These expert tips make learning to read as easy as A-B-C.
Most parents would love to have their children not only excel at learning to read, but who want to read. The good news is that setting a strong foundation for reading skills isn’t as challenging as it may seem. A library card or access to a few children’s books are the only tools you need.
Here are 7 methods to help your little one learn to read in no time, and the added benefits that come with it.
1. Encourage Language Development
It is a common goal for parents to have their children develop their cognitive strength. One of the main ways your little one will achieve this growth is by regularly exposing them to experiences and activities that promote building language skills. Exposing a baby to language is a process that should begin from infancy, commonly through speaking to your child and teaching them new terms. Your child will have a harder time recognizing words if they have never heard them before.
You can help build your little one’s language base by expanding their vocabulary and by talking to your child as often as possible. This could be at anytime while your baby is playing, having feeding time or while you are on a ride together in the car. The earlier your baby develops their language skills to communicate, the better their chances will be for enhancing their reading and even writing skills in the future.
2. Instill the Value of Reading and Learning
Make reading time a part of your daily activities. According to early childhood growth experts, how well a child can read will determine their success not only in school, but also later at work and life. It is possible for parents to play a role in their children’s continued success by simply exposing them to reading in their formative years.
When you teach your child the value of reading and learning, there is a high likelihood that they will value reading and learning when they are older. Every time you read to your baby, their brain interprets it as a pleasurable, exciting experience and as your baby grows up in a reading environment they will continue to have a love for reading and learning over time.
3. Spend More Time with Your Child
Reading to your toddler creates an opportunity to have a regular, shared experience where you can both spend quality time together. It gives your child a sense of well-being and intimacy allowing them to feel closer to you. Reading with your child will leave your little one feeling loved, nurtured and reassured that you will always be there for them. If you haven’t tried this yet, then it is time you cuddled up and grabbed a book.
Establishing a strong relationship with your child will allow your little one to feel vulnerable while they are learning to read, and it provides a great platform for you to be a teacher to your little one. You might be surprised when reading to your child turns into your child reading to you — a beautiful process that should be cherished.
4. Make Reading Time Fun
These days, there are so many technological devices that children will choose over a book. For example, TV, smartphones, video games etc. However, reading an interesting book your toddler could entertain them just as much.
When you read to your toddler, you get to enjoy the benefit of watching them grow in their imagination and creativity. When reading, encourage your little one to guess what is likely to happen next and imagine the story’s setting as a reality, then enjoy how active and good their imagination can be.
Allowing your child to exercise their creativity will help to encourage them to want to read stories and books on their own. Try allowing your child to pick their own books at the library, even audio books, to help them foster a sense of choice, independence, and curiosity.
5. Repeat Words and Phrases
When you are in the habit of reading to your little one daily, their language acquisition and literacy skills are naturally improved a great deal. This comes as a result of the regular stimulation of the aspects of the brain that allow children to understand and process language.
The vocabulary used in most books you will read to your toddler will often use repetitive words and phrases. Try to help your child recognize these repeated words and phrases often found in children’s books. This will help your child start reading on their own once they’ve seen the words multiple times. Try to exercise patience if your child cannot recognize patterns quickly. Look for books that have rhyming words or short stories that will aid you in pointing out repetitions while your child reads along.
6. Emphasize Concentration, Sensitivity, and Empathy
Is your toddler constantly turning the pages of every book, but not actually reading much? Try to help your toddler’s concentration by explaining the characters of the book while you are reading the story. Allow your child the chance to share their thoughts so you can also gauge their interest level in the story being told. Working on your toddler’s concentration is important and will set them up for long-term success in a structured classroom environment.
Once you have helped your child to become empathetic for the characters in the stories you read, your child will begin to relate to the characters’ situations and “feel” their own emotions. Be sure to ask your little one what emotion he or she thinks the character is feeling. You will be surprised to find that their answers are generally spot-on, and that toddlers can relate to emotions of characters all on their own.
7. Identify Reading Problems Early
Only by reading and practicing over time will you be able to identify possible issues with your child’s development, one of which may be a learning disability.
If you begin the habit of reading to your child on a daily basis you may be able to identify any reading issues early on and allow your child the opportunity to be set up for success in the future. Identifying reading problems once your child is older may be more challenging, and harder to correct. Remember that teaching your child to read will not happen in a single day. It is often a long process that will require your patience and perseverance.
These tips will help you teach your child basic reading skills necessary for a lifetime of learning.
Remember not all children develop their cognitive skills at the same time and what works wonders for one child may not work for another. Strive to read to your child every day and it is likely that your child will develop their own reading skills before they even start their first day of school.