I have successfully taught my son and numerous other children to read in 30 days.
Teaching your child to read at home is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, you can get your child to read their first age-appropriate book in about 30 days—and that’s without using a whip and a chain either.
In fact, your child will love reading and will want to do their reading. Not only that, but you won’t have to spend more than 10 to 15 minutes per day teaching your child to read. This is not only good for you, the busy parent or caregiver, but it is good for your child’s reading progress as well.
Children have a short attention span and a reading lesson that goes on for too long will lessen the amount learned. In fact, it can make your child resistant to all reading altogether.
Why It Is Important To Teach Your Child To Read Early
The optimal window for learning in children is between the ages of 2 to 6. In fact, they do all their most complex learning in that time. They learn an entire language (or two), complex skills like eating, walking, talking, and playing games, that lay the foundation for the rest of their lives.
In a recent study at Yale University, it was noted that “activating children’s neural circuitry for reading early on is key” and the U.S. National Panel of Reading Specialists and Early Childhood Educators recommended that teaching reading earlier may eliminate most reading problems that a child may experience in the future.
Why Should You Teach Your Child To Read A Book?
Children love to imitate; in fact, they mostly learn through imitation. We have special neurons in our brains (only discovered in the 21st century) called Mirror Neurons that allow us to learn through imitation. Your child will want to read a book just like you or other children or people that they see.
Confidence is everything when you are teaching your child to read. Children hate to struggle with anything, and if they are struggling to read, it will put them off reading and it’s something they might carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Yet, if reading comes easily to them, they will become readers; and this is the primary idea behind teaching your child to read a book in 30 days. It is important to build your child’s confidence and you do this by getting them to read a book (and doing it quickly). Once your child has managed to read one book, not only will their reading ability go through the roof, but soon they will have confidence in their reading and will want to read more and more.
If you teach your child to read as quickly as possible, reading will seem like a game, and what child doesn’t like to play games?
When your child is able to read books, you can fine-tune their reading more easily. You can also spend more time on the basics, ensuring that they read better than even children who are older than them. This will ensure that when they get to school (if you’re not homeschooling), they will be fully prepared and can have more fun and be more relaxed in their classes; and when learning is fun it is more easily retained.
How It Is Possible To Learn To Read A Book In 30 Days
A language is made up mostly of common words. These are words like and, as, at, the, etc. The 100 most common words appear in English literature (like books, newspapers, blogs, etc) more than 50% of the time. This means that, if your child can read these 100 words, then they are able to read half of everything that is written in English; and it doesn’t matter if it is a beginner children’s book, the Bible or a medical textbook.
Even if your child only knows 25 of the most common words, they will still be able to read a third of everything written in English.
So basically if your child can learn these 100 common words, then they will be able to read a book in 30 days.
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Young children read words like symbols (without breaking the word down into its component parts) and most of the common words cannot be sounded out anyway; so your child will be learning these common words in the same way that they would memorise anything else.
If you, for example, showed your child 100 objects, 10 at a time (like a duster, a cup, a pencil, a shoe, etc) and asked them to memorise these items, you can easily get them to recall and identify all 100 of these items in a few weeks. This is the exact process that you will use to teach your child the 100 most common words giving them access to half of everything written.
Because your child will also receive one-on-one tutoring from you, they will also learn better and faster. When a child learns to read in a school classroom, they will be sharing their reading teacher with about 20 other children. This means that in a 30-minute lesson, your child will be getting one-on-one attention from that teacher for about one minute. This is mainly why it takes so long for a child to learn to read in school.
Teaching your child to read using words and phrases that they are interested in will make them come back for more, making reading the gift that keeps on giving.
Why Start With Reading?
Our modern education system is based on reading and all learning is done through reading. It is therefore the best and most logical place to start.
What You Will Need To Successfully Teach Your Child to Read
Teaching your child to read at home will not cost you anything, but there are personal qualities which you will have to bring to the table.
Commitment, Consistency and Discipline
Teaching your child to read requires consistent effort. It has to be done every day (be it for only a few minutes) but the secret lies in doing it consistently. It, therefore, requires your (the adult’s) full commitment and you will have to be disciplined and consistent in your efforts. It’s okay if you miss the odd day, but you should endeavour to do a lesson at least 5 days per week.
