Four Easy Ways to Help Your Child Learn to Read
Learning to read doesn’t just start at school, it starts from children’s early exposure to books. Here’s how to introduce reading to your child.
1. Speak before you read.
Children need to be able to understand words before they can say or use them. Chanting nursery rhymes, singing songs, telling stories and naming objects helps your child to develop vocabulary and strengthens the skills needed for reading.
2. Encourage a love of books.
Children learn from example. Do you read books and enjoy them? Do you enjoy reading to your children? The best way to teach a love for books is by being a role model and spending lots of quality time together reading to your child. Show your child that you enjoy reading. Your obvious enjoyment will be contagious.
3. Start with whole word learning.
Whole word learning are complete reading systems which begin with very simple words/ideas that form the basis for an entire book. One story might focus on a house, with images or drawings of houses are accompanied by the word “house,” “mommy” and “daddy.” The next book would build on what the child had already learned and talk about “mommy and daddy in the house.”
In this manner, the child learns to recognize whole words and connect the words with the concepts. The advantage of this system is that it’s natural, allowing children to learn reading in a more natural manner, with words and ideas familiar to them.
4. Follow up with phonetic reading.
Phonics, or phonetic reading naturally follows the whole word system. By the second year in school, most children will have understood the phonics system on their own and naturally begin sounding out letters and sounds. Others will work together with the teacher to start developing this process.
Many language experts share the belief that learning to read should be a combination of whole word and phonetic approaches, depending upon the age and learning strategies of the child.
Start reading to your child today. Teaching them a love for books will have a profound effect on their performance on school as well as future prospects. And reading is fun! It’s the gift that lasts a lifetime.