Elements to Focus On When Reading with Your Children

by Oye Akintan on July 29, 2021

When you’re reading with your kids and encouraging them to get into the books themselves, it can get hard to stay on their pace. Some children take a while in becoming a reader, more so than others; it’s only natural for many parents to desire to help their kids in any way they can.

The best thing that a parent can do for their children is to take it slow and focus on different elements of reading. See these components as different stages in instilling and shaping your kids’ reading skills. Be sure to have a simple storybook to go through and take it one step at a time as not to overwhelm your little one. Here’s a guide on what reading elements to focus on:

1) Phonemes

Phonemes refer to the sounds of a language that are being heard and distinguished by your kids. Reading aloud can help your kids identify the differences between words and make it easier to mimic themselves.

This is why parents are encouraged to begin reading with a kid by saying the words out loud themselves and letting them follow along. Developing phonemic awareness can be quite the process, but it helps children grasp the different sounds, syllables, and pronunciations.

2) Phonics

Although phonemes and phonics are alike, their main difference is the written symbols. Focusing on phonemes means relying solely on your kids picking up the sounds. It’s the foundation for them learning phonics, which brings the inclusion of printed letters and words.

A child’s knowledge of how words are spoken can make it easier for them to pick up and decipher the text of the book. It’s very crucial to have a story that’s easy to read. Find one adequate for their age and reading level.

3) Fluency

Once a kid can finally master phonemes and phonics, it’s time to let them take up the reading responsibilities before bedtime. Encourage them to read the text aloud for you. Be extremely patient as being fluent in reading doesn’t come easily or naturally for everyone.

Some kids may find themselves embarrassed to read in front of their parents too. Be sure to give them the reassurance that they need and aid them when they’re faltering on certain words and phrases. Revisit phonemes and phonics if they’re struggling to remind them of the lessons.

4) Understanding

With reading fluency done and out of the way, it’s time to undergo reading comprehension. Although your kid can distinguish, decipher and read, they may not have a solid understanding of what exactly they’re interpreting. Guide and teach them about it. Answer their questions about what certain words mean to broaden their vocabulary and introduce new concepts.

Reading comprehension can be difficult when using multiple books that are text-heavy, especially for beginners. Throughout the learning process and up until this stage, get one good story that can be read over and over. Once they finally have a grasp over one book, other reading materials will be quicker to understand.


Going through these elements can be quite the process. However, the journey would be well worth it if it means equipping your kid with many great lessons and molding their reading skills for the future.

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