How To Teach Your Child To Read

My daughter is turning 5 this month. She has been interested in reading books from her babyhood days. She loves to read lots of books. In fact, every night these days we bargain over how many books should we read.

How To Teach Kids To Read - DISTAR Theory

She wishes to be read 5-10 books daily during bedtime. I settled at reading 2-3 books and during fridays, 5 a day if we are in the weekend mood. She loves all kinds of books. Her eyes beam with joy whenever a new book is added to her esteemed collection. I have also subscribed to two magazines and she loved magazines too. Whenever the courier boy delivers books she waits for me till the evening and the moment I stepped inside the house, she wants me to read the book.

And this is where my problem lies. She can’t read on her own. In my non-pushy mom avatar, I end up thinking that it’s ok if she can’t read. Every child has a different pace of learning things. I should be happy that in this technology savvy kid’s world, at least my child is happy with her world of books. Even though she is too much dependent on me, she is enjoying. This continued till she was 4 and half years old. I used to get worried at times but then I had trained my mind to leave those thoughts and wait patiently for her to learn.

Whenever I asked her to read two letter words she replied – “I don’t want to read Mumma.” She thinks it’s too much work to read and it’s fun if momma is reading every time. Basically, she doesn’t want to come out of her comfort zone of being read to.

You know a typical mommy’s brain, which oscillate between what’s wrong and right for her children. I was going through the same phase. I used to play rhyming word games, sight word recognition, etc. She is very well versed with phonetic sound of each word so it seems she will be a good reader. I also ordered beginner reader level 1 books thinking may be a new set of books would motivate her to read on her own. But this also didn’t help.

A little bit of self-realization and lot of research on the internet, I came to a conclusion that I was not using any formal method of teaching her to read. It was just a vague method. No systematic approach. And the school also just teaches A to Z in nursery and two-three letter word reading starts in KG.

During an internet browsing session, I came across a DISTAR method of teaching your child to read.

Then I found a book – How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. I have seen these kinds of books earlier too, but I never took them seriously and didn’t buy any. After reading a lot of good reviews about this book I finally ordered this book and this book surpassed my expectations.

I completely agree to blurb – In only 20 minutes a day, this remarkable step by step program teaches your child to read with the love, care and joy only a parent and child can share!

It’s the best book you can buy for teaching your child to learn reading in a formal way, following a step by step format, one lesson a day.

Don’t presume that if your child is interested in being read to, she will pick up reading on her own someday. Definitely they will have a good vocabulary and will be fast readers once they will start reading, but till that time you as a parent need to work on acquiring reading skills in the same way we work with our kids to learn any other new skill like swimming or skating.

We haven’t learnt reading in a phonetic way. So as a parent, you first need to understand the book yourself and once you are clear with the approach, its cakewalk. Trust me it’s that easy. They are well developed lessons which make learning super easy for kids. It says children will learn to read within 100 chapters (One chapter each day) that means in 3.5 months. We haven’t been very regular and so finished 60 lessons in the last six months, but next week when she will turn 5, I can say that she enjoys reading on her own without much struggle.

She still loves when I read to her and I know she will soon grow out of my lap and will soon be reading Harry Potter and Enid Blyton on her own. But till then, I am enjoying this phase of reading together. 🙂

I would love to hear your experience in teaching kids to read. What’s your magic mantra to get those tiny tots read on their own?

Rashmi Sehgal is the mother of two adorable kids, 4 and 1-year-old fondly known as Angel and Lil prince on her blog. She wears the dual hat of mother and IT Professional who juggles between work and kids trying to maintain balance between both worlds . She is a voracious reader , avid blogger , Shopaholic, love to experiment different way of learning and unlearning things with her daughter and take pleasure in reading books to her daughter. She writes at rashworld.wordpress.com

  • Annapurni V

    Thanks for writing about the distar method. Will suggest my friends who are parenting young kids. Well written

  • Arun

    Good one, informative.

  • ashu

    I think reading is one of the activity which keeps interaction on between parent and the kids. this is way when kid will be coming to parents , asking for many unsolved question while reading, same way parents, do keep asking about their reading progress, it can be a mutual task to take on. I liked Parentlane app goo.gl/4jLUwu , Download for good parenting.