How to Teach 2 and 3 Year Olds to Read

Simple, Effective Ways to Teach Children Reading

Do you have a young child or a small toddler that you want to teach how to read? Perhaps they're only 2 years old or just 3 years old. Many parents realize that reading is one of the most important skills we must have in life to succeed, so that teaching their child to read early on will have great benefits. Being parents of 3 children ourselves, we can definitively tell you that the benefits of learning to read early are innumerable and that children even as young as 2 and 3 years old can learn to read effectively. We taught all of our children to read before age 3. We're here to share with you some of our experiences, and share with you the one learning to read method that we have found to be simple, yet very effective.

That central concept which we focus on when teaching our children to read is to help our children develop phonemic awareness, and it is through a lot of reading, research, and personal experiences with our own children that have helped us come to this conclusion.

In short, phonemic awareness is simply the ability to hear and work with the smallest units of sound known as phonemes. It deals only with working on the individual sounds of words, and developing an understanding of how these individual sounds combine (blend) together to form words. It is through developing keen phonemic awareness skills which has allowed us to teach all of our children to read very early on. Need some proof? We've posted a few videos here.

How to Teach a 2 Year old to Read

It is without question, a difficult task to teach a 2 year old to read. They've just learned to speak at this age, and to think that they can learn to read now is something of a mind-boggler for most people, including us. However, we've learned that it is possible to teach 2 year old toddlers to read, and by "reading", we mean real, not memorized, and phonetic reading. The approach we took to teach our kids to read is quite different from what most parents might consider as a "conventional" way to teaching kids to read. Some put false hopes in TV/DVD programs that would teach their child to read by sitting in front of the TV for hours on end. It doesn't work. Period. Others might try to teach a word or two here and there using flash cards; others will use children's books and read to and read with their children; and others might try to teach the alphabet to their child with alphabet songs and through other means.

To teach our 2 year old to read, we followed a rather systematic and ground up approach starting with letter names combined together with letter sounds. Once a few letter names and sounds (2 to 3) have been mastered, we begin with blending practices, and progress from there. Additional letters are slowly introduced, larger 3, 4, and 5 letters or more words are introduced, sentences are introduced, and then complete stories and rhymes are introduced. As you can see, this is a very systematic approach to learning how to read designed for young children.

Teaching a 3 Year Old to Read

As children grow and develop, it becomes a bit easier to teach 3 year old children to read. But really, can 2 and 3 year olds really learn to read? Without memorizing? Of course they can. By 3 years 9 months old, our oldest daughter had achieve a grade 2 reading level and had a reading age of 7.5 years. At 4 years 2 months, she had a reading age of 9 years. This is achieved through A LOT of patience and time and effort invested by both parents, but it is probably the best time investment we've ever made. I sincerely believe that this is a time investment that most parents are willing to commit to.

The same learning to read approach applies to 2 and 3 year olds alike. Starting with the most basic building blocks of English (letter names and sounds), and working your way up to blending simple 2 and 3 letter words, working up to larger words, and then reading sentences, stories, and rhymes eventually. Through the reading lessons and reading practice, the child becomes a fast and fluent reader. This is a very systematic, and ground up approach to teaching children to read. It is effective, and produces real results. What do you think works better:

1) teaching simple words to your child here and there, and hope that they somehow crack the "code" on how to read, or,

2) using a systematic approach to teach a child about the relationships of letters and sounds, and how they combine together to form the words we speak.

I think the answer is clear.

Teaching small children to read is not an easy task, but it needn't be difficult either. An effective reading program must provide short, to-the-point lessons due to the short attention spans of small children. At the same time, the parents must be prepared to spend time and effort in teaching their children, but in the end, the results and the rewards are well worth it.

Learn more about how you can teach your 2 and 3 year old children to read here.


Teach Your Child to Read in 12 Weeks

How Kids Learn to Read
How to Teach 2 & 3 Year Old to Read
How to Teach 4 to 6 Year Olds to Read
How to Teach Kids to Read - Letters Names
How to Teach Phonics to Kids
Improve Reading Comprehension Skills
Phonics Strategies to Teach Reading
Strategies in Teaching Reading
Teach a Baby to Read: Can Your Baby Read?
Teach Child How to Read
Teach Toddler Alphabet Letters
Teaching Reading Lesson Plans
Teaching Toddler Reading - 1
Teaching Preschooler to Read - 2
Ways to Teach Reading to Kids
Why Read to Children?
Why is Reading Important?
Your Baby Could Read? Or Memorize Shapes?


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