Education - Learning
By: - at May 3, 2013

How to Teach Your Kids to Read

The Wonder of Reading
mother and child readingTo teach your kids to read is one of the greatest investments you can personally get involved in. Reading opens countless opportunities to learn new things and expand perspectives. Understanding how words are formed and being able to recognize them are perhaps one of the most important milestones in a child’s life. To read comfortably before going to school is a necessity for kids these days. For some, it comes quite quick but for others, it can be quite challenging. It is important for parents to help and encourage children to develop a love for words early on.

With correct strategies and patience, young children learn to read almost effortlessly. As babies have more flexible brains for learning, exposing them to the beauty of words as early as three months creates potential for producing an excellent reader in the future. With almost all subjects requiring reading, teaching your kids to read means preparing for the more complicated school work ahead. Devoting a couple of minutes for a reading session, when repeated over a certain period of time, it enables kids to remember the words quicker than we actually think they can.

antique books

The Perfect Period
The increasing number of parents interested in teaching their kids how to read is a good sign that we are starting to develop a culture that produces excellent readers. Before kids reach the age are more likely to move around incessantly, their hunger for knowledge and understanding of the world can help parents mold them easily into bookworms and active learners. It is also essential for parents to understand that they should not expect the child to learn reading right away. A child's learning style and pace vary, so be sure the level of reading you want your child to achieve fits their degree of readiness.

reading habitDespite the benefits brought on by early reading, many parents might argue that doing so equates to removing some joy from a child's earlier life This might be true as many would mistakenly consider reading to their children as teaching, when both are actually different. Many fail to recognize that when they read to their kid, they are inculcating the love for reading and not forcing their child to memorize information. What makes the love for reading kick off is the exposure to great stories delivered by written words.

Raising a Reader
As parents, teachers and loved ones, we all want to raise children who are confident and competent in reading. However, in most cases, we are quite unsure what to do. Worst, some parents even end up pushing their children too hard. Because children learn very different from each other given their different circumstances, here are some general guidelines to help raise a reader.

  1. toddler readingRead to your kids early. As many of us have learned, learning starts even before the child sees the world the first time. This simply means that even in infancy, the child has the capacity to acquire information. As early as the days you settled your child into her/his bedroom, start finding time to do some reading. This does not only expose the infant to the spoken words but also instills love for written words.  If a child does not exhibit any interest for reading, school work will be challenging during the years to come. Consequently, this means they would fail to suffice the necessary elements for a successful academic preparation and for life as professionals.
  2. Make reading a daily habit. When the child is familiar with books and the way words are written to produce a certain sound, he is on a head start to discovering knowledge embedded into the intertwining words in the books. As you initiate your daily reading, the child gets the picture of reading, being important to you and thus to him as well. This will more likely influence your child to read the way you modeled it. To make it even more effective for recognizing words, move your fingers across the page as you read. Point on the words as you go along, so the child gets the image of the words being read aloud. Remember, many children learn and retain information when visual representation is present.
  3. Begin with the basics. As with many things, it is important to begin with the basics. When reading to the child, don’t just pick any book you may find in the bookstore. Instead, take into consideration the child’s age, interest and level of understanding. When they are too young enough, begin with lullabies, board books, book of rhymes and story books. Story time is also one of the best ways to teach reading. Read in such a way that your child could grasp the concepts of reading and the joy it brings to one’s imagination. The use of varying tones of voices in reading makes the child imagine the story and its characters vividly. This in turn would spark interest in learning to read independently.  If you are in need of some quick teaching material for your child, I recommend picking up a copy of rainbow games, you can print their reading games and start teaching your child immediately.
  4. interactive readingMake reading sessions interactive. The main reason for reading to the child early is to get the mental picture of how words are put together and uttered. Do not end there. Being able to recognize words and phrases and reading them correctly isn’t enough. The child must understand what was read. Make reading sessions an avenue for developing reading fluency with comprehension. As we read, we can facilitate comprehension by asking questions. When children are very young, you can begin developing comprehension by asking questions like, “Do you see the dog?” while pointing on the portion of the picture book with the dog. Doing so will increase vocabulary and ability to make associations. When the child is more advanced, ask questions like “Why did the king give the old man an apple?” to confirm the child’s ability to recall information. When the child can interact with the text, reading will be a pleasure.
  5. Listen as your child reads. As the reading to your child progresses from lullabies to picture books to story books, begin to teach your child the alphabet and the sound of the letters. The sound of the letters is as important as the letters themselves because the child will put them together and combine the sound they make individually. After a while, you can start introducing simple combinations of consonants and vowels. Beginners are known to do well when reading this simple combination. You may be surprised how excited the child can be in decoding the combinations. When ready to read simple words, give the child the opportunity to read aloud while you listen. Provide help when they find some words difficult. You can even model reading the entire sentence and make the child repeat until there are minimal mistakes. Don’t forget to give praises when the child reads correctly as this will make reading something to look forward to.

little kid readingSumming Up
For those who were born lucky with the gift of language, learning to read is easy. It seems to come naturally with less intervention. For many others, it has to be introduced early on. There is no other way to ensure the kids’ love reading than doing our part. Beginning from younger age when the brain is flexible enough to adapt, curious enough to learn and discover and easy enough to mold, reading should already become part of life. As a milestone and a start point towards a more enjoyable and successful academic life, this should be inculcated and developed for the child to reach the highest possible potentials. Remarkably, reading does not only develop the cognitive skills but makes children feel the parents’ involvement on their lives.





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