Critical Skills For Reading

How To Teach Kids To Read At Home

While not accurate, many people believe that learning is natural and just happens. Acquiring specific skills and learning some strategies, mainly phonics and phonemic awareness, are necessary steps in the process of learning to read. And it is essential to note that each child learns at a different rate from one another, so a crucial aspect of preparing this instruction is making it fun and enjoyable. Allowing your child to pick what they want to read and adding variety to their activities when reading regularly with them will help them embrace and love reading at a young age, thus giving them a higher chance to succeed in reading.

Learning is a lifelong process that requires using many skills. Reading is comprised of five essential components. To learn how to read successfully, your child must have the following skills below.

1Reading Comprehension

Understanding what you have just read is a cognitive process called comprehension. And when we speak about comprehension, it involves two key factors: instruction and vocabulary development. Summarizing or retelling a story and answering questions through quizzes are just two examples of the several skills that a young reader must learn to develop text comprehension. Comprehension or the ability to understand what you read is the ultimate goal of reading.

Generally, most experienced readers overlook the goal of comprehension because they do not realize the abilities and skills needed. Importantly, the reader is interacting with the written word. They must examine and assimilate what is written; thus, comprehension is actively translating the meaning of their own words rather than just a passive process.


Phonics is simply the correlation of sounds between letters or a group of letters in the alphabetic system of a spoken language. This relationship is then used to teach children how to spell and read words. When compared to teaching using little or no phonics, the success of children learning to read with systematic phonics instruction is more enhanced. Being able to effortlessly understand the meaning of unknown words accurately is necessary for fluent reading.

Using all the child's mental energy to sound out a word might take away a child's attention and focus on the meaning of the word. Each child's ability to determine the meaning of unknown words is not immediately granted by the use of phonics. However, using phonics does increase a child's ability to read easily at a faster pace.


Having a well-developed vocabulary is essential to comprehension. It makes it easier for a reader to make sense of what they're reading if they have an extensive vocabulary, be it print or oral. It is crucial to teach children vocabulary, directly or indirectly, and the other ways that they can widen their vocabulary include reading storybooks and listening to other readers.

It is important for children to learn and use word recognition in various activities before reading. Enlarging and developing vocabulary is a continually repetitive process. Having a vast knowledge of vocabulary is crucial to knowing definitions and using words properly when children are out in the world. Our vocabulary grows as we live through each day of our lives. Words are interesting and captivating, and they open up endless opportunities, which, undeniably, is what every parent wants for their children.


Accuracy of the unfamiliar text, reading at the same speed as normal verbal conversation, and using appropriate inflection are the three elements that are normally used to determine a reader's fluency. Anyone having difficulty in one or more of these elements is considered a non-fluent reader. They are likely to read slowly, commit mistakes, or read with inappropriate expression and phrasing.

Fluency and reading comprehension are directly interconnected. It means that a child has a higher chance of comprehending or understanding what they are reading if they can read it fluently. Having an automatic response to reading a text aloud allows a child to have a greater grasp of the meaning of the text.

5Phonemic Awareness

The distinct units of sound, called phonemes, are the smallest units of spoken language, which are combined to form syllables and words. The ability to focus and manipulate the phonemes in spoken syllables and words is called phonemic awareness. Teaching phonemes to children is better than using an instruction that does not focus on phonemic awareness; this is because it will greatly help them with their reading.

Phonemic awareness deals with the individual sounds used in spoken language; don't confuse it with phonics because they are different. As children learn phonics, they are being taught to distinguish the sounds (phoneme) of verbal language from the letters (grapheme) in the written language used to express those sounds. Poor readers tend to have weak phonological skills, and those with a high chance of becoming good readers are children with great phonological awareness.

Vocabulary, grammar, oral language skills, idioms, understanding syntax, and background knowledge of the topic are essential to reading comprehension for children. How often adults read with their young kids and preschoolers will foretell what reading skills they will have when they enter elementary school. The extent and quality of a child's verbal language skills and vocabulary usually indicate how high their reading skills will be.

Not only will a child learn grammar usage rules, but they will also be exposed to new words and learn the meanings when an adult reads aloud with them. Children will learn to love reading when they do it with adults whom they trust. The child gains a solid literacy foundation when they form a connection between hearing the written word and the feeling of being loved.

Kelly Palmer

Before her mother got sick a year into college, Kelly Palmer was going for a degree in marketing. But needing to go home to care for her didn't stop her desire to learn, to grow, to read – and so she never stopped doing those things. She considered trying to write her own children's book, a whim that led to her learning about the struggles of the self-published author. She decided to learn more, and dove deeper into this thread.

Kelly wanted to do something. She wanted to help, and so she started digging deeper, trying to find a solution, anything she could contribute to. That's what how she ended up Children's Book Roundup, surrounded by people who wanted to help those struggling authors who needed a leg up on what seems like an impossible battle.