Develop awareness of printed language
When reading aloud to your child, let your child open the book and turn the pages. Point to the words as you read.
Try reading aloud traffic signs, billboards, notices, labels on packages, maps, and phone numbers. Make outings a way to encourage reading by showing your child how printed words relate to daily living.
Learn the alphabet
Sing the alphabet song to help your child learn letters as you play with alphabet books, blocks, and magnetic letters. Recite letters as you go up and down stairs or give pushes on a swing. A-B-C, dot-to-dot and letter-play workbooks, games, and puzzles are available at most toy stores. Many engaging computer games are designed for teaching children letters.
Help your child learn to write their name and other important words or phrases. Gradually, help your child learn to write more and more letters
Understand the relation of letters and words
Teach your child to spell a few special words, such as their name, stop, or exit. Challenge your child to read these words every place they are seen. Play word-building games with letter tiles or magnetic letters.
Learn letter sounds
Sound out letters. Point out other words that begin with the same letter as your child's name, drawing attention to the similarities of the beginning sound. Use alphabet books, computer games, or car games such as, "I'm thinking of something that starts with “b" to engage the child in alliterative (words beginning with the same sound) and letter-sound play.
Sound out new words
Point out new words. As you encounter them, say the sound while touching each letter in a new word. For example, say "s-u-n" and then blend sounds to create the word.
Learn to read reflectively
Pause for discussions as you read. As you read stories to and with your child, stop frequently to discuss their language, content, and relevance to real life.
Adapted from Literacy Tips for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities; Excerpted from: Learning to Read/Reading to Learn: Helping Children with Learning Disabilities to Succeed. (1996). National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Council for Exceptional Children.