Children reading at an early age might seem like an impossible thing, and I thought the same until I had my children and saw how it can, actually, be quite easy to teach them this invaluable skill.
In fact, it seems they are teaching themselves even though they are only toddlers!
I’ve offered them books and reading time as an option to spend time together from very early on. Now they look forward to our story time on the sofa or on the floor (the cushions on the floor have to be arranged just so…welcome to the world of toddlers!) and love to pretend they are reading too.
We have mastered our first few letters! I am so very happy for them as they proudly demonstrate their acquired knowledge and confidently pretend to know they know the rest!
In this post, you will find out about the principles and the practical tips how to help and guide your child towards learning reading and improving fluency!
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WHAT ARE THE WAYS TO START CHILDREN READING?
There are two main methods of teaching your child how to read:
- The Phonics and Phonemic Awareness
- The Whole Language Method
It is widely recognized as the first method is the one that teaches reading rather than memorizing word shapes or pictures!
The second, The Whole Language Method is not as effective. This way a child learns how to recognize pictures and memorizes words and word shapes. When you remove the images, the child is still left with the task of learning how to decipher the word on the page.
The Phonemic Awareness teaches the child step by step approach to learning the letters, syllables and the whole words – with understanding and fluency.
The English is an alphabetic language and shouldn’t be taught as an ideographic language.
The example of an ideographic language is Chinese. It has symbols that are learned and memorized.
The National Reading Panel has reviewed 1.960 studies in teaching reading. They have concluded the following: teaching phonemic awareness significantly improves child’s reading, more than any other system that does not teach phonemic awareness.
THREE TIPS: HOW TO TEACH A CHILD THEIR FIRST LETTERS 🙂
- The fastest and the easiest way to teach your child how to read is to teach it the Name and the Sound of the letter at the same time.
- First, the child points to the letter saying the letter name out loud
- Then, they trace the shape of the letter with their finger while speaking the letter sound.
2. Teach your child, in a very deliberate way; the reading is from LEFT to RIGHT and from TOP to BOTTOM.
This is a concept that is easy for an adult to understand (because we’ve been already taught it!) but the child doesn’t necessarily immediately follows it.
3. Your child can start reading with only a handful of letters. They don’t need to learn the whole alphabet first.
With the concept of blending the last consonant(s), children can start learning how to read with intuitive and logical steps.
For example, with the word: ‘AT’ – CAT, SAT, MAT
or with the word: ‘AND’ – HAND, BAND, SAND
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO START READING EARLY IN LIFE?
There are a few reasons why you should at least consider teaching your child to read from when they are a toddler.
Introducing a child to books, helping them discover the love of reading, and nurturing that affection is much easier if it’s started when the child is very young.
They can learn letters and words at their own pace. Learning together develops a deeper bond between the parent and the child.
Starting learning reading at home removes the atmosphere of pressure under which the reading is taught at schools.
Basic literacy in one thing but the love of reading, fluency, and understanding of the text from the start, later leads to better academic success, confidence and higher achievements in life.
Your child should never feel like reading is a chore. And to help you help them avoid this feeling, here are:
FIVE TIPS: HOW TO INSPIRE YOUR LITTLE ONE TO ENJOY READING!
1. Talk to your child. As much as possible. Babies too love listening to parent’s talk, and this way are getting used to words and sounds in those words.
2. Read to your child, every day. If you have the time and the opportunity, read to them whenever you can. The more often, the better.
3. When reading to your child, use the drama in the story. Use different voices for different characters in the book, for example.
4. Help your child develop the comprehension of what is being read. When you read a sentence or two, ask a related question. Maybe, offer some help with answering that question, until the child gets used to the concept of explaining what they have just heard in the story.
5. Encourage your child to pick the book themselves! (My two, love this part especially!)
The joy of reading, the way to academic achievement and successful life, indeed starts with learning to read early!
I am currently following it and teaching my toddler twins their first letters. It really is amazing what these two have accomplished in a very short period of time!
I can not recommend Children Learning Reading enough – if you decide to give it a try, there is an offer of a trial period for just $1! Amazing!
Do let me know, how you have got on with the program; I’d love to know! Thanks!