Start Young and Stay With It:
At just a few months of age, your baby can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on pages. Guide your child by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language.
Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page.
Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child’s life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.
Even after children learn to read by themselves, it’s still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers’ understanding and motivate them to improve their skills.
It’s Part of Life:
Read to your child as often as you possibly can! Taking the time to read with your children on a regular basis sends an important message: Reading is worthwhile.
One More Time:
You may go through a period when your child favors one book and wants it read night after night. It is not unusual for children to favor a particular story – a favorite story may speak to your child’s interests or emotional needs.
Talking About Stories:
It’s often a good idea to talk about a story you’re reading, but you needn’t feel compelled to talk about every story. Good stories will encourage a love for reading, with or without conversation. And sometimes children need time to think about stories they’ve read. A day or so later, don’t be surprised if your child mentions something from a story you’ve read together.
Encourage the Joy of Reading!
Our goal is to motivate children to read so they will practice reading independently and become fluent readers. That happens when children enjoy reading.
You can help your child find the tools they need to succeed in life. Having access to information through the printed word is an absolute necessity.
Knowledge is power, and books are full of it. Through books we can enrich our minds; we can also relax and enjoy some precious quiet moments.
With your help, as your children begin a lifelong relationship with the printed word, they can grow into adults who read easily and frequently whether for business, knowledge, or pleasure.
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics: “Phonemes” are the smallest sounds in the English language. These sounds are made up of consonants, short vowels, long vowels, and digraphs. “Phonemic Awareness” consists of learning those sounds and how to manipulate them within a word. Digraphs are unique sounds comprised of individual letters like /th/, /sh/, /ch/, etc.
“Phonics” includes learning how to spell those sounds. Learning the rules of phonics is simply a tool that helps a child learn to decode and spell.
Decoding: Decoding is often referred to as “sounding it out.” Once your child knows the sounds each letter makes he/she is ready to begin putting words together. When looking at a short word, encourage your child to say each individual sound /b/, /a/, /t/, and then put them together “bat”.
As children decode words with more frequency, they will become more proficient at automatically identifying that word. Sometimes this task is tedious, though, so it’s important to find creative ways to make it fun.
Sight Words: Sight words, also known as high-frequency words, are the most common words in our written language and are often difficult to decode phonetically because they don’t follow the rules of phonics. Because of this, they must be memorised. Don’t get overwhelmed when looking at high frequency word lists…just start working on a few words at a time when you feel your child is ready.
As you’ve probably noticed, there is no “magic formula” for teaching your child how to read. every child learns differently! Don’t rush and don’t stress! While it’s important to take advantage of the prime-learning time, it’s even more important to let your child be a child!
- Read to your child every day!
- Ask your child questions before, during, and after reading.
- Let your child see you reading.
- Look for letters while out and about and in the environment around you.
- Read a variety of books.Have fun rhyming!
- Work on letter sounds and manipulating them within words (phonemic awareness)
- Encourage your child to sound out short words (consonant, vowel, consonant).
- Practice memorising a few sight words each day.
- Most of all, have fun together!