Help Your Pre-Schooler Learn How to Read


My son’s class has started the reading process and I am really enjoying going through the journey with him.

So today I’m going to share the basics of teaching your pre-schooler to read. And at the end of the post I will be offering a special on a Reading Library!


There are 3 basic skills that need to be grasped to get the reading process going:

  1. Phonics
  2. Syntax
  3. Semantics


This is the one we are familiar with from our schooling days and refers to the sounds that letters make as well as the relationship between how a word is said and how it is written.

Here are some tips on developing Phonics:

  1. Don’t name letters, sound them – Instead of saying “A” as how we would say it in the alphabet, sound out the letter “A” for example how “a” sounds when you say “apple”. (Or like how “B” is pronounced in “banana” -just a shot of air with a B sound, not “Bee”).
  2. Read Rhyming Books, Nursery Rhymes and Songs together – Whenever you see rhyming words, show the words to your child and sound it out. Then ask them what they see differently between the two words and explain how the different letter makes a different sound (and word).
  3. “Say Words Aloud” game – Say a word aloud and ask your child to guess the 1st letter of the word.
  4. Play Eye-Spy with my Little Eye – You can play Eye-Spy with my little eye, but instead of saying the Letter that the word sounds with, sound out the letter to your child. For example – “I spy with my little Eye, something beginning with “shh” (for the word shoulder), instead of saying “I spy with my little eye something beginning with “S”. Your child will also be able to “spy” out things by sounding the beginnings of the words out.
  5. Read books aloud – While doing this, point to words and pronounce the sounds clearly and slowly. You can also show your child words that look alike or different at the beginning or end, and explain how the different letters make different sounds.


Most children grasp the context of Syntax before Phonics. Syntax is the way words, phrases and clauses go together to create sentences and paragraphs. Recognizing that sentences go from left to right is a form of syntax. By showing your child that pages are read with the left first and then the right, or not holding a book upside down or how a story develops as we turn each page, you are developing their skills in Syntax. As your child progresses in reading, pauses, fullstops, capital letters and the need for punctuation will start making sense.

Here are some tips on developing Syntax

  1. As you read aloud, follow the words with your fingers – your child will be able to see the words and watch the direction of writing as the story progresses. He or she will also slowly see how a fullstop represents the end of a sentence or a paragraph is the end of an idea.
  2. Read aloud rhyming books – this will help your child see how words flow and create a rhythm.
  3. Write a letter to your child – Read the letter aloud with your child and show them how it is broken up into sentences, an introduction, closing, the different paragraphs etc.


This is how words and sentences in a group relate to each other and how to recognize and understand words. Being able to infer something, being able to discuss a story or paragraph, being able to predict what could happen, all fall under semantics. Even being able to substitute words like “cup” for “mug” falls under the scope of semantics.

Here are some tips on developing Semantics:

  1. Read books with stories – a complete story helps your child to see the whole picture and develop a mind for rounded stories.
  2. Talk about Books as you read them – Ask your child to predict the end of the story, ask your child why he/she thinks something happened, ask what he/she likes the character and why or what he or she would do differently from the character.
  3. Don’t stop the flow – try not to stop mid sentence if you want to aid in development of a story. Or if your child is reading and struggling with a difficult word then try to quickly say the word and explain it (don’t labour on it at all), and move on to keep the story going. After the story is complete you can come back to the word for a more in depth explanation or help with recognition of the word.

I really hope that these tips will help you in your reading journey! If you have any more, please do share them so that we can all help each other grow readers!

Because I’m excited that we are starting the reading journey in our house, I am offering a very limited edition (sorry, to Geneva only, while stocks last), “My First Reading Library” box set.

Mind the photos – it looks like it’s crushed but the sets are in pristine condition and of course, brand new (still with the plastic shrink wrap)

Each box set has 50 books in them!

It’s broken down into 3 segments, as your child reads through them, they get more difficult.

  • The 1st 22 books aid in first steps of reading and follow the phonics development used in schools
  • The next 12 books are short stories for children to try to read by themselves
  • the last 16 books ad slightly longer and will assist in developing confidence
Titles in the “My First Reading Box Set”


The RSP is £199,50 (CHF260) – but my special will be for CHF100 for this week. (First come, first Serve)

For this price, I highly recommend this set. It works out to CHF2 per book which is a fantastic price for teaching your child how to read. You can head over to ” Contact Us ” to get hold of us for orders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: