. Myth #3: Reading to your child will teach them how to learn to read. | The Reading Clinic
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Myth #3: Reading to your child will teach them how to learn to read.

Reading to your child will help them develop a love of reading and help them develop many critical literacy skills and print concepts. For some students who have difficulty learning to read, being read to becomes a strategy for them to memorize books so that they can appear to read. Pretending to read and memorizing stories are great habits for kids as long as they are not masking their inability to read. If you suspect this is happening, the easiest way to check is to give your child nonsense words to read, like fup, sim, and tep.

Learning to read requires a foundation of phonemic awareness, which includes the ability to blend sounds together, identify the positions of sounds in a word (ex: the first and last sounds) and break words into their individual sounds. Warning signs of poor phonemic awareness include issues with articulation and flipping sounds such as psketti for spaghetti. Playing phonemic awareness games with children age 3 to 5 can be a great way to make sure they are ready for reading and alert you to potential issues.

As students get more confident with sounds, they can learn the letters and the sounds they make. Once they understand the sound/symbol relationship, they can move on to learning to read and spell words using traditional phonics rules. As that starts to make sense, introduce sight words. Hopefully this all goes smoothly, and they learn how to read and love to read.

The less stressful it is to learn how to read, the more likely children will love to read. And, of course, reading to your child, talking about what you are reading, and creating a safe and fun experience around reading, will help them love to read, even when learning to read is difficult.

Beth Powell has worked in the field of education for over 15 years. After completing her BA degree in Math and her MA in Transformative Leadership with a focus on math education, she developed the Math with Ease® Program. She worked at Lindamood-Bell and has been trained in Slingerland. She has given talks at many events, including the California Mathematics Council’s Asilomar conference, the Cupertino Union school district and for SELPA. Beth is also a musician and plays in a sailor band at historical recreation events.


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