The Top Tips for Reading Success

Affiliate links may have been used in this post. To read our full disclaimer, click here.

FREE offers are often time-sensitive. Although they are FREE at the time of posting, please be sure to verify the offer is still free before claiming or purchasing it. (We are not responsible for price changes.) Thank you!

Reading opens up a whole new world for children. You can help your child discover that world by starting their reading lessons at a young age. After all, one of the wonders of bringing up your child is sitting quietly with them and reading a book together. This stimulates their curiosity and introduces them to the sounds and sequences of words.

But teaching your child to read is also a process that involves many steps. These steps include making the connection between groups of letters, the sounds of the words, and their meanings. The three keys for teaching your children to read — or get your child to the reading level that they should be for their age or grade — are improving decoding skills, building comprehension skills, and boosting reading retention.

Time4Learning's Top Tips for Reading Success

Strong Decoding Skills

Creating better decoding skills starts with phonics. Phonics is defined as “a method of teaching people to read by correlating sounds with letters or groups of letters in an alphabetic writing system.” Any good reading curriculum will have a strong foundation in phonics, but you can also help your child distinguish sounds and letters by:

  • Focusing on “irregular” words while you’re reading. These are words that don’t follow the standard phonics rules, such as gnat, knight, or said.
  • Use creative ways to practice letter combinations, such as using paints or crayons, writing with chalk on the sidewalk, or using refrigerator magnets or alphabet soup.
  • Practice words by using everyday items in the house such as milk containers or soup cans and reading out the ingredients (e.g., po-ta-toes).
  • Play board games or computer games with your child, especially those that involve word puzzles, and read the instructions out loud together.

Reading Comprehension

One way to help your child get to the reading level for their grade is by improving their comprehension. Because just reading the words isn’t enough — they must also understand what they’re reading. You can do this by quizzing your child on the information they just read. Or, if your child is just learning to read, read a few sentences and then discuss what you just read.

Reading out loud also helps your child pronounce the words and grasp their meaning. Once they start processing individual words and sequences of words quickly they will improve their reading speed and comprehension. Playing fun vocabulary games introduces your child to the different meanings of words and how they are used in sentences. For example, ask your child for the meaning of a word and then ask them to use that word in a sentence.

Reading Retention

The next step for building better reading skills is improving reading retention. Retention is the ability to remember what was read. One great tip for improving this skill is having your child read the instructions to a game or a recipe. Once they read it over ask them to repeat the instructions back to you. To make it more interactive — and gain a sweet reward — read the instructions for a fun recipe, like cookies, and then ask your child to repeat the steps as you complete the recipe together.

Rereading materials also helps your child retain the material. They can read lines to a favorite story and then explain to you what they read. If they have problems, have them reread the material. Reading out loud also improves reading retention, because your child is focusing more on the words than if they were simply reading to themselves.

Choosing a Curriculum for Better Reading Skills

Any successful reading curriculum will include these five essential categories:

  1. Phonemic awareness
  2. Phonics
  3. Reading comprehension
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Reading fluency

Some online curriculum options not only include those five categories, but may also provide exciting audio, graphics, and animation, individualized self-paced lessons, lessons created by experts, which often correlate with state and national standards, interactive projects, technical services and support, and so much more.

Learning to read should be fun for children of all ages. Boring activities often dampen their enthusiasm, that’s why online options have been a favorite for many homeschooling parents. Your children will be inspired to learn and improve their reading skills as they progress from Pre-K to 12th grade. Explore your options and start improving your child’s reading efforts today.

Written by The Time4Learning Team

The Time4Learning Team is an award-winning, comprehensive curriculum for PreK-12th that makes learning effective and engaging through animated lessons and activities. The online program teaches and grades lessons, tracks and records progress, and keeps reports to help simplify homeschool portfolios.

For over a decade, Time4Learning has helped more than 500,000 homeschooling families with its flexible and engaging curriculum, homeschool resources, and more. Our team of homeschool moms, homeschool dads, and support staff have come together to create helpful homeschool insights on subjects such as family, education, fun, and more!

Opt In Image
Join our growing list of over 100,000 homeschoolers who LOVE free stuff!

Sign up to receive emails that include deals, sales, and free offers for homeschoolers.

We value your privacy and promise never to send you spam. You can unsubscribe at anytime. 

View our Privacy Policy for more information on how we process your data.

NOTE: If you are already a subscriber, you can find subscriber perks and downloads links in our Monday & Wednesday newsletters.

Similar Posts You Might Like:

Need An Affordable Approach to Learning?
Save time, money and stress with our award-winning online homeschool curriculum!

Naturally Freshening and Scenting Your Home

Learn how to naturally freshen and scent your home with these awesome tips and guides. I swear, I think this post was made just for me. I live in an island. I can't get things that are so easily accessible in a first world country. I have had to learn…

21 Frugal Living Ideas to Try This Year (Starting Now!)

Are you living as frugally as you possibly can? It's easy to let things go even if at one time we were completely motivated. Here are 21 ideas that you may have never thought of or have completely forgotten about. Many of these ideas are not necessarily about having to…

How to Make Yarn Dolls

If you own yarn and scissors you've got just about all you need to make yarn dolls. These dolls are easy to make and can be made in abundance! They're perfect to make with the children on a hot (or cold) afternoon!Click here to make your own yarn dolls!

Esther Bible Study with FREE Printable Bible Study Guide

My favorite female Bible character is Esther, and I'm excited to say that there is a brand-new Bible study coming soon! On March 20th, the study begins and it's absolutely free. The study extends for only three weeks, so there is no long-term commitment. (Something I hesitate to do in this…

Fall Stovetop Potpourri

I walked into Fresh Market yesterday and fell in love with a bag of potpourri. It was beautiful! It smelled heavenly! Then I turned it over to find the price - $16.99! Ouch. Make your own embracing Fall Stovetop Potpourri with ingredients from your pantry, and you can save money…

Summer DIY Projects for Backyard Fun

Don't miss out on these summer DIY projects for backyard fun that will take the boring out of your ordinary summer. Usually, summer is a time when I am just glad to get the kids in the sun and outside. Sometimes being out in the sun is just something they…

10 Creative Storage Solutions for Large Families

I only have two children, and yet, I feel like there isn't enough closet space in my home. Imagine if I had the blessing of a large family! How must they struggle to keep "a place for everything and everything in its place"? Here are 10 Creative Storage Solutions for Large…

30 Freezer Meals for Pork & Ham

My husband kids enjoy a mix of meals, so occasionally we have pork (or ham) on the menu - even though I cannot eat it. However, I find it difficult to fix or at least if I don't plan far enough ahead, so it rarely happens. That's when I knew freezer…

10 Weird Cake-Baking Tricks That Actually Work

I don't make desserts as often as I'd like because I can't justify having one sitting around. After all, we're just going to eat it. But, I love to bake a cake whenever I get the opportunity - pot luck, youth activity, birthday - you name it. Here are 10 Weird…

FREE Printables for Thanksgiving

These free printables for Thanksgiving Day are beautiful! The place cards are helpful for assigned seating, but they're especially helpful for labeling your delicious food dishes! Also included are a banner, a Scripture print, and tags. Your Thanksgiving feast will look delightful!Click here to download your free printables!There's something else…


Notebooking Pages Free Resources