Learning to read is one of the most important things your kids must do growing up. It is vital because we live in a world where literacy skills are an essential part of success.
Learning to read is not a natural process that occurs on its own. It would take proper teaching of different skills and strategies like phonics and phonemic awareness.
Teaching your kids to read at home starts at birth with the strengthening of pre-literacy skills. However, most kids will learn around the ages of 5 and 7.
One of the most effective ways of teaching your kid to read is by the sounding out method whereby the kid is encouraged to read aloud — pronouncing each letter or group of letters until they can identify the word by sound.
Even if your child attends one of the best international primary school, teaching them to read shouldn’t be left altogether for the teachers at school.
Here are a few steps to teach your child to read at home.
Nursery rhymes aren’t just fun. The rhyme and rhythm will also help the kids to hear the sounds and syllables in each word, which will help them learn to read.
As you recite the song and clap in unison, it helps build phonemic awareness. This playful activity will develop their literacy skills and set them on the right path for reading success.
Kids are encouraged to read if they are interested in the material. If your kid is old enough, take them to the library and allow them to pick the books they want to begin with. Even if the words seem to be challenging, at least you have an idea of the topics they’re interested in.
When your kid is exposed to printed words (on posters, labels, etc.) — both at home and outside, it helps the child to see and apply connections between sounds and letters.
When you go out together, point out letters on posters, billboards and signs. Ask them questions like, “What sound is that letter?” “What other word starts with that sound?” “What word rhymes with that word?”
Learning to read is supposed to be an enjoyable experience for your child if you expect them to be enthusiastic about learning to read. Employ the use of a tablet for kids or other gadgets with apps that your child to learn how to read.
Kids get excited about gadgets. Although they can be distracting, if used effectively, with proper supervision, it can be a useful tool in helping your kid learn to read.
Have your child read his book aloud to you. If his reading doesn’t sound good, have him reread it, and correct him in the process.
Or, read the book to him, and then have him read it to himself. Studies show that repeated oral reading makes kids better readers.
It shouldn’t be all about reading. Throw a little writing into the mix. Making books available for your child is excellent, but you can also include pencils, crayons, markers, and paper.
Encourage your child to read and write by writing notes or short letters to him and ask him to rewrite and read the same to you.
As they read, make them retell the story. Assuming it was a story, ask them who was the main character in the story and what happened? Reading isn’t all about sounding the words, but thinking and remembering events.
When you get your child to improve their reading comprehension skills, it will prepare them for success in more challenging texts.
The points discussed above highlights simple, effective strategies that are easy to modify for your child to suit his needs and environment.
The strategy shouldn’t be seen as a checklist to think that once you’ve covered all the strategies, your child will begin to read proficiently. Instead, the strategies should be used individually or combined in a way that is comfortable with your child until he or she can read.
Last but not least, remember teaching the child to read shouldn’t be left altogether for the teachers at school. Get started early, before your child enrols into standard 1 at a public primary school or year 1 at an international primary school. Want to know more details about international schools and their syllabus, get in touch with us today!