When I started working at the local elementary school, the assistant principal told me that children learn to read with reads by following a pattern.
That could not be further from the truth!
I want to look at the books that you have for your children. Are they easy readers? "I can read" books? Do they have letter levels on them (like level D)?
These are not the books you want to have for your beginning reader...at least not for reading independently.
I'm sure you've found at least one, so I want you to open one of these books. What phonics patterns do they have? How many different phonics patterns? Does the text follow a pattern so that it's easy to guess what the next page might say? Do the text match the pictures? Words that your child
couldn't sound out yet?
Mistake # 2: Using Leveled Readers
I want to preface that these aren't "bad books," and you're child will be able to read them eventually...just not yet. Save them for read alouds or organize them by subject as many classroom teachers have done with their leveled libraries.
Still unsure why they're not working? Watch The Purple Challenge here and prepare to have your mind blown! These books are not teaching your child to read.
Solution: Use Decodable Readers
What is a decodable? It is a book or reader that includes only one new phonics pattern that a student has been explicitly taught. These kinds of books are sequential, they build upon each other. Leveled readers, on the other hand, differ from book to book. One level B book may be more difficult than a specific level F book because of the phonics patterns.
That's because leveled readers teach children to guess!
But reading is NOT a guessing game; it's a code to solve.
Think of decodable readers as practice. Like practicing scales on the piano, reading decodables practices new phonics skills to build confidence and fluency.
Why does your child give up so easily when reading? Most likely because they can't read the book they've been given!
Share your thoughts about decodable and leveled readers in the comments! Let me know if you need resources, and I'd be happy to help you.
Want to learn all the mistakes you're making with your beginning reader and how to fix them? Learn them here.