As a parent and former educator teaching children is a passion of mine. Learning to read is one of the most important skills a child will learn in his lifetime. We live in a world where success and literacy are very closely aligned. However, parents should not be to anxious and need to understand that not all kids learn to read at the same pace. Therefore, parents should not be too concerned if their 3-year-old has not shown any interest in learning to read just yet. Most kids learn to read between the ages of 5 – 7 years old. Learning to read is a process and the information below is merely a guide on how to teach your kids to read and you may apply some or all of these teaching techniques. Choosing the right book or right teaching method is dependent on the child and parents should remember that the most important teaching trait is persistence and perseverance.
Pre-learning Preparation- Read Aloud To Your Child.
Parents are encouraged to read to their kids, even if they are very young. You can even start as early as your child being a few days old. Your child may not understand what you are reading to him, but he will eventually become familiar with books and develop a love for books. If you read often to them then kids will start to expect fun and enjoyable stories which they will look forward to. This quality time spent with their parents will foster interest in the child to read books on his own. Enjoyment while reading is one of the best motivators to encourage children to start reading on their own. Aim to read at least 2-3 books a day to your child. Develop a routine and stick with it.
Understanding The Story
Kids need to learn the alphabet but learning to read is also about a child understanding the narrative. If a child cannot comprehend what he is reading, then there is no point in reading at all. Ask questions after you have read a page or two, this will encourage your child to interact with the book and understand the story. Parents should teach their kids to recall the events in the sequence they occur.
Inspire Your Child To Learn With Personalized Books
If you are struggling to get your child to show interest in books then personalized children’s books can inspire them. Personalized children’s books will bring your child’s unique character to life and you will notice a big change in their interest in books.
Teach By Example
Kids model their behavior on adults, more especially you their parents. A child who has developed a love for reading could very easily lose interest if she does not see her parents also reading. Make time to read something every day, newspaper, magazine or even a cookbook, and make certain that your child sees you read. Show your child that reading is something adults do as well, and it is fun and entertaining.
Take advantage of the teachable moments when they come along. We are surrounded by environmental print like road signs, restaurant signs, posters, clothing labels etc. Kids may be curious about environmental print and this may present an opportunity to teach him in a natural and practical setting.
Memorizing the alphabet is important but rote learning is not the best way to produce long term results. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is the goal to foster a lifelong love of learning so the method of learning should be just as important as learning itself. Try putting up signs, labels, words and even your child’s name up on the walls of his room. This will create a curiosity within him, and he will ask you about it.
Start with words that your child is already familiar with. This might be his name or nouns that could be accompanied by pictures. However, make sure that there are not too many words on a page. Begin with single terms and then progress to phrases and sentences.
Big Bold Print and Pictures
Use big bold print that is easy to see and easy to read. Pictures or illustrations can be used in the beginning and will assist the child to identify the word he is reading.
Books They Enjoy Reading
Take your child to the library and have him select the books he wants to read. Children are more motivated to read if it is material they enjoy.
Start with books that are not too difficult for them as this could be discouraging. If there are more than five words on a page your child does not recognize then try something less challenging.
Sounding It Out
Once your child knows the sound each letter makes then he is able to put it together to form a word. Encourage him to say each individual sound, c-a-t, and then put it together to form cat.
As kids sound out the words more frequently, they will become more proficient in identifying those words.
Create A Cozy Reading Corner
Create a reading corner and get your child involved in the process. Choose a theme that she would enjoy, perhaps a beach theme with beach towels and beach balls and seashells. Make it an area where your child would want to hang out and feel comfortable. Off course add lots of books that she enjoys, to the reading corner.
Bring Your Books To Life
After reading a book take your child on a real-life adventure related to the book. Perhaps If you read about horses, take him to visit a horse farm.
Read The Book, Then Watch The Movie
Choose books that have been turned into movies. After you have read the book together, plan a movie night, with popcorn and treats, and watch the movie together. This is a great way to motivate reluctant readers.
Give Books As Gifts
Lastly get into the habit of giving your kids’ books as gifts. Inscribe something in the books to tell your child why he is so special. Help them find books to give to their friends as gifts for birthdays and special occasions. This will help them foster positive associations with books and it teaches them that books are a way to connect to others.