A good book can take a child all over the world, help them learn about things beyond their own driveway, and teach them invaluable language skills. Parents often find themselves anxious about how to teach reading in a way that will help their child learn to read early.
Reading to Them
While there are products out there to help you teach your child to read, probably the best device you have is free – your lap. Reading to children beginning when they are infants is the best way to start a love of language and books. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, reading to infants helps:
- Provide bonding between parent and child
- Teach children language skills
- Develop specific brain pathways important for later learning
Even though infants are not actually reading, they are listening to the parent’s voice inflections, looking at the pictures, seeing the pages turn. It is all an important beginning for a budding reader.
Finding the Right Books
Here you can pick books that are brightly colored and made of vinyl or cloth materials that hold up under a baby’s desire to gnaw on them occasionally.
Books with words that rhyme are also good choices as the rhythmic sound is stimulating for your child. All of this actually makes positive changes to your baby’s brain which helps with learning for years to come.
Even when that cuddly baby grows into a wiggly toddler, parents should continue the reading together habit. At this stage, kids are often interested in holding the book, guessing the next part of the story, and delighting in the artwork. Parents can talk about what is on the page, whether it’s a flower, a dog, or a puddle. They can point out letters, numbers, and colors. In essence this is how to teach reading.
Don’t Push the Kid
Of course, reading with a child should be relaxed and fun. Parenting Magazine says it is important to temper your expectations and let your child follow their own path. Some children may begin reading before age 5, while others will be later. Each child’s brain develops differently and reading requires several key connections within it.
Check out some great books selected by our mommy blogger, Laura Hodya:
Encourage Kids to Read on Their Own
As children get older, parents can help reading skills develop by encouraging kids to read a few words on the pages of a beloved book. They may know the words by heart, but by stopping and pointing to specific words, parents can show kids how those printed shapes become words.
Here it is important to stay patient, following the child’s lead as he sounds out each letter. Each milestone should be enthusiastically celebrated.
Work with Your Child’s Teacher
Once a child gets into school, hopefully, they will be getting reading help by professionals using the latest scientific techniques on how to teach reading. However, a parent’s job doesn’t end with the beginning of school. Working with your child’s teacher, continue with at-home reading sessions. You can play word games in the car, or even in everyday tasks like grocery shopping. It should all be fun and natural.
Set an Example
Other ways parents should encourage good reading habits is to model reading for their children. Point out when you are reading something, whether it’s a book, magazine, or even a recipe. Surround your child with books of their own, and take them to the local library. Getting their own library card can be quite exciting for a child.
Make It a Game
If you let your child use computers or other devices, find out which child-appropriate games focus on reading comprehension, and point them towards these rather than just a cartoon. When reading is a game, they may not see it as rote or boring learning, and may be more inclined to do it more and more.
Always remember to limit screen times for kids, see how over here!
So, don’t fret over how to teach reading. Follow your instincts, establish good home reading patterns, and you can raise a happy, excited reader.
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