Reading a good book is one of life’s simple pleasures, and the skill is best taught from a young age, so that kids can learn about the wonderful enjoyment offered by reading sooner rather than later.
Getting lost in stories is not just a wonderful form of escapism, it also helps to expand their minds, learn to become more empathetic individuals, and provide them with many more irreplaceable skills.
Therefore, it makes sense that most parents are on the lookout for ways to get their kids to learn how to read early on.
However, finding an effective way of doing so can be a bit confusing, especially given the glut of today’s “Baby Einstein” market, and similar products. If you want to teach your kids this vital skill, then the following will provide a few useful tips.
When we were toddlers going to nursery or Pre-K, the caretakers and teachers would often lead us in a series of sing-a-longs and nursery rhymes.
This wasn’t just to keep us entertained, but it served the purpose of introducing us to phonemic devices that made certain words stick in our minds.
These songs contain rhythms and rhymes that encourage kids to really pay attention to certain syllables and sounds in words, which helps them when they start learning to read.
A good way to cultivate this awareness in your child is to sing with them while encouraging them to clap with you and recite the songs. This is a wonderful way to bond with your child, while simultaneously getting them to develop necessary literacy skills.
Print is Not Dead
One important thing you should do with your child is to engage with them by keeping the home full of print materials with words that they will pick up themselves over time.
There are printed words on labels, posters, books, and charts. So fill their room and living room with playful posters full of words that they will be excited to decipher, as the creative folks at Optimized Family would urge you to do.
So, even when you are not there to help your kids practice, they will pick up on different cues that filter their space all around them, and over time will be able to build connections between different sounds and letters as symbols.
One effective tactic to take is to point out certain letters to your child in these print materials, and ask them what sound it makes, vocalizing it with them. This will help them learn quite fast.
Use Letter Magnets
Those letter magnets we place on the fridge never get old. And with good reason.
They can help you to, again, verbalize certain sounds each letter makes, much in the same way as print material, and give kids an opportunity to understand how to master middle vowel sounds in particular.
These tend to be rather difficult for them to grasp at first, which is why it is recommended that you put together letter magnets on the fridge, and then add the vowels to one side, while creating on the other side a word that has one consonant, one vowel, ending with another consonant, such as dog or cat.
Say the word, and encourage your child to follow your lead, while also asking them to play around with the magnets to produce the same word yet again on their own.
Also, be sure to vocalize the middle vowel sound, and ask them to pronounce right after you, so that they can get used to using these important letters and know how to make those sounds.
Grabbing a book and reading to your child whenever you can, especially before they go to bed is not only an important bonding ritual, but it is essential in getting them to learn to read faster.
Your child will pick up a great deal simply through the act of reading: you will be showing them how to pronounce different words while also developing their comprehension skills, grow their vocabulary, and so on.
They will learn to read a lot faster when they hear the voice of an accomplished reader who will help them lead the way. And, the best part is that they will pick up on your love of reading right away.
Most importantly, be patient, and let your child take the time they need to pick up key skills from you. It will happen faster than you realize.
Furthermore, remember that there is no need to invest in fancy gadgets or anything: teaching your child to read is fairly straightforward, and simply making sure to read books with them every day is more than enough to ensure that they will pick up this vital skill right away.