4 Simple Steps to How I Teach My Kids to Read at Home (no experience needed)

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The first time I taught my first child to read, it was a painful experience for both of us…

I’m not proud of it. I wish I could turn back the time.

But, I accept is as a learning curve for me to be better and to keep on learning and improving myself.

But figuring out how to teach our kids or preschoolers to read at home, is not easy. I don’t have any experience or teaching background.

My experience in working in the engineering industry doesn’t help at all.

What should I do first?

Teach uppercase or lowercase letters first?

Teach using phonics or the traditional way?

And many more questions…

It boils down to…

But over time, looking at my kids’ reading journey, I can say that teaching your kids to read is about embracing who your child is and letting them progress in their own phase. ​

Our role is just to be the beacon of light, to show them where to head next.

The 4 Steps to How I Teach My Kids to Read at Home (and you can too)

In this post, you’ll learn 4 simple steps that I used to teach my kids to read at home

  1. First, to instill the love of reading
  2. Next, to make reading a habit
  3. Third is to introduce the letters and their sounds
  4. Finally, to learn to read simple 3-letters word, or what we called as CVC letters
How I teach my kids to read at home

But before that, you might be wondering, at what age should we start teaching our kids to read?

What is the best age to teach a child to read?

I’d say we start from newborn.

No, not that we show ABC flashcards around the baby cots or things like that.

But teaching a baby to read is just reading a picture book to babies.

4 Simple Steps to How I Teach My Kids to Read at Home (no experience needed) 1
And here my Hajar pretending to read to her little brother!

At this stage, it’s not teaching per-say; it’s more bonding and playing with our baby.

But it’s important to introduce the book and its anatomy – such as we can use this to read, to have fun, and it can be flipped.

Let’s dive into the 4-steps I used to teach my kids reading at home.

#1: Instill the love of reading – start simple

If you’re like me, a confused mom but wish to teach your kids without pressuring herself or drilling your kids too much, I’d recommend that you start simple – do the read-aloud and few other ideas.

Idea #1: Read aloud

What is read-aloud?

Read aloud is just simply picking any book that your kids find exciting and read it aloud together.

4 Simple Steps to How I Teach My Kids to Read at Home (no experience needed) 2
caption for image

It can be a board book. ​

It can be National Geographic magazine of Arctic Fox. ​

It can be anything.

As long as your kids love the topic, it will work.

How read aloud help your little kids to read?

Every goal has a process.

So is reading.

If our goal is to help our kids to be able to read independently, first, we have to instill the love of reading and books in them.

4 Simple Steps to How I Teach My Kids to Read at Home (no experience needed) 3
So proud of him!

Read aloud helps because this activity involves us reading with our kids together. And this spells love.

Our kids love it when we spend even a little 10 to 15 minutes reading together.

What’s more exciting is that when your little ones find the activity exciting, they will begin to ask you to let them read by themselves!

You’ll smile with a proud heart seeing you’ve raised a little bookworm who loves books and reading!

Try Today: Pick a book

Why don’t you try doing a short read aloud session today?

Just pick a book or any picture book.

If you don’t have any idea about how to read, it’s OK just to read the words without any fun voices, or tell your kids what picture they’re looking at.

Small gestures from us as parents meant a lot to them.

Idea #2: Read Nursery Rhyme Books

The best part about this is, you can sing while you read without having to crack your head how to make reading interesting.

Your little readers would love to hear your sing at the same time flipping the books.

#2: Make Reading a Habit

Little kids who love to read, will keep on reading when they grow up.

But it’s our role as their parents and caretaker to help develop the habit.

How to develop a reading habit?

It’s as simple as:

  1. sdas

1. Setting up a book corner in your house – it doesn’t have to be big or fancy. A small bookshelf would do.

2. Model reading – Little kids love to imitate grown-ups. If you read your book, your little ones would love to grab their books too.

3. Read everything – This includes :

  • Reading the pictures on the cereal box
  • Reading the McDonald’s signage or the grocery store’s name on the trolley
  • Read the steps written on the wall when you go out doing laundry at the coins laundry center
4 Simple Steps to How I Teach My Kids to Read at Home (no experience needed) 4
It’s not reading the text on the package, but we showed that each bread package has text and by reading these, we know which is chocolate bread, or which is red bean bread

#3: Introducing the ABC letter

This part is quite tricky for me, but I hope my sharing helps you.

How do I teach letters to my kids at home?

I used to wonder which letters to teach first, is it ABC in order, or is it the letters that make the first word.

Until I learned that the best letters to teach first is the letters that make our kids’ name.


Because they love their names, and have always wanted to learn how to communicate to people about their names.

PS: Read here about one of our name activity

Name Activity with preschool
We printed her picture, write her name, and make it like a puzzle.

Getting to know everybody’s names

What I usually do is print and laminate an alphabet poster that only contains my kids’ names.

We also have a chart of family names. So after she’d learned how to write her name, she’d learn how to write other family members’ name.

This is fun because, at such a very young age, I found my little learners love to draw.

She’d draw a girl and put her name on it.

She’d draw her siblings and put names on them.

She’d sometimes draw the whole family and out label with arrows on it.

Letter names or letter sounds?

At this stage, I’m teaching both the letter name and the letter’s sounds.

For example, the letter H for Hannah.

I’d show the poster with H for hippo on it, and then tell her that her name also starts with H for hippo.

Little kids learn best when they can relate to something visual.

So whenever I asked her to write her name, I’d remind her that her name starts with H for hippo.

You can try it with your kids too.

Download a free mini alphabet poster here and show her which letter makes her name.

Check out Letter Activities for Letter A to Letter Z here.

#4: Start to read the 3-letter words

Once your little ones have learned their letters’ sounds, it’d be great to test them to read simple words.

We first started with 3-letters words, which is usually known as CVC words.

CVC? What is it?

CVC is the short form for consonant-vowel-consonant

That might sound a bit technical eh?

Let me simplify it for you.

CVC words are the words like cat, mat, hat; like the one below

CVC Word Cards
CVC are simple 3-letters word

Once your kids know the letter’s sounds, you can begin to teach them to read the simple 3-letter CVC words.

This is what we usually called blending the CVC : We’ll blend the letters h-o-t and show that they sounds ‘hot’

Let me show you how we did it.

PS: In above video, you’ll be seeing that one of my girl read using our CVC Short-O reader. You can find it here.

One Final Thing…

It’s actually simple and easy to teach your kids to read at home, but there are things that we as parents got to do : One of it is to not compare our kids to other kids.

Yep, you might find your niece or nephew or neighbors’ kids can already read at 3 years old.

But don’t let that get you discouraged.

how to teach reading to kids at home

Let the process be fun and exciting because in the end, we want our kids to love to read forever, not just know how to read at a young age.

Plus, kids reading at the age of 3 years old are found to be not have any extra advantage when they reached 11 years old.

Go slow, follow your kids’ pace and be consistent.

You got this!

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