By the time we are adults, reading for most people comes naturally. We tend not to think about the learning process required for reading until it’s time to teach our children.
Unfortunately, by adulthood, our mastery of reading and writing can make it difficult to empathize with/understand the challenges a child may have grasping basic reading principles. However, there is no need to worry if your child struggles with reading as there are several tried and tested tips/techniques to assist with the learning process.
Here are 5 tips to help your child with reading:
1. Talk to your child (a lot)
What better way to learn a language than to hear it spoken constantly? Your child’s brain is like a sponge. Speaking to them constantly about a myriad of topics with good grammar and pronunciation will help to expand their vocabulary, as well as provide meaning and context to certain words. This will ultimately help them to become more comfortable with reading written words in articles and books. From an early age, even if they don’t quite understand everything you are saying, they are learning good reading habits. Reading is a language activity, and in order to learn a language fluently, you need to hear it constantly, then eventually you’ll be able to speak and read it. Many parents feel a bit dopey talking to a baby or young child, but studies have shown that exposing your child early to a variety of words helps in their development of literacy skills.
2. Encourage them to tell “stories”
One method of introducing children to literacy is to take their words, write them down and have the child read them back to you. Even if their story is as small as “I like mom. I am hungry.” Write the words exactly as they speak and then read it aloud with them. It is recommended to point at the words while reading them, to help the child associate the written word with the sound and meaning. Eventually, your child will start to recognize recurring words such as “I” or “like.”
3. Promote writing
Literacy involves both reading and writing. You can encourage your child to write by writing notes or short letters to them. Soon they’ll be scribbling words on paper to try to write back to you.
4. Consider audiobooks
It is a known fact that reading comprehension improves when children read books and listen to them simultaneously. This is especially true for children with short attention spans and lower reading skills. Interactive audiobooks on a tablet or learning device can help to entertain your child and to assist them with associating written words, sounds and images with meaning.
5. Use songs and nursery rhymes to build phonemic awareness
Children’s songs and nursery rhymes are more than just fun—the rhymes and rhythms help children hear the sounds and syllables in words, which help them learn to read. A good way to build phonemic awareness is to clap rhythmically together and recite songs in unison. This playful and bonding activity is a fantastic way for children to implicitly develop the literacy skills that will lead to reading success.
Reading stimulates children’s brains to grow and become more active. It can widen a child’s vocabulary and comprehension ability as well as help to transfer knowledge, skills & techniques that can be applied to various situations in their life. Through reading, children develop empathy, build confidence, and expand their imagination.
The EnDH foundation library will provide children with access to literature that encourages their growth. Visit https://endh-foundation.org/donate/ to contribute towards the building of our online library today!