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How to Teach Kids to Read?

“How to teach kids to read and write?” Every parent must have asked this question to themselves at some point of their lives. Reading is not only an essential skill; learning to read marks a rite of passage in a child’s life. Like walking, learning to read is an important step, which indicates that a child is ready to begin the next phase of her life.

“Who I am, what I am, is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, a lifetime of stories. And there are still so many more books to read. I'm a work in progress.” Sarah Addison Allen.

Reading is essential for a child’s linguistic development. Language plays a vital part in how we process information and articulate ourselves, so developing a child’s reading skills is of paramount importance. Parents and teachers play a very critical role in developing language skills by encouraging children to read and articulate their feelings.

And as every book-lover knows, books are the best friends a person can have. They always have the best things to say, they are available at even the oddest hours, and even re-visiting them is a source of perpetual joy.

How important is reading for a child?

"I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage."--- Roald Dahl

While children learn the alphabet and numbers when they are two or three years of age, kids learn to read when they are around six or seven years old. Teachers and psychologists say that by the time they are seven, children should know how to read.

Multiple studies show that children who are adept at reading show advanced comprehension skills, have a better vocabulary and show greater empathy and compassion. However, there is more to reading than that.

Key benefits of reading

Children who are seven or so years old are in a transitional stage. This is the time when a child starts looking towards the world outside, and tries to make sense of it. At this stage, they start developing their capacity for abstract thinking and start making connections between things.

Boys and girls start identifying patterns, and try to understand the world, and even negotiate their place in it. This is the time they are also more keen to express themselves and their thoughts, and communicate their desires with others.

With reading, children can grasp language better, and with more information, they can start interpreting their world in a unique way. Hence, reading provides them with the necessary tools with which they can articulate and express themselves, and also helps them figure out what they want. This is a formative stage in a child’s life, and as they gain more knowledge, they start to open up to different possibilities.

What does reading mean during the formative years?

“Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.”--- Jesse Lee Bennet

When children are of 7 years old, they start to make sense of the world. It is the age when they start to look outside, absorb information and try to apply the knowledge they have gained. For kids of 7-12 years of age, it is the time for becoming more independent and also gaining emotional independence.

How to teach kids to read the alphabet?

In the earlier years, children learn the alphabet, shapes, colors, and numbers. From sight words to letter sounds and using simple words, they move to understanding and adapting more complex words and linguistic patterns. When children are encouraged to read aloud, they develop phonemic awareness- which is the ability to identify and modify sounds used in spoken language. This is a crucial step in developing linguistic and reading comprehension skills.

During this time, children become more self-aware. Exposure to the world and people outside also give them a sense of perspective, and this in turn gives them a sense of emotional independence. This is also the time when children start to develop (and identify) personality traits and social skills. Reading not only provides them with the knowledge to understand and cope with social situations, but also gives them the necessary tools to express themselves.

How does reading help?

Reading opens up a world of imagination. Children can channel their creativity and express themselves in unique ways. They can also identify possibilities the world has to offer, and they can start to get an idea of what consequence their actions will bring.

Reading skills are very important for children because they can access information that helps them gain decoding skills that they can use to figure out the world on their own terms. So, if you want to see your child come into their own, encourage them to read more.

How to teach kids to read?

"Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read."--- Marilyn Jager Adams

Parents often ask how to teach kids to read properly. Teaching kids to read is an important part of upbringing, and the best way to do so is to read with them. Reading with children not only helps them to learn, but it also provides a unique way of bonding between parents and kids. Children learn more from example, so it is always more effective when a parent provides one. Parents can have read alouds with their children, and discuss concepts or topics that are relevant to a child’s life. They can also give their children pertinent examples from things they are familiar with so that the latter can grasp concepts better. While reading aloud, parents can also sound out words to help their children develop their phonemic awareness.

By letting children choose the books they want to read, parents can also gain a deeper insight into their children’s psyche. When children are provided with the freedom to choose, parents can encourage their children to develop their curiosity and explore the world on their own. Letting a child discover new ideas on their own is the best gift a parent can give.

Best App to Teach Kids to Read - GetLitt!

"It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.” --- S.I. Hayakawa

At GetLitt! your child has access to a huge collection of books. If you want them to inculcate a habit of reading, there is no better place to start. A great way to encourage children to read is to make it fun, and make a game out of it. With GetLitt!’s reading challenge, you have just that.

When you subscribe to GetLitt!, your child automatically becomes a participant in the Reading Challenge for that period of time. The more your child reads, the more Knowledge Manis he unlocks. As he progresses, he earns badges that are displayed on his profile. You can keep track of your child’s progress on the leaderboard.

‘Best way to teach kids to read’ App

The GetLitt! reading challenge motivates children to read more and explore more. It is a fun way to learn, and earning badges and trophies motivates them to read more. The entire GetLitt! library is open to the subscribers, so children can explore more books. They are free to choose what they like- be it books by their favourite author or in their favourite genre.

Moreover, reading good books is a source of great joy and pleasure for children. With books from famous authors and publishers available on GetLitt! children develop a love of reading that becomes a reward by itself. The GetLitt! library is updated regularly, and the collection is a robust one. There are books of all genres- adventure, humour, STEM, fantasy, environment, fairy tales, mystery and non-fiction.

Readers can browse the collection according to genres, publishers and authors. The books are all of high quality and are easy to read through, while the GetLitt! app allows the reader to zoom in and out, which prevents readers from having to squint.

Fun ways to Teach Kids to Read

Think of the GetLitt! Reading Challenge as a reading program for kids where learning is fun and enjoyable. Here, children get to read and choose what they can read as the whole library is open to them. They can challenge themselves to read more and earn more badges, and they can even write their own reviews of the books they have read.

Children like to express themselves and to share their opinions. Writing reviews encourages them on both accounts, and also helps them in honing their reading and writing skills. So, if your child wants to express her thoughts on what she has read, GetLitt! gives her the platform. Other kids also benefit from reading the reviews.

GetLitt! Reading Challenge for Schools

"To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one."--- Chinese Saying

If you want to test your kids’ reading skills, and also want your child’s school to participate in the GetLitt! reading challenge, you can talk to the school authorities and teachers GetLitt! can help schools organize special reading challenges where the entire class can participate and have fun learning together.

Games to teach kids to read

The school authorities can use the books from GetLitt! library to organize reading challenges for their students. Reading challenges are a fun way to read and can be a great extra-curricular activity. The GetLitt! team can collaborate with school authorities on planning activities and games around the reading challenges which encourage students to read, write reviews and participate in competitive activities.

Reading challenges can be organized grade-wise, and the children can display the badges and trophies they earn. There can also be a leaderboard for every class or group showcasing the children’s achievements. At the end of each month, students can be awarded their batches and certificates.

Going further, reading champions from each school can participate in an inter-school challenge where they can compete with students from other schools from all over India. Not only is it a great way to hone their reading and writing skills, but it also provides for some fun activities outside the classroom.

The school can write to us at schools@getlitt.co