Reading is a skill that is developed over time. As parents and educators we are always looking for simple ways to help children learn this important skill while doing everyday activities.
The first thing I want to inform all parents is “TO PUT DOWN THOSE FLASH CARDS” Flash cards have no context. This means that the words are just said with no meaning behind it. Reading is about understanding language and knowing how language is put together. Flash cards do not teach either of these.
That said, it is important for children to learn simple sight words to help them read. These words are learnt best in a context (ie in a text). You can play many games with sight words to make it more interesting and engaging for your child.
If you want your child to have a deep understanding about learning to read, follow my 10 easy steps and your child will be well on their way.
1. Let your child see you reading
2. Visit your library
Let your child choose a book and read it together. Show them that reading is a wonderful skill to have that can open up many worlds to them. Show them books that you liked as a child and tell them why you liked them.
3. Enjoy reading with your child.
Reading is part of many bedtime routines in households everywhere. Often due to this routine, reading is only viewed as an activity before bed by many children. It is important to grab a book at any time of the day and have fun reading it with your child. Laugh at humorous moments or change your voice for different characters.
4. Find rhyming words together
Rhyming is very important when learning to read. It helps a child hear different sounds and consequently be able to write different words. Point out rhyming words when you have a conversation if any come up. Find rhyming words in texts you read together.
5. Play appropriate word and reading games with technology
6. Set aside a place for reading
7. Pointing out words that begin with a certain letter
8. Ask children questions about the text they read
Asking questions before, during and after reading a text is very important for children to build their knowledge about comprehension strategies. Asking questions like “What do you think will happen next?”, “What was your favourite part of the story and why was it your favourite?” and “Why did the character make that choice” will deepen their understanding about the text.
9. Read out loud to your child
10. Finding common words
If you endeavour to do some or all of these ideas, it will significantly increase your child’s success at learning to read. Children need to understand the importance and purpose of reading in our world before they can begin to do it themselves.
I hope you were able to take something away with you from this blog. Maybe you have a small child at home or a child who is about to start school next year that would benefit from some of these ideas.
Stay tuned to Creating A Learning Environment for the weekly blogs. Next week the blog will be dedicated to 10 ways to help your child with Math.
Until next time …
Kelly PisaniClick here to email this post to yourself or a friend