We all know that learning to read is an important part of growing up for a child. Learning to read is also essential to future success both in school and in life. Older children and adults who struggle with reading will struggle in the future in terms of both professional prospects as well as personal life. Reading is quite simply a part of everyday modern life. While we all know that helping our children learn to read is important, many parents struggle with what they can do as non-educators to teach children to read. There are three simple ways you can teach your child to read – expose them to the world of literacy, read to them, and give them the tools they need to become literate.
It is important to expose children to the world of literacy from a very young age. This means demonstrating on a daily basis how important reading is by sharing the various ways the written word is a part of daily modern life from street signs to food labels to printed literature. It is also important to teach young children how print works, such as the fact we read from left to right and top to bottom. Readers know this is the way literature works but non-readers need to be taught. You should also make sure your child has reading material available that is suitable and age appropriate. You can either provide your child with a library of their own or if money is tight then make sure they have a library card and visit regularly. Exposing your child to the world of literacy from a young age is an important part of teaching reading.
Reading to your child is the most important part of helping your child become a reader. Teaching reading involves teaching children to love reading. The more fun your child has with books from an early age then the more interested they will be when they reach school age in becoming a reader. Reading to your child also improves your child’s emergent literacy skills including vocabulary, knowledge, and print awareness such as how a book works. Reading to your child on a regular basis gives your pre-reader a jumpstart in learning to read and continuing to read to your child even after they learn to read helps improve their vocabulary and reading skills.
Giving your child the tools they need to become literate is also important. Some parents handicap their children’s efforts to learn to read by not helping them master the alphabet and beginning letter sounds before school begins. Other parents discourage learning to read by not providing age-appropriate reading material. If there are no books or magazines in the house to read then how can a child learn to read? Still other parents do not speak properly to their children, perhaps using baby talk, to encourage the development of vocabulary and grammar skills. You can be involved in helping your child learn to read by giving your child the tools they need to become literate.
If you follow these three simple steps you can teach your child to read. Teaching reading is as simple as exposing them to the world of literacy, reading to them, and giving them the tools they need to become literate.