You are a parent, and this goes without saying, but being patient applies even more so when it comes to teaching reading as this will be a totally new experience for you. You must make the effort to keep your reading sessions short and playful (in tone anyway). This will go a long way to reassure your child and keep their progress consistent.
Monitor your and your child’s moods and make sure that you only do your lessons when you are both feeling fresh and in high spirits. There is no use in doing your lesson when either you or your child is tired, they’ve just eaten or just before nap time, or their favourite TV show.
That’s just looking for a tantrum to happen.
Set A Regular Place And Time For Reading
Children are creatures of habit and if you set a regular time and place for their reading, it won’t be a surprise to them and they will come prepared to learn and will even surprise you with their enthusiasm.
Engage Your Child With Their Interests
You, their parent, know what your child’s interests are and if you include these words into their lesson, you will soon have an enthusiastic child who will not only look forward to their reading lesson, but soon they will give you words that they want to learn to read.
For example my son was crazy about dinosaurs, Winnie the Pooh, and aliens. The best fun we had was making sentences using these words; one of his favourites was, “My daddy is a green dinosaur.”
Make your child’s reading lesson interesting, fun, and interactive and your child will then be learning to read in partnership with you instead of you doing all the work.
Make Learning To Read Seem Easy
Make learning to read just another game that you play with your child. Keep a playful voice, make eye contact, smile and give them lots of praise and encouragement.
Now let’s look at how to get your child ready for reading.
How To Prepare Your Child For Early Reading
Before you even start reading, there are a number of things that you can do to get your child ready to learn to read.
Have Lots Of Books And Other Reading Material Visible Around Your House
Studies show that children from homes with more than 500 books will have up to 3 years more college education than children from homes that don’t.
Read Out Loud To Your Child
Your child needs to know what reading is and what is expected of them. By reading to them, you are showing them how words on a page become a story. You are also getting them to want to do what you do. This is half the battle won.
Give Your Child Lots Of Books
By giving your child lots of books, both as gifts on special occasions and also as impromptu gifts, you are showing them that you value books and reading. Children get their value systems from us (their parents) and giving them books as gifts will go a long way to getting them to want to read.
Let Your Child See You Read
As I’ve stated before, children spend most of their time imitating us (their parents) and if your child sees you reading then they will also want to be like you and read.
It also doesn’t matter what you are reading, as long as you read.
How To Teach Your Child To Read
Now we come to the nuts and bolts of teaching your child to read.
Teach Your Child The 100 Common Words
As I have said before, by teaching your child the 100 most common words, they will be able to read more than half of everything written in English. You should first start with the 25 most common words (your child will learn these in about a week) and thereafter adding sets of ten, until they know all 100 common words.
According to the Readers Book of Lists, the 25 most common words make up one third of all written material.
According to Wikipedia, the 100 most common words are as follows:
Let Your Child Read Things That Interest Them
It is important that your child chooses their own first book that they are going to read as this builds on their confidence and gives them something to strive for and look forward to.
Get your child fully involved in the process of getting their first book.
Take your child to a book store and select a few age-appropriate first reading books for them to choose from. Their choice will surprise you.
By doing this, you are getting their buy-in into the reading process and ensure that they are keen on the books that they want to read. If your child looks forward to reading their first book, it will make your job a lot easier.
When Do You Teach Your Child Phonics?
Once your child is reading comfortably and has read a few books, they will begin to ask you questions like, “What’s this word?” or “How do I say this?”, then you will know that it is time to teach them phonics. The process for teaching phonics is exactly the same and you have to teach them the most common combinations of letters with their sounds.
Soon you will have your child reading by themselves.
Teaching your child to read is not as difficult as it is made out to be, as children learn better when they understand why they are doing something, what is expected of them, and when the subject matter interests them. By following these very simple guidelines you can have your child reading within 30 days.
If you found this article useful you may want to consider getting a system that will help you teach your child to read in 30 days & reading with phonics.
Teaching your child to read is one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can have. Relax, smile, and always remember… have fun!
Trinity M (author) on March 13, 2019:
I'm so sorry to hear that this system isn't working for you.
Of course there are many reasons why your child might be struggling to learn to read.
