Teaching My Baby To Read

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From “Learning to Read” to “Reading to Learn”

Elementary school teachers know that a critical transition happens between the 1st through 3rd grades.  That’s when (fingers crossed), students make the jump from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”.

If your child can already read Bob Books, what should you do next?  As an Afterschooling parent, how can you help children become independent readers of chapter books?  Here are my best ideas for you (all hyperlinked):

1) Organize your home library like a teacher.

2) Understand the Three Types of Reading.

3) Know you child’s Guided Reading level.

4) Set up Guided Reading with post-its.

5) Create an “I Read/You Read” box.

6) Set up a “Reading Nest” for Independent Reading.

7) Organize your Shared Reading at bedtime.

8 Remember that the more words your child reads, the better.

It’s a numbers game. Whenever I read a study about children learning to read it seems like researchers always discover the same thing.  Exposure to words is critical.  So make sure your child is cranking through books every single day.  Use bribery if necessary!  (I used to bribe my son with new Star Wars books.)

One final thought.  DO NOT BUY READING WORKBOOKS!!!  Egads!  They make me want to throw up.  Real books are so much better, don’t you agree?  😉


  1. Brenna says:

    I loved a few of these ideas, in addition to what we already do, which is read, read, read! Maybe I have room to organize some of the books by category in boxes… But the ideas for a book return box (for neatness and awareness of what’s being read) and the you read/I read box – love that! I’d almost like to generalize it, a catch-all dropbox for little notes, new games or craft ideas… Fun SLE reference, by the way – My husband and I are both Stanford grads, too, he of the SLE variety 🙂

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