One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the love of books and the desire to want to read. Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience and our quest for improved literacy
The following skills are prerequisites to reading – meaning your child need to master these basic skills before they can advance onto more complex reading tasks. Try consider these activities into playtime and interaction with your child.
1. Direction We read from left to right in the English language. We tend to forget this has to be learned. Parents, with lefty child, will appreciate this.
Instruction: Use your finger to run across the words as you read them aloud to your child. You can even guide your child’s finger as you read. Pay closer attention if you have a left handed child. It tends to be a little more challenging for them to grasp initially.
2. Matching Matching is a part of reading. Sight words or commonly used words (words that children are encouraged to remember as a whole) are all about matching. A child learns first by matching shapes, colours, patterns, and letters before eventually moving onto words.
Instruction: Play as many matching games as possible with your Dolch Sight Word Flashcards.
3. Letters Getting children familiarise the sound of a letter, like “b” and makes a sound, like “buh”. Some letters make more than one sound.
They have to pick up the concept that a letter has a name and a sound.
Instruction: Talk about the alphabet with your child and practice the different sounds with them. Games like “A is for Apple, a..a..a” work well.
4. Language skills As the time passes, a child has to expose to the language, the easier they will learn to read. Include youngsters in conversations.
Make time for them to listen to and read stories. Give them the exposure to learn about simple poetry and rhyme – they’re important genres for children to be familiar with.
5. Rhyming Children who know about rhyming words are better spellers and readers. Select children’s books like, “Fat Cat on a Mat” by Phil Roxbee Cox to introduce to rhyme in a fun manner.
The books you choose and how you read with your children also makes a difference. Repetition is something that may drive you crazy, but it gives children a sense of mastery if they know what is going to happen next.
Here are some milestone you can observe if your child is developing the habits that will help them to become a good reader (keep an eye out from birth until age three)…
Read books even though he or she doesn't how
Listens to stories
Knows the story by the cover of the book
Knows that the pictures in the book and relates to objects in real life
Asks to be read to and reads with others
Vocalises and babbles in rhyme
Vocalises the objects in the book
Is at times, able to distinguish between drawing and writing
"Practice makes perfect"
Just remember, reading to your child is easy and enjoyable – it is a defining moment when you’re sharing a book with your little one!