Stress – this can reduce the brain’s ability to process words by 70%. So, if you’ve been struggling for 3 years to get your child to read, then every time you try again he/she will almost certainly be experiencing a high level of anxiety (especially if he/she can see that you’re also stressed about it).
Un-integrated ATNR primary reflexes - this may be a sign of dyslexia.
Visual processing problems - the eyes are struggling to work together as a team. This can cause issues seeing the text clearly, or the text actually appears to move when your child tries to read it.
Contrast sensitivity – the child may have difficulty with certain spectrums of light, where high contrast letters on white paper have distortions which make reading very difficult.
Short term memory deficit - the child might learn to read, but it takes a long time because their short term memory struggles to retain information.
My suggestion to you is to relax a bit and take the pressure off your child and yourself.
Then, make sure that your child isn’t struggling with his/her eyes or has some other issue that needs to be addressed.
From there, I would suggest you try one of the phonics systems available on the market. It might work better for you and your child.
I wish you all the best!
Trinity M (author) on July 10, 2015:
Hi letstalkabouteduc, thank you so much for your great comment!
Yes, you are quite right about classrooms having to “dumb down” their curriculum - and that is SO true in my country, which is why we are homeschooling my son. I am so proud of his progress and it all started when he was 4 and I taught him to read using sight words. Thank you again for stopping by and for voting up!
Have a great day! :)
Trinity M (author) on July 10, 2015:
Hi Charle D. Thank you for your comment.
You seem very passionate about reading and I think that’s great. However, you seem very defensive about the method. Quite frankly my only goal is to help children learn to read and I have found that starting with sight reading is the easiest and best method. You, of course are entitled to your opinion as is Mrs Freeman. My son is now turning 10 and he is reading and memorizing Shakespeare (having learned to read from – YES – “call words”!). You are welcome to go to my website and see him doing it if you doubt it. And BTW, my son is 100% homeschooled and he too remains above grade level.
Another point I’d like to make is that I never say that sight reading is where the learning stops. In fact I highly recommend that after learning the basics with sight words, children should be introduced to phonics. Maybe if you’d read the whole article with an open mind you would have noticed that.
Trinity M (author) on July 10, 2015:
Hi Cam. Thank you so much for your comment.
You are so right about teaching children in a well-rounded way and as I’m sure I mentioned in the article, sight learning is not where learning to read ends – children MUST learn consonant and short vowel sounds, as you say.
In my opinion teaching children to read is the goal; so keep up the good work!
McKenna Meyers on July 09, 2015:
Yes! Parents are such powerful teachers. They can teach things to their children so quickly working one-on-one. Classroom teachers have so many students with a wide-range of abilities and interests and so often must "dumb down" the curriculum to reach everyone. Parents can let their children soar -- choosing books that interest them and challenging them with both fiction and non-fiction. Voted up.
Charle D. on September 01, 2014:
Ran across this article accidentally. I taught both my children to read prior to them entering kindergarten using a phonics based approach. Having seen the results of students who were taught by whole language and/or sight words, I wanted them to learn in a way that ensured they would be able to pronounce any word encountered.
I highly doubt any child having learned sight words would be able to read a medical text. The salient thing is they are learning to recognize words not read them. In the words of Mrs. Freeman, my second grade teacher, it's "...not reading. You're just calling words." Reading involves not only word recognition but also comprehension of materials.
While teaching a child to read in 30 days sounds great, the reality I believe is you're encouraging them to "call words." Yes, I found old copies of Dick and Jane to use. I'm pleased to say, phonics help my kids remain above grade level throughout their school years.
Cam on March 02, 2014:
I teach four year olds how to read. I have been teaching this age group for about 12 years. I can tell you that those first 100 words are important, but it is also very helpful to learn consonant and short vowel sounds.
Trinity M (author) on March 14, 2013:
Hi Raees! Thank you so much for your kind comments!
I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed my article and I’m very excited to hear that you are going to teach your daughter to read; I must admit that at times it can be a challenge but it is definitely worth the effort :) If you need any more help I have quite a few more articles on my website (www.teachyourchildtoreadin30days.com) which may be of help too.
