10 Early Literacy Tips for Parents

Help Your Child Learn to Read

Early literacy is crucial for children’s academic success and lifelong learning. Parents play a pivotal role in fostering these skills. This guide offers practical early literacy tips to help parents support their children’s journey to becoming proficient readers.

1. Create a Reading-Friendly Environment
Reading together will help your child learn to read.
  • Surround with Books: Make books easily accessible at home. Consider baskets or low shelves because young children like things out where they can see them.
  • Designate Reading Time: Set a daily reading routine. This is a great quiet-time routine, such as after dinner.
  • Model Reading: Let your child see you read regularly.
2. Encourage Active Reading
  • Discuss Books: Talk about stories and ask open-ended questions.
  • Predict Outcomes: Before turning a page, ask what might happen next.
  • Relate to Life: Connect stories to real-life experiences.
3. Use Phonics and Word Recognition
  • Letter-Sound Practice: Help children learn the sounds each letter makes.
  • Word Games: Play games like Scrabble or word searches.
  • Highlight New Words: Introduce new vocabulary regularly.
4. Develop Comprehension Skills
  • Summarize Stories: After reading, ask your child to summarize the story.
  • Ask Questions: Who, what, when, where, why, and how questions improve understanding.
  • Visualize: Encourage children to imagine scenes from the book.
5. Support Writing Alongside Reading
  • Writing Practice: Encourage your child to write letters, stories, or keep a journal.
  • Interactive Reading: Have them write about the stories they read.
  • Praise Efforts: Celebrate all attempts at writing, focusing on progress.
6. Handle Reading Mistakes Positively
  1. Encourage Self-Correction: Ask, “Did that make sense?”
  2. Focus on Letters: “What are the letters in that word?”
  3. Sound Identification: “What sound does that letter make?”
  4. Segment Sounds: Tap out the sounds in a word.
  5. Context Clues: “What would make sense here?”
  6. Break Down Syllables: “What’s the first syllable?”
  7. Identify Prefixes/Suffixes: Recognize common word parts.
  8. Provide the Word: Sometimes just tell them the word.
  9. Take Turns Reading: Read together to model fluency.
  10. Reread for Clarity: Ask them to read a sentence again if it’s unclear.
7. Integrate Reading into Daily Activities
  • Read Signs and Labels: Point out and read street signs, menus, and product labels.
  • Cook Together: Read recipes and instructions aloud.
  • Story Time: Make up stories together during car rides or bedtime.
8. Use Technology Thoughtfully
  • Educational Apps: Choose apps that promote reading and phonics skills.
  • Audiobooks: Listen to stories during downtime.
  • Interactive E-books: Engage with books that have interactive features.
9. Encourage a Love for Reading
  • Book Choices: Let children choose books that interest them.
  • Library Visits: Make regular trips to the library.
  • Book Clubs: Join or create a parent-child book club.
10. Try Decodable Books

Decodable books are special because they are written with children’s reading development in mind. Choose a decodable book that lines up with what your child has been reading at school.


Helping your child develop early literacy skills is a rewarding process. By creating a supportive reading environment, encouraging active engagement with texts, and making reading a fun part of daily life, parents can foster a love for reading that lasts a lifetime. Implementing these early literacy tips for parents will not only enhance your child’s reading abilities but also strengthen the parent-child bond through shared reading experiences.

If your child is struggling to read, it may be time to get them some help. Contact us to find out how online Orton-Gillingham tutoring can help them build skills and gain confidence!

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