Reading is an essential life skill. It is difficult to get through life without knowing how to read or write. Even if you are not an especially good reader or maybe you don’t enjoy reading you can still create a child who loves to read and who does it excellently. Remember that patience with the child and yourself is one of the key’s to success.
Start reading to your child early. Even before the child can crawl parents have the opportunity to read to their children. You can start with simple picture books, there are many on the market including some with touch parts added to the pictures. Never feel stupid reading to your small baby, you are starting them on the path to success. If you are using picture books with no words remember to describe the pictures anyway. Pointing to a blue coat and saying blue coat is important. If you have a book that shows a white lamb with a bit of fluff to touch, describe soft as you guide your child’s hand over the page.
When the child is older and begins to start moving around read books with short sentences. Remember to read using different pitches and different voices. If you are reading the word “bang” don’t read it in your normal voice, give it emphasis (“bang!”) and get the child really involved in the story. If your child is speaking get the child to repeat the words you say as you point to each word. After you have read a sentence point to simple words like “the”, “it”, “to” or “and” and ask the child to find the match else where on the page.
Read everything with your child. At the grocery store read the words on the packages. As you walk past street signs read the words out loud. Make cue cards for the objects in your home and tape them to the object like “chair”, “TV.”, “fridge”and “door”. Make sure to use easy to read lettering and colours. Don’t make the signs fancy because you don’t want the word lost in a lot of glitter.
Use on-line programs. There are many early reading programs that you can sit down with your child and point and click to spell words. You can even print off cue cards and colouring sheets to use.
Go to the library. Library’s frequently have interactive story times for different age groups. Let your child pick out a multitude of books to bring home and read them repeatedly. You will find that your child will know their favorite books by heart and will get to know which words go with which page. This is a perfect opportunity to get your child to point to the words as they read. Start by holding their hand in yours and use their finger to point to each word you read. This added interaction with you will please them greatly and the child will see reading as fun.
Some kids fear reading because they think once they learn to read their parents will no longer want to read to them. Remember to assure your child that even though they are beginning to read and will become really strong readers one day, you still enjoy reading to them. The time you spend with your child reading will be memories that will last them a life time.