Good luck, and please let me know how it goes; I’d love to hear all about your progress! :)
Raees on March 14, 2013:
Excellent artilce...Simply loved it will try to teach my daughter now and will update you with the results :)
Trinity M (author) on January 05, 2013:
Hi earthbound1974; nice to see you again. Thank you again for your kind words.
Literacy for all children is my passion and I work hard to make sure that I can help as many young children and parents as possible.
Glad you liked the hub and I appreciate your support. Have a great day :)
earthbound1974 from Bicol, Philippines on January 05, 2013:
This is an A- hub. First rate, ever! It can be discussed in pre-school classes, from nursery to kindergarten, so that the teachers will have lesser load when children start learning reading at home with their parents.
Trinity M (author) on September 22, 2012:
Hi Daisy! You are so right; teaching your child to read is something all parents can do whether they are home schooling or not. Reading is such a crucial part of education and the sooner a child can read the better their future outlook. Thank you so much for your support and for sharing, I really appreciate it! Have a lovely weekend :)
Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on September 22, 2012:
Thanks for publishing this very informative article. I can see that it will be helpful for parents who are home schooling their children.
Trinity M (author) on July 27, 2012:
Hi TripleAMom, nice to see you again. Sight reading works really well for all kids, those with learning issues and those without. I think it’s simply a matter of preference really… and don’t get me wrong, I believe that phonics is essential for children to learn, I just believe that there’s a way to do it that is easier, especially for very young children. In the end reading is reading and I’m glad we both agree that this is every parent’s primary goal… not the method in which it is achieved. Thanks for stopping by, I really enjoy chatting to you :)
TripleAMom from Florida on July 26, 2012:
Trinity, I totally agree. I can see where memorization can totally work for a child with dyslexia and other learning issues where phonics doesn't. The reading part is the important part.
Trinity M (author) on July 26, 2012:
Hi TripleAMom! I am a big advocate of preschool reading and I have looked at Starfall myself. However, personally I found that it didn’t work that well as most kids I deal with are visual learners. For this reason I developed my own system “Teach Your Child To Read & Reading with Phonics” and have had some incredible results, both with my own child and with many others. Many kids are visual learners, including children with disabilities such as dyslexia and autism, and phonics reading doesn’t work that well for them.
I think it’s wonderful that there are many reading systems out there and people can choose the one that suits them the best. The important thing is to get our children to read and to read well. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments, I really appreciate it.
TripleAMom from Florida on July 25, 2012:
Hi Trinity M. Very nice hub about the importance of reading. I agree that children can memorize words, but I also think that they can learn phonics really early as well. I wrote a hub about a website called Starfall that uses phonics as early as infants teaching recognizing letters then getting into sounding out words. My 6 year old was reading words and simple sentences at 3, reading books at 4, and by kindergarten was reading chapter books. The website is amazing.
I definitely agree that reading what interests them will definitely encourage a love of reading. My son learned to read in K-4 but was not really interested in it until I found GI Joe, Star Wars, and Lego reader books. Then he devoured them.
Trinity M (author) on July 25, 2012:
Great news Mama Kim! You just have to be patient, it will not happen overnight but it will happen sooner than you think. It takes consistent effort over time. Children are remarkable and learn without you even knowing they are doing it. Just keep at it on a daily basis but always avoid overloading him. Also don’t worry too much about testing what he knows, just keep showing him the words and move on. By 30 days he will be showing you his great reading skills!
Aloe Kim on July 24, 2012:
Ahh well today when I showed him the 5 words we've been working on the last few days he knew 3 of them ^_^ yay so I guess he was soaking it in, even though it didn't seem like it.
Trinity M (author) on July 24, 2012:
Hi Mama Kim. I’m sorry to hear that things are not going so well. Firstly let me assure you that he is NOT too young to learn to read; as a matter of fact he is the perfect age for you to start. Secondly, the flash cards really do work; they only get boring if you are trying to “hammer” the words into your sons head. No child has that much concentration that’s why lessons are really, really short (I’m talking 5 seconds at a time here!). If you do only 5 words at a time several times a day you should find that he is progressing without it getting boring for him or for you. If you want more details on how to do this you will find everything you need in the “Teach Your Child To Read & Reading with Phonics” reading method. I hope this helps and I'm sure your son will be reading in no time at all! :)
Aloe Kim on July 24, 2012:
So far not so good. I'm having a hard time getting him to focus on the words. When they're in books he's distracted by the pictures. I write them on paper or his easel and he just wants to color all over them. Flash cards are just too boring. I guess I shouldn't expect too much from a boy whose not quite 3 yet.
