Teaching Pre-Readers

I am a home schooling mom and proud of it. We decided to home school before our oldest was born. Since I knew that I was responsible for all the teaching, I made decisions early on to have early exposer to educational toys and programs. I figured that the more the kids absorbed from their environment early on, the easier it would be to teach them later.

Even if you plan to public or private school your children, it still pays to give them a head start.
Everyone knows the whole “Raise a Reader” read to your child bit, but what other educational things can you do to help introduce those early reading skills?

Play With Letters
Children can memorise their name long before they can learn to read. Use fridge magnets, flash cards, ABC blocks to make family members names for your child. Help them become familiar with the look of their name. Help them to see that letters are for more than a song.

Sing Rhyming Songs
Our brains retain so much information. Have you ever noticed how quickly we can memorise a song? Now try to memorise a poem? Not so simple, is it? Learning rhyming songs gives your child something to relate to when they learn to read. My son figured out rhymes on his own just from songs and games.

Let Your Child See You Reading
The more your child sees you reading, the more they want to know how to read. I am guilty of not doing this as much as I’d like to, but any little bit helps.

Pick Educational TV Shows
I’m not one to let the kids sit in front of the TV all day, but there is noting wrong with some entertainment, especially if they are learning at the same time. I am a HUGE fan of Leap Frog DVDs. We bought the Letter Factory when my son was 1, and he knew his phonetic alphabet before he could talk!

Incorporate Reading In Activities Your Child Loves
If your child loves to colour, colour letters. Love building with blocks? Try building word buildings. We used to sing alphabet songs while we pushed our kids on the swing. It all adds up!

Visit Educational Websites With Your Child
There are many websites out there with pre-school games. Here is a list of my favourites :

It is never to early to lay down foundation to help your child read. Investing in our children is part of parenting, right?


  1. These are great ideas. I sometimes think about homeschooling, but I’m not sure I have the patience.

  2. Thanks for the tips! My daughter loves the computer so I am going to check out those websites!

  3. My mom used to put the magnetic letters on the bottom of the refrigerator so I could make words. She read to me every night and my grandmother read to me during the day. Everytime i could recognize a word and learn it I would get a sticker. My mom started simple with A, Me, I, We, and other short words and then moved on to words with more letters!

  4. Excellent tips.

  5. Thank you! I coordinate an after-school program, and many of the school-age children bring their younger siblings. I’m definitely going to check out some of these links to keep the younger kids occupied while the big kids do homework!

  6. I will be homeschooling also and these ideas sound great. I am always on the lookout for things that I could do in my homeschool, and these are very good tips that I will add to my list! Thanks!

  7. WOW! I don’t know how you do it! My kids and I don’t see eye to eye with homework never mind homeschooling! Good for you!! These ideas are great! Do you have any tips for teaching printing?? We are struggling right now with that with DS4!

  8. This will come in handy in a few years!

  9. I just bookmarked all of the links and the Little Giraffe website. It’s what I’ve been looking for.

  10. I am just discovering this series and I love it!

  11. Thanks for this series. Starting just the right time for me.

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