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3 tips to raise a young reader

Updated: May 4, 2021

Reader Ship Literacy School

1. Read books that interest your kids

The last thing you want when you sit down to read is your kids falling asleep out of boredom. Have a couple of kids’ books at home for your kids to choose from and let them choose what they want to read. If you’re reading to toddlers, spread out the choices in front of them and let them crawl towards their book of choice. It’ll be interesting to see which books your kids gravitate towards. Though, it could just be the most colorful one.

2. Note down new vocabulary

When reading with kids aged 5 or above, use a highlighter to mark down any new vocabulary your kids come across. You could help them understand its meaning by asking questions about the use of the word in the sentence.

For example, “Joe travels to school by bus.”

Ask questions such as: How does Joe go to school? What does the word travel mean? How do you travel to school?

This will encourage your kids to use context clues to figure out the meaning of the unfamiliar word. After a couple of days of marking down new vocabulary, check your kids’ understanding by asking them to form their own sentences using these words.

3. Incorporate phonics

Phonics and phonological awareness are essential to help your kids become independent readers. Phonological awareness refers to the awareness of sounds in spoken words and the ability to manipulate these sounds to form words (Phonological and Phonemic Awareness: Introduction, 2021). Phonics refers to the knowledge of letter sounds and the ability to decode unfamiliar printed words (Phonological and Phonemic Awareness: Introduction, 2021).

With these two components working hand-in-hand, your kids will be able to sound out individual letters, digraphs, and diphthongs. They will then be able to blend these sounds to pronounce tricky words.

Give these 3 tips a try to help improve your kids' English fluency!


Books we recommend for your kids

Reader Ship Literacy School

Now if you’re scratching your head wondering what kind of books would be good for your kids, we’re here to help!

Here are 5 books we recommend for kids of different ages.

0 - 18 months

1. How to Tuck In Your Sleepy Lion - Jane Clarke and Georgie Birkett

2. How to Brush Your Teeth with Snappy Croc - Jane Clarke and Georgie Birkett

3. Peter Rabbit Buggy Book - Beatrix Potter

4. The Three Bears - Byron Barton

5. What's That Sound, Spot? - Eric Hill

Reader Ship Literacy School

18 months - 3 years

1. Busy Day: Astronaut - Dan Green

2. Baby Touch: Feelings - Ladybird

3. Biscuit series - Alyssa Capucilli

4. Who Ate All The Cookie Dough? - Karen Beaumont

5. Little Critter series - Mercer Mayer

3 – 5 years

1. My Mum is Magnificent - Roald Dahl

2. Splat the Cat series - Rob Scotton

3. The Potato Pals series - Patrick Jackson and Rie Kimura

4. The Snowy Day - Ezra Jack Keats

5. Harry the Dirty Dog - Gene Zion

Reader Ship Literacy School

6 - 8 years

1. Fancy Nancy series - Jane O'Connor

2. Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum - Dr. Seuss

3. George's Marvellous Medicine - Roald Dahl

4. My Father’s Dragon - Ruth Stiles Gannett

5. Jake Drake Teacher's Pet - Andrew Clements

9 – 12 years

1. The Landry News - Andrew Clements

2. The Secret Dragon - Ed Clarke

3. The Longest Whale Song - Jacqueline Wilson

4. Neil Armstrong and Nat Love Space Cowboys - Steve Sheinkin

5. A Fabumouse Vacation For Geronimo - Geronimo Stilton

Reader Ship Literacy School

12+ years

1. The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods - Emily Barr

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events - Daniel Handler

3. Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling

4. Wonder - R.J. Palacio

5. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Some of these books are used to teach our students here at Reader Ship. If you’re not sure of your kids' reading level, come in for an assessment to find out. Reading at an appropriate level is important for your kids to make progress. Come read with us!



1. Reading Rockets. 2021. Phonological and Phonemic Awareness: Introduction. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from

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