3.95 out of 5
11 reviews on Udemy

Teach Your Child to Read Early!

Prepare your child well before entering formal schooling how to read at some elementary level.
Brandon Rigney
640 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
At the end of my course, students will have a better understanding of methods to teach a pre-school child how to read words connected with relevant images , especially one that I used with my own son successfully..

This course is directed at parents of young pre-school children, nannies of such children, and operators of early-age child care facilities. The course purpose is assisting these adults in helping children gain some skills in recognizing images of words that are already in their small vocabularies and to read the printed word associated with these images.

The course suggests how to identify and prepare images, taken from various sources, especially the Internet, which fall within the child’s vocabulary, how to use images to expand the child’s vocabulary, and to link the printed word(s) to images. This is the basis of all reading.

The course helps expand a child’s limited vocabulary to include phrases and sentences found in children’s books that feature stories with a small number of different words.

Recommendations are made about outside reading material for the parent or teacher to use with the child to expand reading capabilities. The course is intended to be a guide which can be utilized over and over, as the child gains reading skills.

This course is important, because a child can only gain academic knowledge in any subject by reading textbooks. A lack of reading skills inhibits and delays, sometimes permanently, a child’s ability to progress in school.



Why was this course created? 

Literacy in the public school system is severely lacking, leading to high dropout rates before high school graduation. Student lack of engagement with learning is connected with the lack of enjoyment and academic accomplishment.

Students cannot learn without reading skills, and this begins in kindergarten or first grade. 

Parents should start the child's learning process early, by teaching reading when they are young. Enjoyment of learning and completing school must begin with the parent while the child is still young.

Who is the instructor?

My background of 60+ years in the business world, since I graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (generally known as MIT), includes being a nuclear engineer, a rocket engineer, an investment broker, a real estate developer and a salesman of many things. Along the way I studied graduate business at the Univ. of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business.

I have observed the success of many people who became articulate in their careers because they could read and absorb new material all during their professional lives. Reading and understanding is the basis for all knowledge.

Why early reading is important

Teaching a child to read before he/she enters formal schooling in pre-school or first grade, takes advantage of two or three years of what would be wasted valuable time. Children develop mental acuity from birth onward. Except in the case of children who are born blind or with deficient eyesight, most knowledge is derived through reading.

Starting a child's reading instruction at about age three to three and one-half takes advantage of prime time in the children's lives when their brains are most receptive to new things.

Is a Young Child Ready for Reading?

There is no definitive way to determine if a child is ready to learn how to read. If the child is speaking words clearly with a sizeable vocabulary, it will not hurt to begin. The child's vocabulary should contain words of familiar objects for which images can be found on the Internet or created in the home with a webcam or I-phone camera, then saved. 

For example, pictures of family members, pets, furniture, games, foods and toys are usually the ones that a child will recognize.

A rule of thumb for age is three years or older.

Is it too late to start helping a child already in school?

It is certainly never too late to assist a student struggling with his/her studies, especially if it is connected with the lack of reading skills and comprehension. Although it is preferable to start early, prior to the child entering formal schooling outside the home, parents are not always aware of what can be done at the child's early age.

This course is designed to assist non-readers or beginning readers, and will not be helpful for students simply reading poorly. There are other methods for helping slow readers.

Who can use this teaching approach?

There are no special qualifications needed to teach children to read, using the technique described in this course, except the ability of the teacher or parent to be able to read. The course can be used by parents, home-schoolers, nannies who care for children in the home and operators of day-care centers, who wish to enhance the services they offer parents who leave their young children there.

Is there any special equipment needed?

In order to take advantage of the techniques described in this course, it would be helpful if the student has the capability of searching the Internet for appropriate images, namely pictures of objects and people that the child will recognize. Using images and pictures of words already in the child's vocabulary is necessary. Showing the child a picture of an unfamiliar object will only cause confusion. Once the student has found a useful picture, being able to print out the picture with the text of the word under it, is helpful for situations where the child cannot be near the computer.

Basic Teaching Techniques

What is the technique being used?

The basic technique of this method of teaching reading is to start with very basic and simple images of objects which the child will either already recognize or can learn to recognize easily with the spoken word. The child is shown the image and asked to identify it verbally. If the child cannot identify or say the name of the image, then the parent should pronounce the name of the image and ask the child to repeat it. When the child says the word, move on to the next image, repeating the process with each image.

The images shown must be physical objects, such as a body part, an animal, a food, a car or other items normally encountered in real life. Abstract words, such as love, beautiful, angry, tired, sleepy, hungry, etc. will not work in the initial stages. Words which are already in the child's vocabulary work exceptionally well; these include mommy, daddy, milk, dog, cat, table, chair, bed, bear (stuffed animal), TV, etc.

These familiar images can be shown on a computer screen or printed out on paper to be used anywhere during the child's day. Two sets of images are printed; one set with only the image, and the second set with the printed text word representing the image underneath the image. 

Once the child can recognize and say the name of each image, then the parent can move on to the next phase of the lesson, using images with the printed text of the image name shown below.

How is this technique different from other approaches?

There are many techniques and practices used to teach reading at all levels to children. These include books with pictures and no words, picture books with limited vocabulary and various forms of phonics programs, which teach sounds associated with letters of the alphabet.

Books are intended to be read to the child in the beginning, to help the child develop vocabulary (new words), as well as learning to read by repetitive reading and viewing the book illustrations. One notable author, Dr. Seuss (real name Theodor Seuss Geisel), published his first children's book in 1937. His works are widely known and read, and some have been developed into TV programs for children.

