5 ways to help your child with decoding

Easy tips for revving up this essential reading skill.

By Bruce Johnson

1. Point to alphabet letters and say their names. Mix the letters and say their names.

2. Look for letters wherever you go. Examples: signs, cereal boxes, book covers.

3. Look at letters, say the letter name, say the letter sound, then say a word that begins with that sound.

4. Make flash cards. Play letter games such as Memory or Go Fish with letters or sounds, and when you find a match say a word that begins with that matched sound. Play Tic-Tac-Toe using letters other than X and O.

5. Go on a letter hunt. Write a letter on top of a sheet of paper, like b. Look for all of the words of objects around the house that begin with that letter or sound. Draw pictures or write words.

Excerpted from Involving Parents in Their Children's Reading Development: A Guide for Teachers

Educator and reading specialist Bruce Johnson is the author of Involving Parents in Their Children’s Reading Development: A Guide for Teachers.