When it became clear that my kids would be at home for a while due to the pandemic, I knew that teaching my daughter to read would be a top priority. She had a pretty good grasp of letters and letter sounds, but hadn’t yet figured out how they come together to form words.
The main thing about learning to read is repetition. Both phonics and sight words will be picked up by repeated exposure. The best place I found to start was with a phonics box set. There are a lot of these out there, and they all follow basically the same format, so the main thing to look for is something that will hold your child’s interest.
Phonics books focus on a particular vowel sound, like “short a” or “long o”. Not all the words have those sounds, but the words that do are good ones to focus on. Feel free to read harder words yourself, asking your child to sound out target words, which will usually be short and not “tricky”.
Levelled readers are the next step up from phonics books. Look for Level 1 readers from World of Reading, Step Into Reading, and I Can Read!
Our favorite author, though, was definitely Mo Willems. Books featuring the Pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, and Cat the Cat are all great for new readers. Elephant and Piggie books are especially great because the text is mostly dialog, and kids will love going back and forth reading one of the parts.
With this experience under their belt, your kid will be well on their way to being a great reader!