Publishers of phonics programs claim that teaching a child the sounds associated with certain letters will help them to develop reading skills.

Other methods include teaching the child the letters of the alphabet, before any attempt is made to teach reading.

Getting Started

The teaching conditions

Teaching conditions for the child to be able to learn from this system include a quiet room with no outside sounds or other distractions, such as TV, music systems, or other people in the room.

If the parent can hold the child in his/her lap, while looking at the computer screen, or sitting next to the child at the same table, interaction will be best.

Do not try to teach while outside the home, such as in a mall or moving car, as the distractions will be overwhelming.

The teaching rules

Teaching rules:

1. Do not be impatient with child, if he/she is slow to respond to the lessons.

2. Do not attempt to make the learning session too long: 15 to 20 minutes is enough.

3. If the child appears uninterested, do not try to get his/her attention.

4. Plan teaching sessions every other day, until it is obvious the child can enjoy daily lessons.

5. Do not let more than one adult participate with the lessons at one time.

6. If using printed images on paper gets the child's attention better than the computer, use those.

Actual Teaching

Preparing actual teaching materials

The video just shown indicates how the student can search the Internet for images to show the child. Since the material is for personal use, then any images found can be used without royalties or payments of any kind. Some of the copyrighted images will show watermarks, but they can be used anyway, as the watermark will not interfere with the image.

There are many Internet sites where images can be searched and found for use in the teaching. 

Images used in this Udemy program have either been purchased or are provided free, due to copyright considerations.

The next step in image preparation

The video just shown indicates how the student can search the Internet for images to show the child. Since the material is for personal use, then any images found can be used without royalties or payments of any kind. Some of the copyrighted images will show watermarks, but they can be used anyway, as the watermark will not interfere with the image.

There are many Internet sites where images can be searched and found for use in the teaching. 

Images used in this Udemy program have either been purchased or are provided free, due to copyright considerations.

Using the materials in an actual teaching session

The parent can sit with a child in his/her lap at the computer and view images and words on the screen together, or side-by-side. 

The process is to show an image, ask the child if he/she recognizes the image and ask the child to say the word. Either the child can recognize the image or does not. The same image is then shown with the text word underneath, and the child is asked to say the word. This reinforces the text with the image recognition.

The same process is used with paper images, if the computer is not being used. 

The process continues throughout the list of known images, and then some new images are introduced in each session. The parent says the name of the image and asks the child to repeat it.

Building a Story With Pictures

There are many occasions in a child's life with his/her family, around which a picture story can be built. As the child experiences the actual events, a picture story will remind of the time. 

Pictures at birthday parties, at holiday events like Christmas, vacations or visits by relatives. All these make for opportunities to create a short personal story for the child's reading enrichment.

More Family Stories

There are many family occasions upon which a story can be built with pictures and words, which will work well with your program to teach your child reading.

Measuring Progress

Keeping an accurate record of what images and words have been used in each teaching session will help the parent stay organized and help the child's progress. If the parent wants to keep records in detail, he/she can mark on each session list which images the child remembered correctly or missed. 

This will assist the parent in deciding when to add new images to the list each session. The parent will be able to tell how well the child is doing, with or without keeping detailed records.

Expanding the Child's Vocabulary

To help develop a child's everyday vocabulary, the parents should not us "cutesy" words or so-called baby talk. Speak with normal everyday vocabulary, and use real words to describe objects.

Encourage conversation with other children in the family, as this is one of the best ways for a young child to progress.

When outside driving in the car, going on errands, the parents should point out scenes to the child and use words to describe them. The child will understand more than the parent expects in such situations, and any vocabulary development is success.

The Next Step

The Next Step in Teaching

The parent or teacher who is teaching a child how to read using the technique in this course, should supplement the "image and printed word" sessions with periods of reading an actual physical book with pictures to the child. These books should be selected for having limited vocabularies in the beginning, if possible. The Dr. Seuss books were created with limited vocabularies to make the child's learning easier.

Since Dr. Seuss there have been many other authors of children's books who have done just that: produce books that move the child's reading skills along at a modest pace, by adding new words in moderation.

More Resources

Television and children's shows have been helpful in gaining the attention of young children with memorable characters and episodes of exploring the letters of the alphabet and short words.

Watching the Sesame Street show, for example, will not undermine or interfere with the parent's reading episodes and should be encouraged. If at all possible, the shows can be recorded for playback when the parent(s) can watch them with the child and comment on the content.

As the child gets older and reading has become a favorite pastime, the parent can watch for local notices of children's book readings at the local libraries and bookstores. These are engaging for the child and encourages exploration of different reading matter.

Physical Books

Physical books have a place in a child's learning program. The parent can gauge exactly when books should be introduced and read to and with the child, by noticing the child's reactions to reading to them. When the child shows interest in repeating the words being read and begins to know the story from memory, then it is a good time to begin pointing out the words while reading, so the child forms a memory of the printed word.

There are many sources of acquiring physical books without spending a lot of money.

Recap and Conclusion

This course has described initial steps and methods for teaching a young child how to read early, preferably prior to reaching school age. Suggestions have been made about how a parent can progress in the teaching sessions from simple pictures and text words that identify the pictures, to reading simple children's books with and to the child, as the child's vocabulary expands.

Many methods of teaching reading will work, but the main ingredient in any program is the parent's participation with the child, exhibiting patience and persistence.

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
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