I have been teaching Pre-School for the last 20 years. The question I often get asked by parents is, “How do I teach my child to read?” The concept is simple: Consistency, Repetition and Imitation. It really doesn’t matter WHAT you are teaching your child-it could be telling time, it could be tying a shoe; it could be riding a bike. The most important thing to remember is that you must reinforce any concept on a daily basis.
Each morning I sit my students down on a large area rug and we do a 10 minute circle time. My circle time includes: The Alphabet Song, Counting to 20, Months of the Year, Days of the Week, Colors and Shapes. I also throw in, “What year is it?” and start with Two thousand and… A child always yells out “14!” My next question is “What month is it?” I start sounding out the name of the month which is displayed brightly on our calendar. It is currently September so I would begin by sounding out the word. By doing this daily my students can recite this to me and they can recite this to their parents and to anyone else who is willing to listen!
What does all this mean?
To be consistent means that you must practice a concept each day.
Repetition means that if you want to learn the Alphabet song, then you should sing the Alphabet song over and over each day.
Parents should model good reading habits even if it is just by reading a newspaper or even a magazine daily. If you read daily, your child will want to read daily.
“7” Read to Succeed Strategies!
Children are learning from the moment they are born and absorb whatever we teach them. Introducing “reading” to a young child can be done simply by reading each day. Make it a daily routine. It could be after school, or it could be before bed. Whatever you choose will become an expected daily event. Read a loud to your child and follow each word with your finger. Reading a loud to children helps to broaden their vocabulary and develop their knowledge of different types of print. Eventually a child will learn that print is read from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom. They will learn to correlate the spoken words with the printed words.
1. Read 15 to 20 minutes per day.
2. Keep a variety of books on hand.
3. Discuss the story as you read.
4. Read out loud using funny voices and act the story out. (This keeps a child’s attention.)
5. Point to the words as you read.
6. Create flash cards that help identify letters. If you have mastered letter recognition then create flash cards that teach letter sounds. If that is mastered then start sounding out or decoding words.
(Helpful Hint: Learn 3 letters or letter sounds at a time, once that is mastered add two more, then when those 3 are mastered, add two more, until all 26 letters or letter sounds are completed or known)
7. Read everything! Street signs, Store Signs, Menu’s, Billboards, etc.
Please keep in mind the earlier in a child’s life you begin to read, the better your child will be. Make it fun, make it engaging, and ultimately make a solid foundation that begins your child’s educational journey.