Tips from My Teacher Days: Getting Started with Reading

Tips From My Teacher Days

homeschool getting started with reading
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Welcome back for Part 2 in my Getting Started Series. Last week I presented how to get started with Math using one simple material. My goal is to provide you with a simple easy to follow plan, to make teaching and learning less overwhelming. Each week I will provide one tip. While I know I could go into more details and give you more ideas to do with each subject, my intent is to keep it as simple as possible. This week I will show you simple tips for getting started with reading at home.

Don’t Worry

Teaching Reading Can be Scary.  You do not have to get it perfect the first time. You do not even have to be an expert reading specialists. There are many reading curriculums, guides and techniques to teaching reading. However in this Getting Started Series, my goal is to make you and the child you are teaching feel less overwhelmed so you can get started.

Teacher Tip: 
You Do Not Need a Special Book Series, Just a Book That is Simple to Read for YOUR Reader

The goal at first is to BUILD CONFIDENCE

For more on how to choose a Just Right Book, Check out This Reading Mama’s E-book.

Getting Started With Reading

simple reading lessonWhat do I need?

*Simple Text for your Reader

(this will vary depending on the age/skills from wordless books to chapter books)


  • Find a comfortable spot for reading
  • Preview the book for concepts/words before presenting to your reader
  • Anticipate any difficult/new words before reading

What do I do?

Note: For younger readers, each step should be taken day by day. Each day build on the step from the day before.

Reading Lesson

Step One: Preview the Book With Your Reader

  • Tell what the book is going to be about
  • Ask questions about the cover

Step Two: Picture Walk

  • Go through the book looking at each page, (Do not focus on the words)
  • On each page try to get your reader to notice vocabulary/key concepts that might be on that page (you can refer to the questions below for ideas to encourage this)
  • For older readers, preview the excerpt, and discuss vocabulary and key points they will be reading

Step Three: Tricky Words (optional)

  • Remember we want to develop confidence, so “Reading and Re-reading” may need to happen before looking at words for younger readers
  • Point out 1-3 new/tricky words
  • (any more than this is too many for a beginning lesson)

Step Four: Read Along with your Reader

Encourage your reader to use language from your preview, refer to the tricky word(s), ask questions

Step Five: Re-Read

  • Re-reading a text is extremely helpful with building confidence and Fluency.
  • It is completely okay to read the same book for one week

What am I looking for?

*Is your reader excited to read?

*Does your reader feel confident?

*Is your reader getting stuck on more than 5 words?

*How is your reader figuring out words they don’t know?

*Can your child talk about the book and stay on topic?

What do I say? What Questions Can I ask?

What do see them doing?

I notice…

I see…

What do you think might happen next?

How do you think they are feeling?

What do you do at when you are… (relate to book)

Why do you think they are …

I wonder why…

Can you find the …(something in the picture that is written in the text)

Where is the word ….

 guided reading questions

Would you Like these reading questions in a printable format?

While I know there are many more questions, points to cover and concepts involved in a reading lesson. I wanted to keep this as simple as basic as possible to provide you with a basic structure. I envision this lesson being adapted for many grades (infant to grade school). I plan to write more on adapting lessons to fit various ages in the future. If you want to keep updated with new lessons each week and ways to extend the learning with various levels and learning styles, I suggest subscribing to the weekly newsletter.

What subject or topic would you like to see next week? What do you struggle with getting started with your learner? I would love to help.

Also in this series…

simple math activitiesSimple Writing

Getting Started With Math

Getting Started with Writing

I can’t wait to hear what you would like to see next. I am open to any and all suggestions. Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.


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24 thoughts on “Tips from My Teacher Days: Getting Started with Reading”

  1. Oh Katie, you just made my night! You are the first comment I got on this post. I was needing to hear that it hit home with someone. I love our new reading area. I just re-did our entire house since we homeschool with no school-room. I hope to run a series, once I get it written.

  2. Great advice! My 3 year old is getting close to understanding that letters form together to make words, and some of your steps really give me some good ideas to point out areas of the book and get those gears moving. Thanks!

  3. You are right that one doesn’t need to be a reading specialist. I taught my daughter to read by myself when she was 3. It was a very fun journey even though there were a couple of bumps on the way when she resisted. I think it’s important for reading time not to turn into a power struggle and take breaks when child is not motivated or overwhelmed.

    1. Thank you. That is fantastic that you were able to teach her at such a young age and that she was receptive. It has been such a struggle for me, since I have a teacher background and taught hundreds of children how to read… but my children are reluctant.

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  6. My daughter is just starting to recognise letters and understand that they make up words. Great tips at just the right time!

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  12. The Simple Reading graphic is *perfect* for parents with beginning readers! Thank you for linking up to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop!

  13. The reading corner looks really inviting!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  14. Dayna,
    Hello! I linked your guided reading blog post to my post about top resources for starting up guided reading. Thank you so much for your fabulous insight into guided reading.
    Here is my blog: Apple Tree Learning
    jen 😉

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