CoolKid Tested: Top 5 Resources for Teaching Children to Read

Reading is such an integral part of understanding the world around us, and with five children, I have tried every tool imaginable.  From letter flash cards to Kumon, we have tried it all!  Here are the top 5 resources that led to fluent reading and comprehension.

  1. Reading Aloud:  We have been reading aloud to our children since they were babies.  The easy board books to picture books, they all create a bank of words in your child that helps them recognize those words and phrases later in their own reading.  There was also a study that shows reading and re-reading the same books to children actually does help them become more fluent readers.  We love books, and children’s books of course, so reading to our children was enjoyable for both mama and babies.
  2.  Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: This book begins with basic letter introductions, teaching the letters by their sound instead of their “name”.  This approach is great for teaching children to sound out the words, using their learned knowledge of letter sounds.  This book goes from letter sounds to complete paragraphs and really takes the child from a non-reader to a fluent reader.  This book is also great because it is parent led, allowing for sweet teaching time that is led by experts who know what they are doing.
  3. Bob Books: These sets of books are wonderful at reiterating the sounding out method.  Also, the rhyming helps kids recognize patterns and beginnings and endings of words.  These are great for confidence building, as the repetition helps really solidify the material in the child’s brain.
  4. Kumon Workbooks:  We have tried the Kumon program, where the child attends twice weekly and has daily homework practice.  This was truly an amazing program, however financially and time prohibited us from continuing.  The program costs $100/month per child to take both the Math and Reading portions, and I highly recommend it if it works for your family.  We have five children who are all at various stages of school and sports, and the commitment did not work for us.  I ended up purchasing the Kumon books and using them as I had learned in the program, a little bit every day.  They definitely help with letter writing and word recognition.
  5. Sight Word Memorization:  My children don’t love the rote memorization with using these cards, but knowing the most frequently used words in the English language did help them with reading.  It gave them the confidence in knowing so many words without having to sound them out, that the tougher new words weren’t as overwhelming to try to sound out.

We believe that reading it such an enhancement to everyday life.  When children can begin to read menus, street signs, letters, they are plugged into the written word, which is so powerful.  My children have become lovers of reading, and though I don’t have the time to read as much as I would like, I am overjoyed that my children find time and space to curl up with a great book.  We hope these resources and tips help you on your child’s road to literacy.  They have certainly been the building blocks for our children’s reading.

Are there any resources that I am missing on this list that you could recommend?  I would love to hear in the comments what reading materials you have loved when teaching your littles to read.



CoolKid Mama


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