When it comes to reading, your children are already being prepped through speech. They will develop an understanding of words at they increase their vocabulary. One of the things that you can do as a parent is to set aside time to read every night. This will establish routine and help with your child’s process.
Children begin to first learn the alphabet and words through a process called phonemic awareness. This is how they learn the small units of sound. They learn how to hear a sound and even isolate it. Then they will learn how to string words together. This is why you should sound out words with your children and isolate sounds. See also our article on how to teach Phonics to Children.
When Can You Start Teaching?
Parents often wonder when they are able to start their children on reading. From birth to one year, you can even start the process. Teach your baby to handle a soft book to start to slowly integrate literature into one’s life. When they are toddlers, from one to two years old, you can help them by showing them images and letting them learn the names that are integrated with those images. You can also make up stories and pretend to read with them. After this, you can start actually reading the words and showing them how to read from left to right. Most children will be able to read by age four, but some may take time to read up to seven years.
Why is reading so important? In the digital age, with its many distractions, it is now more important than ever to instill in our children a desire to read and give them an understanding of the impact it can have on the rest of their lives. Reading is the road of success, as well explained in this infographic.
What’s the Process?
There are skills that a child needs to know in order to read. Some of these are writing and reading, but others are as simple as holding a book. All parts of reading are essential to the child’s process of learning. You can start by just letting children read with you 15 minutes a day until you pick up the gaps as to where they might be lacking. Then you can work on their spelling or other areas that you feel that your child is having a challenge in. When they start school, the teachers will be helping them to identify their strengths and weaknesses in English comprehension. When you start to get the assignments back, you will know where your child needs to still improve in.
Keep it Fun
All of the things that you do with your child to promote literacy can be fun. You can take them on trips to the library where they can learn to pick out the books that interest them. All in all, you want to have a light hearted experience where they become curious about the world of reading, not threatened by it. It’s a worthwhile endeavor as your children learn to lean on them to support them. You are their biggest teacher in their younger years. If you don’t sit down with them and learn, then who will? Remember that you can start as early as when they are a baby into introducing them to books.