Learning how to properly teach a child to read is an endeavour that should be undertaken by all parents and guardians. Strategies and techniques to employ will vary by case, but the underlying fundamental tactics should be similar.
Learning how to read is the impetus for language development, vocabulary mastery, and understanding of word problems. Many students that struggle in the academic setting have poor reading skills to blame.
Teaching a child to read is one of the best things you can possibly do as a parent. Reading is an essential skill that must be learned by children so that they may have an advantage when they begin their academic odyssey.
Teaching a child to read takes an awful lot of time, patience, practice, and perseverance. Not all children learn how to read at the same time or level of ability, and thus the approach is vastly different for all children.
Reading should be done every single day, and it should be done in such a manner that it is enjoyable, never seen as a chore. This is where parents need to be filled with vim and vigor, and attack the readings with reckless abandon. Children love stories, and they long for a sense of autonomy. Reading can take children to another time and place, and buoy their creativity and imagination to soaring heights.
The primary method of teaching a child to read is to first master the letters of the alphabet. Constant activities regarding letter recognition are imperative when teaching a child how to read. Rote mastery of the alphabet is essential. Once the letters are know and recognized, the sounds that they make are the next step to tackle.
Teaching a child all the letters at once can lead to confusion, so it is best to tackle a few at a time, and gain a measure of success prior to introducing more letters and sounds.
Learning the different sounds that letters make can be done in a variety of methods. With kinesthetic manipulatives such as magnetic letters for the refrigerator, the letters can be played with by the child. This can help them to learn the letters, and they can take ownership over their learning.
As the child begins to recognize the letters of the alphabet, they will be more intrigued by the words in their favourite books. This should be encouraged, and when reading to your child, have them try and read certain words based on the letter sounds.
The more times the child has read a particular story, the better able they will be to fill in the blanks, thus sensing that they are able to read the words. Praise is essential at this juncture. The better a child feels about themselves, the more enthusiastic they will be to participate in future reading endeavours.
When practicing with the letters of the alphabet, it should be noted to stick to one set of letters. Pick either uppercase or lowercase letters, and rarely stray while you are learning. This may seem odd considering books are not written in this manner, but until they are confident with their letters, it is best to minimize confusion.
This can be helpful as well to do only a few letters at a time, thus eliminating any inconsistencies.
With certain books, such as Dr. Seuss material, the rhyme scheme is easy to figure out for children, and they can learn how to associate similar letters with making certain sounds. This can serve as quite the boon for a child. The more a child recognizes letter patterns, the quicker they will be to associate sounds and words together. Learning how to make rhymes can greatly augment a child’s understanding of letters and words.
Teaching a child to read also encompasses the knowledge that words are separated by spaces, and that you read a word from the left to the right. Teaching a child to comprehend the spatial relationships between a page and the words written on the page will significantly help them to associate amongst different words.
As your child learns what some words are when written, such as mommy, daddy, stop, their own name, and whatever else, these can be placed on flashcards, and accompanied with matching cards with the pictures. Playing this form of game can help them with their abilities to read.
This can be further tested by having your child help with the grocery list. As you make your list, use the flyer to show your child the picture, and then the appropriate spelling. Once at the grocery store, have your child try and read the words to find the proper food item. This activity can be time consuming and frustrating, but learning to read is well worth any minor inconveniences suffered by either party.
The morning and night rituals can be shown to your child via a sight board. You can simply make a checklist, with pictures, of things that need to be done, such as brushing the teeth, washing the face, going to the washroom, and getting dressed. These words and pictures can be a wonderful way for the child to learn how to associate words and pictures with their meaning, and also give them a feeling of independence.
Every so often, the words can be altered, or new ones introduced. As their vocabulary swells, their ability to read will become heightened.
Teaching a child to read is crucial, and it should be tended to in a timely fashion. Reading is something that your child will need to master, so that they will be more likely to achieve success once school begins. Once your child begins to read, continue to make it more difficult by increasing the vocabulary words, and the frequency with which they have to make connections. Take the time to enjoy the entire process, as it will only happen once per child.
As you work with your child on his or her reading skills, continue to build their confidence with each passing opportunity. The more assured they feel, the more apt they are to stick with this difficult endeavour.
The magical gift of reading that you pass on to your child will allow them to reach for the stars, which is something all parents should strive toward.