but not the patience for lessons.  I have been doing Teaching Reading with Bob Books which is more phonics based.  The son that is teaching himself to read is flying right through them and starting the Sight Words books next week.  My other son, I started with the same books and he got through two and said forget it.  I switched him to Delightful Reading 2 and he did better but it was a fight.  He has been asking to read so I started him with the original curriculum and he’s doing well but has to sound out EVERYTHING.

    Am I doing any of this right?  I mean they are learning to read but is what we’re doing enough?  Should I be including more sight words?  With my one son that loves his lessons, he has been doing very well but I want to make sure I’m fueling his desire to read.  I know if I gave him some books that he could read on his own he would.  Over and over.

    My other son I’m afraid might wind up a year behind his brother which will be very difficult as I already have a 3 (near 4 year old) screaming at me for her lessons (I’ve set her up on a letter a week curriculum where she spends two weeks on every letter only because I’m trying to focus on the boys.  All independent work to keep her happy ad she just loves it).

    Gah!  Am I doing any of this right?  Can you really mess up teaching them to read?  I keep seeing things about decoding, phonics, sight words, etc and am getting worried that I’m not doing enough with them.


    So I never had early readers. So my advice is to relax and take it easy and not stress reading, also do not worry about him being behind 🙂 My children did not learn to read with ease until about 9, but at that point they were reading just as well as 9 year olds that could read at the age of 4. For the most part around 4th-5th grade things sort of level out. The kids that started a bit slower cstch up to the ones that started early and all sort of level out.

    I know it can feel like a lot of pressure for your children to be reading with ease at 6, but many, many children are much closer to 8, 9, and sometimes even 10 before reading gets easy and fun, but that does not mean they are behind it just means you might have to help with their daily work more than if they could read on their own and that works too. 🙂

    I would continue doing relaxed reading lessons. Follow his lead and if lessons starts to feel long, set them aside. I used a mix of Bob Books, Delightful Reading and basic phonics and around 9 for all my kids reading became fun and easy.

    Read books to all your children out loud and just enjoy the process. As for your little one asking for lessons, I would put off lessons. Let them listen in to family reading, give coloring and simple cut/color/paste work pages, build with play dough, and encourage imaginative play and activities. I would focus on lessons with the older two and let the little come and go as the interests lead but not do lessons with them.

    And some advice I was given years ago was “fill the cup of the littles first” I started spending about 30 min with my littlest one for the first part of the day. This made them so excited and “filled their cup” that when I needed time with the bigger kids they were more willing to wait their turn. It really helped our day run smoother when I gave my youngest the attention first part of the day.

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