1. Teach letter sounds first before letter names so that children default to phonics!
2. Develop a child's ear through songs, rhyming, auditory, games, and clapping. If they know the letter sounds and can hear them...they will be able to ... are you seeing where we are going?
3. Cultivate a home culture rich in vocabulary, including storytelling, singing, nature exploring, and emotional connection.
4. Read books (pictures, signs, recipes, instructions, and magazines) and write daily. Don't tell them reading is essential with more work. Show them the utility and joy of print.
5. Encourage inquiry -- ask questions while reading and in your day-to-day interactions. Take an interest in your child's world and connection to it. Let children overflow with things they want to say.
6. Use WRITING to teach reading, starting with scribbling and drawing. Encourage word building through sound knowledge, drawing, story making, and preparing their hands for proper pencil grip. Writing is a process of creation. It is personal and creative. Lead with writing.
7. The right time to read is when your child is READY to decode (by building steps 1-6) rather than read through sight and memorization. Hold off on sight words and word lists until children are exploring and enjoying writing and sounding out phonetically.
Follow the child. Model literacy. Have fun.
Children who know their letter sounds and can hear them in words have words to describe their worlds, feel valuable and capable, connect to print, are safe, and are ready...write...and read.