Helping Your Child Learn To Read
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Helping Your Child Learn To Read

A ten-lecture series covering the basics of how children learn to read, including suggested activities for parents.
4.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
10 students enrolled
Created by Maureen Wiley
Last updated 10/2014
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand the process of learning to read.
  • Help your child develop the building blocks of literacy.
  • Enjoy games and activities that promote literacy skills with your young children.
  • Engage with the reading curriculum your child is learning in school.
View Curriculum
  • There are no pre-requisites for this course, only a desire to inspire your young reader!

Helping Your Child Learn To Read introduces parents to the key concepts of literacy development in children. We cover ten topics related to emergent literacy, divided into two sections: foundations of literacy and the elements of a balanced literacy program. The course consists of ten lectures, including supplementary materials that outline suggestions and activities for parents who want to promote reading skills in their young children. Take this course to gain insight into the process of learning to read, as well as give your child a leg up in the complex process of learning to read.

In this course, you will learn:

    ·How literacy develops from a child’s first exposure to books through their ability to read fluently and comprehend what they are reading.

    ·How the various stages of literacy development are all about skill-building: from making the crucial connection between sounds and the letters they correspond to on the page.

    ·How parents can support this development with activities, games, and examples.

    ·How learning the common terminology of reading development can help parents not only support their young reader but also stay informed about what their child is learning in school.

    ·How to set your child up for a lifetime of reading exceptionally, whether for school-related purposes or simply as a pleasurable activity.

As a reading educator, I encourage all parents to explore more about the fascinating process of learning to read. Parents with newborns through 2nd graders can enjoy these lectures and feel more empowered to help their child succeed in a literate world. There is nothing better a parent can do than to model a good example of the importance of reading in everyday life. This course is also excellent for grandparents and other caretakers to learn productive, engaging literacy activities to connect with their young loved ones. Starting with these lectures, you will be ready to begin the exceptional journey of teaching your child how to read.

Who is the target audience?
  • Parents of children from ages 0-8 years.
  • Parents who wish to promote strong reading skills in their children.
  • Grandparents, family members, and caretakers who would like to help develop reading skills in the children they spend time with.
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Curriculum For This Course
11 Lectures
1 Lecture 05:22

Hello and welcome to Helping Your Child Learn How to Read. In these lectures, I will help you understand the process of learning to read, starting from a child’s first exposure to books to their first experiences with reading fluently and with comprehension in the early elementary grades. This series of lectures covers reading from the first recognition of the connection between sounds and letters until reading at the second grade level, when reading comprehension begins to take on a larger role. These lectures will include what you as parents can do from as soon as your child is born to foster strong connections between sounds and words, which will become the building blocks of their reading skills.

Preview 05:22
Foundational Elements of Emergent Literacy
5 Lectures 40:05

In this lecture, I introduce the concept of family literacy practices. These are everyday activities and best practices for parents who want to raise their child in a print-rich environment. Some of these practices can be implemented before you have any children, paving the way for future emphasis on literacy education in the home. The opinions and behaviors of parents regarding reading have been shown to have a significant impact on the reading development of children.

Preview 09:28

In this lecture, you will learn about the foundational aspects of a strong literacy education, beginning with the concept of phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability of the child to recognize that individual sounds (phonemes) correspond to individual letters (graphemes). This lecture will be particularly helpful for parents of young children, who are at the prime age for making the fundamental connection between spoken sounds and their connection to written word as well as meaning.

Phonemic Awareness

This lecture introduces parents to the main method used to teach reading in today’s elementary schools: Phonics. Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing the English language by developing learners' phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them. This lecture will provide supplementary ideas for parents who would like to support the phonics education their child will likely receive in elementary school.

Introduction to Phonics

This lecture is intended to help parents understand the importance as well as misconceptions about reading fluency, also known as automaticity. Automaticity when reading aloud can be a strong indicator of a child’s ability to read with ease. However, it is important for parents to note that reading fluently or with automaticity does not necessarily indicate high levels of reading comprehension. This lecture will provide examples of how parents can help foster automaticity in their children, while later lectures will provide examples focusing on the reading comprehension side of the equation.


In this lecture, we will discuss a different approach to reading instruction than the traditional phonics-based approach: the whole language approach. I will not only provide an outline covering the main aspects of this approach to reading education, but will also provide activities for parents who would like to incorporate the positive aspects of the whole language approach to their child's balanced literacy program.

Whole Language Approach
Elements of A Balanced Literacy Program
5 Lectures 37:54

In this lecture, we will begin discussion of the complementary activities that create a balanced literacy education, beginning with the topic of motivation when reading. Motivation is a significant but often overlooked aspects of the each child’s approach to reading. The key factors that affect motivation are often directly related to the attitudes and choices of parents. This lecture will provide insight and opportunities for parents to foster high levels of motivation in their young reader.

Udemy Motivation

This lecture delves into the topic of developing background knowledge in your child, also known as schema building. Schemata are the terms, ideas, concepts, and understanding of places, actions, and objects in a person’s mind. Schema building is important for young readers to develop because it directly relates to their reading comprehension during later literacy stages.

Schema Building

This lecture discusses an important concept in the process of reading development: reading comprehension. Reading comprehension refers to a reader’s ability to understand what has been read as well as their ability to glean information from the page. Comprehension is a central factor to the reading process. It only becomes more important as children move on to higher levels of education where reading is the pathway to gaining knowledge.

Reading Comprehension

This lecture highlights the importance of the literacy-related skill of vocabulary development. Knowing how to help your child expand their vocabulary can help them gain the skills to tackle the more complex vocabulary they will be exposed to in each year of school. The best practices for teaching vocabulary development tend to help students integrate the new vocabulary into their schema web by connecting new words with prior knowledge or experiences.

Vocabulary Development

Our final lecture focuses on the related skills of literacy development: spelling, writing, and storytelling. Children who are engaged in a balanced literacy program are also developing their spelling, writing, and storytelling skills in conjunction with their developing reading skills. All of these activities contribute to the development of your child’s writing, which is a critical part of a balanced literacy program.

Spelling, Writing, and Storytelling
About the Instructor
Maureen Wiley
4.0 Average rating
1 Review
10 Students
1 Course
Professor of English Skills at Santa Barbara City College

I am a professor at Santa Barbara City College in Santa Barbara, CA. I hold a Master's degree in Reading Education from Cal State Fullerton. I also received my bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley. In my current position, I teach students at the college level the developmental reading and writing skills they will need to be successful. My greatest passions are literacy education, writing, linguistics, and foreign languages.

With many years of experience of working with readers of all levels and ages, I provide parents with insights into the process of developing reading habits in children that will make them fluent and avid readers for their whole lives. In my master’s degree, I focused on content area reading, also known as reading in different subject areas. My interest lies in educating children and parents on the most successful reading strategies that can be applied to all types of texts. Students in my classes benefit from my expertise in the area of language and literacy acquisition in young children, my passion for helping emergent readers master the various subskills needed to become a fluent reader, and my knowledge of how strong reading skills translate to high academic performance throughout the years.