The Love Of Reading

Learning to read is a huge milestone in a child's life. And even though every child is unique, there are some general guidelines to help you bring out the reader in him. The National Center for Family Literacy and other experts offer their advice.

Mom and Daughter Reading BookInteractive reading

Ideally, you've been reading to your child since infancy. Now your preschooler is ready to be your reading partner. Let your child choose the books he wants you to read aloud (even if he picks the same book every time). Ask him why he selected that book and what he remembers about the story.

Point out the title and the illustration on the front cover. Read the title and the author out loud so your child can see what those words mean. Let your child turn the pages as you read. Follow along with the text, running your finger under the words as you read aloud. Learning how books and print work are important early steps toward learning to read.

As you read aloud to your child, ask questions about what is happening in the story. "What do you think will happen next?" Talk about the pictures in the book. Ask your child to point to the characters or objects that are mentioned in the story.

Rhyme time

Recite nursery rhymes and read rhyming stories with your child. Pause at the end of a line and let your child fill in the rhyming word. This encourages your child to listen carefully, and helps him hear the different sounds at the beginning of words: "Jack and Jill went up the hill." Try changing the first sound of each word to a different sound or letter. For example, "Twinkle, twinkle little star" becomes "Pinkle, pinkle pittle par."

"Practice with easy readers," advises Julie Rebboah, president of Lightning Bug Learning Corporation. "These books should have short words (2-3 letters) for children to sound out and sight words (the, me, my, and)." Predictable, rhyming text is easy to master and gives you child a sense of accomplishment. 

The alphabet

Look for ABC books that match your child's interests. You can find alphabetized books on a variety of subjects – animals, foods, machines. Encourage your child make his own alphabet book. Help him cut out pictures from magazines and paste them into a scrapbook, one picture for each letter in the alphabet. 

Introduce letter sounds, or phonics. Play sound games at home or in the car. "I see something that starts with buh," (the b sound). As your child masters letter sounds, start blending them. "B-o-x, buh-aw-ks, box!" This builds a key skill in learning to read. You'll soon your child attempting to sound out anything that's written. Encourage and praise these efforts!

Use labels

Rebboah suggests attaching index cards to everyday objects – door, bed, wall, lamp – and your home becomes a giant picture book. Your child will begin to learn words by sight. Enlist your child's help in creating the cards as he identifies things to label. Write the word in pencil and have your child trace over it in marker.

Take it to the next level by exposing your child to print in the real world. Point out street signs, store names, menus and anything with words.

Read to yourself

Be a good role model. Let your child see you reading novels, magazines, recipe books, and newspapers. Allow him to curl up beside you with his own picture book. Modeling is a powerful tool.

Encourage all reading

When your child starts to read, and even once he becomes a good reader, let him choose his own reading material. Let him read cereal boxes, trading cards, catalogs and even books that are less challenging than he can manage. Take him to the library and give him free rein. 

Teaching your child to read is one of the greatest gifts you will ever give him.

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Comments

Comments on "6 Tips to help your child with reading"

Rhanran December 12, 2013 | 6:03 AM

I started reading for my daughter aloud at 4 months old,and before she turns 1 it's our bedtime routine . She's turning 6 and in kindergarten and she is a great reader both in Filipino and English.... Though it is my first time to visit your site I can't stop reading and browsing ! Highly recommended !

Vfrankz March 16, 2011 | 9:50 PM

Very useful for parents...and as a parent I can endorse all of your opinions which are a must for raising confident kids and reading at early stages of their lives is an integral part of their physical and mental development.Thanks. http://vfrankz.blogspot

DEBBIE HILL July 31, 2009 | 1:40 AM

MY CHILD REALLY NEED MORE HELP THAN I REALIZED AFTER LISTENING TO HIM READ. HE HAVE FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING HE WAS TAUGHT IN THE KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE. HE PASSED AND SUPPOSE TO BE GOING TO THE SECOND GRADE. SIGNED, WE NEED HELP.

Karen June 18, 2009 | 6:56 AM

When I read to my children before their nap everyday they would always pick Dr. Suess's ABC book. I would always read their choice, but then I would read a book of my choosing. (I think they liked hearing me say the silly words in the ABC book). They are all (3) very good readers, but their level of interest in reading books differs. They all read regularly for pleasure.

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