Archive | Reading to Kids

Teaching Preschoolers to Read – 5 Steps to Literacy

Some children begin school reading, while others seem to have no idea what a book is or how to recognize letters of the alphabet. While Kindergarten is a great opportunity for young children to develop their reading skills, it is difficult for even the best teachers to give the children the kind of one-on-one time that parents can. Also, by the time children reach Kindergarten, their attitudes to reading are already ingrained. For children to grow up loving reading, books need to be a part of their lives almost from the day they are born. It is never too early to begin “teaching” children to read. This isn’t about “hot housing,” formal lessons, or gimmicky videos. The key to raising book lovers is making books a part of children’s lives. In other words, read! Read to your children from the day they are born, read yourself, point out words, talk to your children clearly, enunciating your syllables, take delight in language and in the pleasures of the written word, and the chances are that your children will naturally want to learn. The following five points are for parents whose children are around 4-5 years old and who want to prepare their children for reading at big school.

1. Read. Your child is never too old to be read to. Cuddle up, put on your corniest acting voice, and have fun together. And let your child see you reading for fun. Read signs, magazines, the back of cereal boxes, the TV guide, and of course, read good books.

2. Know your child. Children learn in different ways. Some children learn to read instinctively through whole word recognition. These children just slide from memorising and reciting the text to making the connection between the words they say and the words on the page. For a child like this, let them pretend to read as much as possible. Let them fill in missing words for you, “read” to parents and grandparents, and always have lots of books around. For most other children, you will probably need to do some phonics (teaching the sounds of words). There are many phonic resources on the market, but the best one I’ve found is a free website: http://www.starfall.com. It begins with letter sounds and builds up slowly with games, varied activities and printouts. You can do as much or as little as you and your child want, but since it is interactive, colorful and presented as play, you may find that even reluctant readers will be keen.

3. Play. Word recognition games like “I Spy” using letters, finding road signs, letter memory, word and letter puzzles and even junior scrabble are all great ways of teaching , as are posters you can point to, friezes, and other bright resources.

4. Write. Writing helps children understand how letters build to words, words build to sentences and sentences to ideas and books. Write little notes to your children and then help them read them (I like to put notes in my children’s lunch boxes — keep them simple, with smiley faces or love hearts). Help children write a book by stapling pages together. Cut out and paste pictures onto a sheet of paper and then write about them. Have your children write a simple letter to a favourite relative and post it. There are lots of ways to play with writing.

5. Keep up the work. The year before starting school is the perfect time to begin teaching your child to read and if you have a short reading activity of the kind listed above every day, the chances are very good that they will start school with, at the very least, a readiness to begin reading. This is a wonderful head start to literacy, a love of reading, and a positive school experience.

Posted in Education, Reading to Kids, Toddler LearningComments (0)

How To Raise A Child Who Loves To Read

Reading is the best way to boost a toddler’s language skills. There is no right or wrong time to raise a child who loves to read. The secret to doing this successfully is to keep reading a fun and relaxing activity for your toddler. Here are some tips to help you guide your toddler to become a reader.

Read Aloud

Read out loud to your toddler every day. Studies show that the earlier parents read to their children, the better their language and literacy skills develop. Encourage your toddler to sound out words and to read a sentence as you continue the story. Reading to and with your toddler makes him feel a part of the learning process which makes the story more interactive, and when a child becomes involved and thinks beyond the plot, he will learn to love reading. This activity not only exposes him to books but also serve as a cozy bonding moment with your little one.

Make It A Part of His Daily Routine

Reading has a way of calming people, which is why the bedtime story is a well-loved tradition. But, there are a lot of daily events that also provide good reading opportunities. For instance, you can read a book over breakfast, during bath time, while he is using the potty, after he wakes up from his nap or during his playtime.

Choose Books That Will Interest Your Toddler

Another effective tip to raise a reader is to provide your toddler books that will interest him. Generally, toddlers love board books, pop-up books, rhyming books, fairytales and books with big and bright pictures. Furthermore, expose him to different kinds of reading materials. If your toddler is interested in cars or if he loves to swim, give him graphic novels, magazines, audio books or reference books about cars and swimming.

Create A Comfortable Reading Space

A reading-friendly atmosphere is very important. Create a space where your little one can read comfortably without being disrupted by the TV, his toys and other people. You can place a beanbag, rocking chair or a couch and a good reading lamp close to a bookshelf in a corner.

Visit Libraries and Bookstores

Make a weekly or monthly trip to the library or to a bookstore and let your toddler pick out books he wants to read. He will love being surrounded with shelves and shelves of books and since he is free to choose the books he likes, he is more encouraged to read.

Talk About It

Do not hold a question and answer session about the story of the book. Ask questions that will make your toddler think beyond the plot. For instance, ask him “Which character would you like to befriend?” or “If you were the author, how would you have ended the book?”. Or, you can try relating events in your family to the story you and your little one just read. Encourage him to ask you questions as well.

Repeat

Children love consistency. Hence, the reason why they want to hear the same story over and over. Once your toddler hears the book repeated a lot, he is able to memorize his favorite words and phrases and point out things in the book he has not noticed before which increases his reading readiness.

Read Yourself

Your toddler loves imitating you. If he sees books around the house and sees you pick up a book, curl up on the sofa during your down time, he will learn that books are essential to daily life. Showing your own love of reading is the most powerful tool to encourage your toddler to read.

Raising your toddler to be a reader is probably one of the best things you can instil in your child. Books are food for the soul, and it is with reading that one’s mind can explore and travel infinitely without spending a cent.

Posted in Education, Reading to KidsComments (0)


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