How to prepare your child to learn to read
Learning to read is one of the most important skills for a child to learn, even (or especially) in the digital era and you are no doubt keen to ensure that your child gets a good start.
The journey to becoming a confident and competent reader starts well before children start school., in fact it's never too early to start. Children who have been read to and know how to handle books progress far more quickly and easily as readers than the less fortunate children who have had no or few experiences with books. Happily there are many enjoyable, beneficial activities that parents and children can do together to ensure children are well prepared for when formal instruction in reading starts.
It doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive activity. It’s actually best kept as simple as A, B, C …
A - Engage your children in lots of experiences.
Talk to and with your children about what you and they see and do. The experience doesn’t need to be extra special or costly; it can be a slow walk to the letterbox, a trip to the playground, exploring the garden, watching machinery at work, shopping, cooking, drawing, laundry. Two-way conversation about the experience will help your child’s language, reading, writing and general knowledge.
B - Read TO your children; right from birth.
Use expression, displaying interest and enjoyment. Take time to discuss what’s happening in the illustrations, make predictions and connections to the story. Do this by first demonstrating, then encouraging your children to participate.
C - Read WITH your children
Encourage them to do as much for themselves as possible and gradually extend their skills and understanding. Start very simply with instructions such as; “Get a book for us to read” then as they learn to recognise books “Bring me the book about XXX”.
As soon as your child is ready, progress gradually to increasingly more complex tasks including page turning, discussion about what’s happening, where to find the front cover and where to read.
This article was written by Meryl-Lynn Pluck from Rainbow Reading for Kidspot, your best online resource for baby and preschooler development.