Trinity M (author) on July 19, 2012:
Hi Mama Kim! You will be amazed at how wonderful and smart our children actually are. You think your son can read from memory but if you consider it, so do we. I bet if you showed him the words he already knows in a different book he would be able to read them and THAT is what reading is all about. I am delighted that my hub has been useful and I would love to hear how you progress with your son. If you need any more information I have some useful articles on my website: www.yourchildcanreadin30days.com. Thank you so much for stopping by, for your wonderful comment and for you support. I really appreciate it. :)
Aloe Kim on July 18, 2012:
This is an amazing hub! I have a son whose just about to turn 3 and he's known all his letters since before he was 2 and he now knows all the sounds as well. I have been thinking it was time to try to teach him to read, but I wasn't sure how to get him to sound out words. With your approach he doesn't have to. Now I'll be making flash cards of those 100 words! He already reads books... but I'm almost positive its from memory not from recognizing the words.
Trinity M (author) on July 02, 2012:
@B. Leekley, thank you for your very insightful comment. I must say that did not intend to imply that once a child knows how to read there will be no more work to be done, what I simply meant in my article is that once a child knows HOW to read then he or she will have the most basic tool for learning. Thank you for your recommendation as well, I downloaded a pdf copy this weekend and am looking forward to reading it and implementing it into my son’s schooling. I really enjoyed your comments and am very grateful for your support.
Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on June 30, 2012:
Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared.
Besides sharing with followers and on FB, G+, Twitter, and Pinterest, I'll send this hub's URL to a relation who is a reading instructor.
If the result is a lifetime of reading well and loving it, it is not a big thing if it happens in 30 or 60 or 360 days. The big thing is that your approach is effective -- or anyway sounds so to me.
I learned to read in much the same way in the 1940s and 1950s. There was a seamless transition from Mother or Father reading to my brother and me to our reading more and more to learning more from the Dick and Jane books in school (the basic vocabulary) to reading on our own to reading bedtime stories to our younger siblings.
Unfortunately I did not have a similar experience with -- and I remain largely illiterate in -- math. There are huge holes in my comprehension when I try to read a book on, say, theoretical physics.
On one point I disagree with you, and that is your implication that once a child can read on hir own, then henceforth it is clear sailing on the sea of learning all that the public and school libraries hold in their collections. Actually, learning how to read in the beginner sense is just a step on the way to learning how to read in the scholar sense. One guide for that is HOW TO READ A BOOK by Mortimer Adler. Doubtless you can find it at your public library, and Google finds free pdf copies online as well as bound copies for sale in both the original and revised editions and articles about the book, plus an online video of a TV series Adler did on the book long ago.
The distinction is between being able to read a book and being able to master a book. I regret that I came upon Adler's book years after I finished college and that its lessons on reading never got ingrained in me. As a result I fall short of my potential in my mastery of the books I read. When your child gets into high school, or maybe even sooner, consider introducing him to Adler's four levels of reading.
Trinity M (author) on June 24, 2012:
Hi billybuc! I can see why all the other hubbers have such wonderful things to say about you! Thank you SO much for the praise, it really means a lot coming from someone as experienced as you. Teaching children to read is very near and dear to my heart so I really appreciate the feedback from a teacher and now also a new friend! :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2012:
As a former teacher I wholeheartedly endorse this hub. Teaching a child the love of reading and proper reading skills is to prepare them for the future. You have written a wonderful hub here; nice job my new friend.
Trinity M (author) on August 19, 2011:
Thanks Nemingha for the kind words. I love to see children reading and the sooner the better! I guarantee that your granddaughter will amaze both you and her mother with the speed at which she learns to read. Good luck!
Nemingha on August 19, 2011:
Great article! I have a granddaughter who will soon be turning 3, so I have bookmarked this page to show my daughter. I am sure that together we will be making great use of the information you have provided. Thanks!