As the cost of living keeps rising, and parents are compelled to work longer hours to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, less time is spent with their young ones. As a schoolteacher, educator, and reading specialist for most of my adult life, I have noticed that with this busy life, most parents rely on the fact that the education that their children are receiving at school is enough for them to progress and mature academically. Unfortunately, since each person learns differently, and teachers are often teaching to the masses, this means that your child may not be getting the type of attention he or she needs to succeed academically. This is where you come in. Success in school and in life starts at a young age, with learning to read. Learning to help your child to become a strong reader can give him or her the confidence to succeed throughout high school and beyond. Let’s discuss a few actions you can take today to help your little one learn to become an accomplished early reader who looks forward to learning, rather than fear it.
It's important for very young children to know their letters and sounds and begin reading even before they enter kindergarten. Here are three things you can do to make that happen:
1. Make a letter scrapbook: Choose a letter from the alphabet and let your child trace the letter every day for a week. Teach your child the name of the letter and the sound of the letter, and then open up magazines and have him or her cut out pictures that begin with that sound and paste it onto a page. This is a fun and creative exercise that allows your child to develop fine motor coordination, as well as learn the sounds to begin reading. If you need help with ideas, contact us here.
2. Learn Sight Words: There are 220 basic sight words that children need to know in order to read. You cannot sound them out, so they just must be memorized. Teach these sight words to your child. Here is a list of sight words to get you started. For ideas on how to do this, contact us here..
3. Read to them: Read to your child as much as you can. But this isn’t normal reading. It is active reading. What is active reading? When you come across a word from the sight word list or from the sounds that your little one already knows, let him or her read the word alone so your child is actively engaged in the learning process. This step is important and will help your little one to eventually read his or her own books much faster.
I hope that this article offers you a few ideas that you can put into action to help your child reach his or her potential in reading. It may seem overwhelming at first, but work a little bit each day, and before you know it, you will be amazed at the progress your young person is making.
-Gail Young, MS Reading Diagnosis and Remediation
-Ian Young, MBA