Don’t skip reading readiness!
Children need life experiences before they can understand what the words on a page of a book mean. They need something to attach it to. Little ones can be very curious about so many things. During the “terrific two’s” kids have so many questions.
Teaching is so much easier if you can capture a child’s natural curiosity. Does it matter if they are learning about elephants or giraffes or airplanes? The question is “do you have their interest?”A child needs to give their attention in order to learn. Observing life around them and talking about it.
Read books aloud to your child.
I had simple ABC books that I read to my kids before they were 1 year old. We read them over and over again. A – ah – apple, B – bah – ball. They were learning that a letter is a picture of a sound.
We would snuggle together when they woke up in the morning or after nap and read for a few minutes.
Not just reading to them but also they will say the sounds and we can talk about the pictures. They point to a picture and I point to a picture.
And before nap and bedtime. Story books are more calming that sound books.
As your child gets older you can follow the words with your finger to show left to right progression
Simple songs and rhymes help a child to play with sounds in their mouth and their mind.
Too much television can hinder reading because of all the light, flashes, and movement. Children begin to confuse learning with entertainment. They have trouble settling themselves down to read words on a page. It seems boring to them.
When my kids were four years old, I started teaching them simple reading. I went over the sound books to make sure they knew all the sounds of the letters. Then it was a simple step to putting the sounds together to make a word. We used letter tiles to make all kinds of words that had the beginning simple sounds. We stayed at single words until it became easy. We played a game where we would put the words on the floor. They would read the word and then jump over it. Next we moved to simple books like “Jen the hen in a pen” type stuff. Again, I stayed at this step for a long time until it became easy for them.
Different children will progress at different rates. Some children need more repetition than others. Different phonics programs apeal to different children depending on their personality type and learning style. If one program does not seem to be working, try another one. But don’t throw out the first one, you will probably need it for your next child. Or you might want to pull from more than one source.
Kids don’t read-to-learn until 3rd or 4th grade so you do not need to be in a big hurry to rush them through the stages. Be encourageing to each small step. You want them to enjoy reading and enjoy the process. Leading to a love for reading.
For more information on personality types and children, Nourish Your Children