You can unlock your child’s potential through reading! It enhances their world view, supports their cognitive development, and provides unlimited entertainment. Remember that children learn at different rates, so it’s essential to tailor your approach to your child’s maturity and reading level. As parents, we are our child’s first teacher, and teaching them to read is an important responsibility.
Below are some helpful tips on teaching the basics of reading, including phonics, sight words, and reading comprehension. Starting from an early age, reinforcing pre-literacy skills is vital.
Expert Reading Tip #1
Start by teaching them the letters and their sounds simultaneously. Extensive research has demonstrated that children learn best when introduced to the letter names and sounds simultaneously. In a study of 58 preschool children, those exposed to letter name and sound instructions outperformed their peers who received sound-only instruction or were in the control group learning numbers. Results showed that children learning letters whose names hinted to their sounds were most likely to recognize and remember them.
When introducing the letters and their sounds, encourage your child to trace the letter using his or her index finger while repeating the sound aloud. You can guide them by first saying, “The letter A makes the /A/ (ah) sound.” Then you can proceed to have him or her say the /A/ sound, while tracing the letter out. In this way, they can learn best.
Expert Reading Tip #2
One crucial factor in teaching your child to read is stressing the importance of reading from left to right and top to bottom. Although this may seem like common knowledge to adults, it is not innate knowledge for children.
Children are not born with the knowledge that they should read text from left to right and top to bottom. As a result, you may see some children reading from right to left instead. Therefore, as a parent or caregiver, it is crucial to emphasize this point when teaching a child how to read.
Expert Reading Tip #3
To improve your students’ or child’s reading skills, start with teaching consonant blends. These blends, such as “at” and “and,” provide a foundation for learning rhyming words.
For example, for “at”, you can have:
For “and”, you can have these rhyming words:
and so on…
Once your child has grasped the sounds of some consonants and short vowels, that is an ideal time to start teaching blends. It is not necessary to wait until your child has mastered all of the letter sounds before introducing blends.
While learning to read is a lengthy process, it doesn’t have to be a challenging one. By using simple, intuitive, and structured steps, children as young as two can start reading, while older children can make even more progress.