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  • Writer's picturePatricia Mezu LL.M, M.Ed., AMI Montessori Diploma

A Mistake Parents Make When Teaching Children How to Read

During this time of pre-school lockdown, I’m thinking about the many parents out there who will have children at home. Suddenly and without the requisite tools to navigate a new space, they have become teachers. Not funny! Additionally, there is so much information out there, too much, in my opinion. I am hoping that the preschools will be intentional with their guidance, but there may be some who are not able to provide specific information that provides a foundation for reading in English, hence my series of blog articles on the subject.

Happy children with books
Teaching Children How to Read

Where Do You Start?

Over the years, as a preschool educator, leader and specialist consultant, I have met hundreds of parents. For the purpose of this article, the terms ‘pre school' and 'pre schooler', refers to children from birth to five years plus. One of the mistakes some parents make at the time of introducing their children to reading is to start with the alphabet. Oops! Not the right place to begin.

Here is some foundational information:

  • A lot of what parents are doing at home with their infants and toddlers is already part of the ‘pre-reading’ process. Such as, talking to them, singing to them, reading stories etc

  • It is important to know what constitutes the structure for language development

  • It is essential to understand what is developmentally appropriate for teaching children to read

  • Before introducing the alphabet, there is the stage of pre-reading (and pre-writing)

Structure of the English Language

Today, let’s start here; the structure and blueprint. I aim to make this easy to digest, i.e. not deep, understanding that most parents may not be totally interested in this aspect of reading. However, I do need to paint the full picture.

That's it for today. I will be building on this structure and my next blog will focus on the pre-reading stage.

In the interim, you are welcome to email me with any questions.

Patricia Mezu is the founder and director of

Professional Minds MEA.


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