Beginner Reading and Literacy Skills




Compiled by Robyn, South Africa ~ © April 2005


Teaching children to write first makes sense as it assists children in their reading.  Teaching your child to read may seem like a looming task, but it’s really as easy as spending some quality time, relaxing in a comfortable chair and reading together.  Here are some things to teach your young reader during this special reading time together.  Do not try and do these all on one book, these are things that you should incorporate into your reading time slowly.  Start at the beginning and work through a couple of points every time.  Repeat as necessary until they sink in.  Never shout or bribe or discipline.  This is meant to be a wonderful journey that will develop into a life long love for reading.  If the child does not seem interested, choose different books.  There is something out there of interest for everyone.  Boys may prefer silly, funny or yucky books, just get their interest!


Develop an Interest in Reading and Books

·                     Set a good example…love books and reading yourself.

·                     Start early, the younger the better.

·                     Make use of the library.

·                     Read aloud to you child as often as possible.

·                     Point out printed words wherever you go and read them.

·                     Develop the oral language and your vocabulary.


Know the Parts of A Book and How They Work

·                     Start by placing the book the right way up.

·                     Use your finger to point out the title of the book as you read the title.

·                     Read the name of the author and illustrator.

·                     Look at the pictures on the cover.

·                     Turn the book over to the back and point out the differences between front and back.

·                     Name the different parts of the book, the spine, the title, the index, the publisher, the cover,

          the pages etc.

·                     Look at the pictures on the first page.

·                     Point to where the story begins and where the story ends.

·                     Read the first page.  Use your finger or a pointer to point to each word as you read.

·                     Read the book together.  Allow your child to turn the pages, practicing turning one page

          at a time.

·                     Show your child a picture that describes what you have read.  Ask your child to tell you

          about the picture.


Learning about the Text

·                     Point out to your child that you always read from front to back, left to right and top to bottom.

·                     Show them the different words and the spaces between the words.

·                     Your child should begin recognizing letters at some stage, point out that letters make up words.

·                     Show them the difference between upper and lower case letters, all sentences start with upper case.

·                     All sentences end in a full stop or period.

·                     Your child should eventually start recognizing some words by sight or by using the pictures as clues.

·                     Children should listen intently and be able to retell a story or parts of story.

·                     Point out that words join together to make sentences.

·                     Children should start making connections between events in the story and relate this to real life.

·                     Challenge children to makes predictions in the story ~ what do you think is going to happen next?


After the Story

·                     Ask Children to briefly summarize the story.

·                     What was their best/worst part in the story?

·                     Give the book to the child to hold.  By looking at the pictures, let him read YOU the story.

·                     Use your imagination - imagine what happens later, after the story has finished.

·                     Make up your own stories!


The Language Experience Approach or Psycholinguistic Approach is a wonderfully easy and simply effective approach to reading.  It is based on sentences from the personal experiences of the child.  The sentences about personal experiences are written down by the parent and read together until the child associates the written form of the word with the spoken.  See the article The Psycholinguistic Approach to Reading by Robyn





Learning to Read Later – Waldorf Article

Raising a Reader

Beginning Reading free worksheets






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