Learning how to read is one of the most exciting parts of childhood. That said, learning how to read isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to reading in English. If you want to help your child learn how to read, stay patient and remember the following tips.
Create Positive Associations
Learning how to read isn’t just about putting letters together. It’s also about falling in love with reading. If your child develops an early love for reading, they’ll experience the benefits throughout their entire life. They’ll always have something positive to do when they get bored. They’ll always have a way to relax that doesn’t involve mindless screen time. Children who read a lot have better test scores than those who don’t. So, how do you encourage your child to love reading? You create a positive association with reading. For example, you can read to your child every night at bedtime. This way, your child will see reading as a cozy activity.
Don’t Rush It
Now, things like reading to your child and singing nursery rhymes can start when your child is a newborn. When it comes to sounding out words, though, don’t rush the process. Too many parents push their unwilling three-year-olds into reading because they want their children to get a “head start.” This approach will ultimately make your child resent reading. You can absolutely help your child build pre-literacy skills, but don’t force the reading process when your child is little.
Sounds Over Letters
Your child may already know the names of letters. When they’re learning how to read, it’s time to focus on the sounds those letters make. In the English alphabet, the names of the letters often have nothing to do with the sounds that they make. For example, if you say “H” out loud, you end with a ch sound. To avoid confusion for your child, focus on sounds instead of letter names. Repeat these sounds with your child and give examples of words that begin with those sounds.
Start with Phonetic Words
English is a tough language because it’s not always phonetic. English borrows from a lot of unrelated languages, which makes learning how to read complicated. A word’s spelling often depends on the language from which it originated. When your child is learning how to read, focus on phonetic words first. Start with words that follow clear rules. “Cat” is a great place to start. So are words like “dog,” “mat,” and “tin.”
Make Reading Tactile
Your child learns through sight, sound, touch, and more. Why not incorporate more of your child’s senses into learning how to read? The more senses your child uses while learning, the more likely they are to remember what they’ve learned. Using touch is a great place to start. For example, you can have your child play with alphabet refrigerator magnets. You can also create crafts that focus on specific letters.
Get Help from Technology
Limiting screen time is an excellent goal. However, when your child does have screen time, make it count. Not all screen time is created equal. There’s a difference between watching mindless YouTube videos and playing educational games. There are plenty of apps, games, and other resources for children who are learning how to read. Add one or two of them to your technology options, and you may notice a big difference in your child’s progress.
Learning How to Read
Learning how to read starts with pre-literacy skills. Your child needs a solid foundation so that they’ll feel comfortable sounding out words. How do you instill these skills? Legacy Academy can help. At Legacy Academy, we emphasize all of the necessary skills for learning how to read. When all of the pieces come together, your little reader can thrive. Want to learn more about Legacy and our pre-literacy process? Contact us in Greenville today.