According to the US Department of Education, children who are read to at least three times a week by a family member are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading as children who are read to less than 3 times a week. In this post, we would like to discuss how parents can Help Kids Read and support your young child’s reading development to ensure that your child enter school ready to read and be successful in school and throughout life.
When does a child learn to read?
Many parents would answer kindergarten or first grade. But researchers have found strong evidence that children can begin to learn reading and writing in their earliest years, long before they go to school. Some parents assume that learning to read starts with memorizing the alphabet and sounding out words, but actually the fundamentals of reading begin much earlier. Parents and caregivers lay the foundation for reading every day, when they point out objects and describe what they are doing while dressing an infant, grocery shopping with a toddler, or cooking with a preschooler.
Be your child’s first teacher and help your young child read
Parents hold keys for your child’s future success with reading and many things related to school, such as your attitudes, routines, conversations, and activities all will mold your little one’s ideas about learning and also will lay foundations for your child’s future success.
Get started now, no matter how old your child is. Let your child see you reading as part of everyday life. Talk about great books you remember you read in your childhood. Take your kids to local libraries. Buy them books as you are able. All of these things are steps on the ladder to reading.
How parents of infants can help?
It is never too early to start reading to your child. Even before your child is old enough to understand the story, your baby is already benefiting from listening and interacting with you. The effort of focusing on pictures develops eye muscles. Each time your baby sees, hears, or feels anything, brain connections form. Eventually, the connections are strong enough to create a skill or a piece of knowledge.
Some helpful activities:
- Talk or sing to your baby whenever you change her diaper, give her bath or feeding her or play with her
- Introduce cardboard or cloth books with brightly colored pictures
Reading a book to your baby who does not yet know the meaning of a word, it helps your baby make connections between words and meaning, and also help to create a warm, safe environment for her and lead to a lifetime love of reading and learning.
How parents of toddlers can help?
Reading stories before bed makes a good transition between active play and restful time.
Some helpful activities:
- Point at pictures and say or ask names of things
- Point out words on signs at the park, at the zoo, when walking
- Use different voices for different characters when reading- be fun
- Spend time talking about the pictures before turning the page
- Say a name and ask your toddler to point to the item
- Give huge praise each time your child points at and names an object
- Take short trips to new places and talk about what is happening around you
- Give your toddler magnetic letters for the refrigerator, and begin spelling out words and names as toddlers are introduced to them
- As your child grows, you can encourage her to participate by asking questions, and pointing out connections between letters, words, and pictures
How parents of preschoolers can help?
The most important thing is that teaching young children about reading becomes an activity that brings children a good learning habit. Here are some ways you can help your child “get ready to read” during preschool years.
- Help your child hear and say the first sound in words such as “b” in boy
- Help your child hear words that rhyme like moose and goose
- Talk with your child about the letters of the alphabet and notice them in books, like “c” for cat
- Point out signs and labels that have letters, like street signs and foods in the grocery store
- Encourage your child to find the joy and fun in reading. Let your child choose the books you read
- Talk with your child throughout the day about things you are doing and things that are happening around you
- Let your child pretend to read parts of the book when you read together
- Listen when your child “pretends” to read a book, holding the book, going from page to page, and saying words, even though they’re not the words on the page
- Be patient when your child wants to read the same book over and over again
- Talk with your child about stories and make connections to things that happen in your own lives
- Ask “what,” “where,” and “how” questions when you read with your child to help her follow along and understand the stories
- Give your child paper and crayons so she can scribble, make pictures, and pretend to write
- Help your child write notes or make books like an alphabet book, even if her writing only looks like scribbles or marks
- Discuss things you both liked or didn’t like and why
How parents of primary grade child can help?
- Even if your child has already learned to read, continue to read with your child, especially at bedtime
- Visit the library on a regular basis to make reading a regular part of your child’s life
- Listen to the stories your child writes, as well as her jokes or riddles. Encourage her to write down her ideas
- Play word games such as Boggle or Scrabble with your child
- Show your child that you read books
If you want to Help Kids Read, there are many ways you can help your young child to read, make reading fun and help your child to form a good reading habit as early as possible, which he or she will benefit from through his or her life.
To learn more parenting skills, please refer to great parenting books.