Should you teach your child to read or leave this task to teachers? Whether to study list of sight words for kindergarteners? No matter how you answer this question for yourself, the main thing is to do no harm. Olga Uzorova, an experienced practicing teacher, methodologist and author of educational and developmental aids, answered the frequent questions from parents and told when to teach a child to read and how to do it correctly.

At what age can you start learning to read?
In this question, we start from the word “can. You can begin at 2, 3 or 4, but only if the child is already reaching for the book and asks to see his letters. You don’t have to drag a child out of the sandbox and put him behind the alphabet just like that, of his own free will! If there is a desire, the right method will help. Parents really liked “Primer. Learning to read from 2-3 years old” and its continuation “Learning to read from 3-4 years,” – they can be offered to children from 2 and up to 6-7 years old, these are universal aids.

What should a child do, if he knows letters well, but linking them into syllables and reading won’t work?
If it does not work at all, and you actively spoil the mood of a child’s failed attempts, it is better to finish these exercises. Little tiphack, how to teach folding letters into syllables. Show by a simple example: the letter O and the letter H together OH. Practice folding simple syllables at home, on the street, and on trips. For example, in the primer “Learning to Read from 2-3 years,” all the words consist of 2-3 letters, and all the dialogues consist of these short words. That’s part of the secret to the book’s success: having mastered the simplest examples, it’s easier for a kid to move on. If you still can’t make it, turn to the best friends of elementary school teachers – speech therapists!

What is NOT to do when learning to read?
Under no circumstances should you scold a child. It is better to explain to him If something doesn’t work, it’s your failure in the first place – it means you’re using the wrong method of teaching. Not only has the child already spent a lot of time and effort, trying to listen to your explanations, but he still got screwed for this! Next time he will not want to study, no matter how you waved an ABC book in front of him.

You should not deprive your child of a situation of educational success. If he was able to remember a letter or read a syllable, do not take it for granted. For a kid it is very difficult, he has done a lot of work, respect the work of your child. If something is successful – praise for sure!

Why teach your child to read fast and increase the speed of reading? He reads as he gets.
Our brain processes information in fractions of a second, and reading slowly slows it down. If you want your child to develop thinking skills, you need to be sure to monitor their reading speed. If a child begins to read in syllables and continues to do so for a long time (a year or two) without moving to the next level, something is wrong. If you can’t make the transition from syllabic reading to fluent reading yourself, look for a specialist who will find a competent method.

Learning to read and a child’s self-esteem – how to find a balance?
A balance in this matter is necessary! Many parents buy an alphabet for a one-year-old baby. First, the child is a long time to learn the letters, then he is required to learn how to fold them into syllables. Often a rash finds a stone, because parents are waiting for rapid progress in the study of, it seems to them that it is very easy. But for a baby, it is a very difficult task, you have to be patient. If a child fails at something, his self-esteem suffers. And the preschooler’s self-esteem must be inflated, otherwise the school will have a hard time for him and his teachers. If the child’s hands are empty, he is sure in advance that he will not succeed, the teacher is very difficult to pull him out of the pit of low self-esteem. So be sure to praise your child for his or her achievements, create situations of educational success and in no case scold him or her!

Should we teach preschoolers to read?
Balzac once said that the future of the nation is in the hands of mothers. Let these words help you gather all your strength and patience! I completely understand: you have other professions, hobbies of your own and hardly have much time to teach your child. But it is better if you start to teach your child to read before school. Schools nowadays don’t give much time to it, and teachers say directly or by hints that it’s very desirable to teach a child to read at least 30-40 words a minute by the first grade. This is fast enough syllable reading. There is simply not enough time in elementary school right now to teach reading.