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You can help children read

You are the best person to help children read. You are the parents. Help them learn to read starting as early as 6 weeks old.

Reading is the most important skill children need to learn. Helping children read is not limited to teaching them the alphabets and spelling. Helping children read, especially young children or babies, should be fun and enjoyable.

There are a lot of information on how to help children read. Here is my own summarized activity that you can do to help your children learn to read :

Talk, talk, talk.

      I cannot emphasize this enough. The first thing they suggest if you want to help your children read is to TALK to them. Do this since they’re still babies.

Why talk ?

      • vocabulary
        the more words they understand, the easier it becomes when they get to read
      • as an example
          children see that you communicate using verbal language, not just body language

You can help children read

 

How do you talk ?

      • Baby talk
        coos and babbles are okay, they’re fun and babies love them. Use the high pitch tone that people use when talking to babies, but make sure you’re saying the words right. Speak clearly.
      • