How And When Does A Child Learn To Read?
Education plays an important role at every stage of life in making a person ready to face the world, in terms of self-advancement. Since parents are the first teachers of their children, they play a critical role right from the moment when their kids start going to school. What children learn at school is taken care of only by the teachers but after they back come home, making sure that whatever knowledge was imparted stays in children’s memory even after school hours, is the responsibility of parents.
According to a study, parents who involve themselves in their child’s education have a positive impact on the child’s academic achievement. The more they get involved, the better their child performs.
For most parents beginning their child’s educational journey is a great milestone. As parents, we expect our kids to perform well and shine in every sphere of life, which is why, unknowingly, we may end up putting an unnecessary burden on them. Therefore, the question arises - what should be your approach when it comes to encouraging your child to read?
Fluent reading is undoubtedly an important skill for kids to develop. Most children learn to read by 5 or 6 years of age, but some smart blokes begin to read at the age of 3 or 4 years also. In any case, forcing a child to learn how to read before he is ready can make the entire process more frustrating and hampers the child’s development. On the other hand, reading together and playing some fun games make reading interesting for kids, and in this guide, teaching to read with fun is going to be our mission.
Fun And Effective Ways You Can Help Your Child Learn To Read
1. Teach alphabets to lay the groundwork:
It is important to pay more attention while teaching alphabets because this is the foundational step for reading. Use these tips to teach alphabets more easily:
- Make things Interesting - Your child will not retain a thing if it is boring!
- Go slow - You can teach only a few letters every day. Revise the same thing over and over again, before rushing on to the next one.
- Play an A B C song every morning - You can sing along with your child as you show them an animated video of the 26 alphabets.
- Teach letter by letter - Teach them to letter one by one, making sure your child is seeing the alphabets in different shapes and sizes. Once they master the upper case, teach the lower case, before you move on to the next word.
2. Begin with sight words:
Most educators would agree that every parent should start by teaching kids some sight words. Teaching sight words to kids helps them read easily, fluidly, and write more efficiently too. The more they see the words, the quicker they will learn them, hence the name ‘sight’ words. When beginning sight words, work on no more than three unfamiliar words and use some smart teaching techniques to introduce new words.
Some examples of sight words are:
- Level 1- a, and, away, big, can, come, funny, go, help, here
- Level 2- blue, down, find, for, in, look, make, me
- Level 3- area, body, certain, complete, notice, piece
3. Reading books aloud:
The more excitement you show your child about reading, the more your child will enjoy it. So, you should try to use funny voices and animal noises. This will make your kid more excited about the story. Then, once your child begins to read, start making him/her read out loud now. This helps in building your child’s confidence in his/her ability to read and learn new skills.
As your child learns, to read, use the following tips to make the process a more engaging and rewarding experience:
- Bedtime stories are a must. Set some time aside for every night, where you put your child to bed and read together. Stories that have a moral are the best ones to choose.
- Encourage your child to become an independent reader as well. Leave some colorful reading books with beautiful images, in your child’s bedroom. Ensure that there are comfortable lighting and a cozy chair on which they can sit and read.
- As you read stories to your child, they may start having favorites. When you read the same story multiple times to them, they begin memorizing words and sentences, and may even chime in to complete your sentences.
- Lastly, try to make a game out of every activity. Don’t pester your kids with boring numbers and long words. Find a way to encourage creativity and curiosity.
How To Develop Fluency When A Child Learns To Read
Reading fluency is the most important skill for a child to be a junior expert in early elementary. It helps the child figure out the text quickly and accurately. It plays an important role in many subjects like science and maths too, where the language is not so straightforward and words are complicated.
The following steps could help your child to be a fluent reader:
1. Paired reading: Paired reading is the best fluency strategy used with readers. Children usually lack fluency. In paired reading children read aloud to each other. You can pair your child with more fluent readers. It’s a good opportunity to built literacy skills.
2. Pick a book kids can relate to: Nothing gets children more involved than knowing that the characters in the book are having the same struggles as theirs. It will spark your child’s imagination. You can also introduce the books that hook kids. When your child gets interested in a certain character he will be more likely to select subsequent books in a series. Some of the most popular characters that kids love are: Winnie the Pooh, Rainbowfish, Marry Poppins, and The Adventures of TIN TIN. Do give them a try!
3. Use audio recordings: It’s a great and fantastic way for children to follow along as someone else reads. Audio recordings are created by voice actors who know exactly how to pronounce and how to model fluency. If your child follows along with the recordings and listens to them carefully, his/her sightwords skill will get better and he/she will be able to improve them immensely. Also, ask your child to repeat the passage multiple times, it will improve their removing skill.
4. Work on Vocabulary: Do you think your child understands the meaning of all the words he/she is reading? If not, then language will be a tough battle for your child. You probably had to re-teach each sentence in order for your child to fully understand it. Use the following tips to do this in a better way:
- Use post-it notes to label the surroundings objects, as this will help your child to read new words and understand what they represent.
- You can play word games with your child. There is a wide range of word games that will help your child to learn new words.
- The child who has learned and heard hundred of picture hooks before reaching school will surely have a large vocabulary than the child who’s had fewer books. It will be a very successful method for your child.