Getting Ready to Learn Reading
“The journey of lifetime starts with the turning of a page.” ~ Rachel Anders
The preparation for a child’s reading experience should be started very early. Reading to a child before the age of one is not uncommon. Actually the sooner, the better.
Spending a bit of time reading together each day gives the child a feeling of security because he’s getting attention from someone she/he loves. Reading to a child at an early age provides an inner confidence for him/her and it’s invaluable in his future success.
Not only does the child develop a love of reading, it provides a precious time to bond with a parent, relative or grandparent.
Money can’t buy that time and once lost it can’t be replaced. As the saying goes, they’re only young once and those early years seem to fly by. So start reading together right now. It’s never too late!
Attitude Is Everything
You should be aware of your child’s interest in reading. Whether it’s a new experience for him or if he/she is in school and has trouble reading, you should know whether he wants to be able to read. An interest or a need makes the reading time easier on the child as well as the parent, certainly there’s less stress and more co-operation.
As a parent reads to his/her child, the child is gaining skills to prepare him for reading.
Reading also gives the opportunity to talk, to ask questions and to get answers to his queries. It also enlarges and expands a child’s vocabulary and language experience. Picture books introduce children to new words, ideas and they gain new knowledge.
Necessary Levels of Development
There are levels of development that are necessary for reading. Reading requires a complex set of skills for the child to have developed.
Both seeing differences and similarities in words and pictures is a trait that would indicate a readiness to read. It’s called visual discrimination.
The other important sense that must be developed is the ability to hear differences and similarities in sounds, in letters and in words. This is called auditory discrimination.
When asked a question about the story, he/she should understand what is being asked. This question or discussion time is actually developing his/her comprehension skills.
A child might be able to tell what’s happening in the pictures of the story and draw conclusions about something relating to the story. Inference skills are being advanced this way. Before reading, it’s necessary that your child demonstrate that they can focus and concentrate for short periods of time.
Know Your Child’s Learning Style
As a teacher, it’s very important to know what the child’s learning style is.
The senses used in learning are seeing, hearing and touching or visual, auditory or tactile. Some children learn best by hearing, i.e. auditorily, and others prefer seeing something visually when learning new things. Sometimes children seem to be stronger in the auditory learning method while other children like to see what a letter or word looks like before they can remember it.
Children that have difficulties learning often remember better if they feel and handle objects while learning. These are the tactile learners, touching, body movement, jumping, clapping help these children to remember their lessons better.
If you know which way your child learns best, the reading or phonics lesson should be geared in that direction.
In other words, teach to the child’s strength and he will have more success while feeling more at ease. That way remembering what he’s taught will be easier for him.
Does your child listen well and remember things or is it difficult for him? You help by being aware of how your child takes in information.
Does he notice things and is able to recall what he’s seen or heard?
Must he feel or handle items to really learn new things? Teach by using the tactile method of learning new things, especially with children having difficulties. Printing in flour or shaving cream helps some children to learn letters. Besides it’s fun for all children to experience the tactile, touching method at some point when learning and then they remember more easily.
Observe him at his play. Can you tell? Many times a child gains experience and knowledge by both auditory and visual learning.
What is your way of learning? It may be a clue as to your child’s strength too.
It’s best to offer new information using all three senses, not necessarily all at once. Provide lots of practice with seeing new words and letters, hearing their sounds.
Also a child could make letters and words in sand, salt or rice, creating letters and words with macaroni, colorful cereals or beans etc. and gluing them onto cards is helpful and fun! Using a variety of learning styles when reinforcing letters and skills creates a more interesting learning environment.
Reading with You Nationwide!