Dear Heloise: This is a response to a letter from Nell V. encouraging parents to teach their children to read before they enter kindergarten. I had some good thoughts (not rushing was my favorite). I have taught reading for 30 years in public and private schools. Teaching your children to read requires a lot of education. Done wrong, your efforts may end up raising a child who hates to read. The constant sound of words very often generates a child who hates reading. Of course, nobody wants that.
As a parent, your main goal should be to teach children to love reading. The first thing parents should do with children is read to them for about 15 minutes each day. Some of that time should be spent discussing the book and the characters. Good readers love to read. You want your child to see reading as fun. I found that it worked well to read to them before bed in a cozy setting.