How to Teach Reading to Kids
Reading is both of enormous significance in the educational life of a child, and an incredibly complex skill for young readers to master. While it is easy to assume that kids will just ‘pick up’ reading over time, research has found this far from being the case. While some kids may have an easier time of reading than others, most young readers simply don’t just ‘pick up’ reading. There is a complex set of skills that kids must acquire in order to read and become fluent readers.
The National Reading Panel, a US government initiative that in 2000 conducted extensive research into the most effective reading programs, concluded that reading is most effectively taught in a way that systematically builds an understanding of the following five core areas of reading development:
- Phonemic awareness
- Text comprehension
For example, phonemic awareness, that is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate individual sounds in words, is one such core literacy skill that many children only become aware of in a formal setting. Children become aware of the individual sounds in words, known as phonemes, through instructional activities such as word games, language play and other similar activities.
If the act of learning to read is complex, the art of teaching kids how to read is equally intricate. In order to effectively teach reading, any reading program needs to offer instruction in all five of the aforementioned skill areas – no one literacy area should be taught to the exclusion of the others. Researchers have found that spending a copious amount of time on one literacy skill area to the exclusion of others does not help, but rather hinders the reading process. The five different literacy areas necessary for kids to become fluent readers live in a kind of symbiotic relationship – they need one another in order for literacy to survive and thrive.
ABC Reading Eggs provides a systematic and well-researched literacy program that teaches kids how to read, incorporating each of the five elements essential to a successful reading program into the structure of its lessons. Each Reading Eggs lesson is made up of a number of different activities that always includes four or five of the essential literacy areas. Lessons earlier in the program may focus more on phonemic awareness in order for children to develop their knowledge of the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that individual letters and letter combinations make. As young readers work through the lessons, they will inevitably encounter activities and games that develop each of the other four skills areas.
Solid research into children’s literacy is the bedrock upon which Reading Eggs is built. Each part of the program, including every lesson, is tethered to this research base. And all lessons are fully integrated within the program, so that lessons may build upon one another, and provide a learning framework that helps kids become fluent readers.
My child LOVES Reading Eggs! This program has been exactly what I’ve been looking for. We tried two other popular reading programs and while they were fun, just didn’t translate to my child becoming a reader. He’s a reluctant reader, capable, but frustrates easily. With Reading Eggs I have never witnessed an ounce of frustration, just watched my son having fun. And even better – I’ve watched him start to read in such a natural progression that is a beautiful thing to watch. Thank you, Reading Eggs! C. Bryant
As a teacher in a special setting, I just wanted to tell you how happy I’ve been with Reading Eggs as a teaching aid. My students have flourished, often responding better to the online exercises than any other method. Thank you for all the research and development that has resulted in Reading Eggs. Ann
ABCs of Teaching Reading http://www.readingrockets.org/teaching/
Strategies for teaching reading http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/learning_and_teaching/early_childhood_literacy/strategies_for_teaching_reading.html
BBC reading activities http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/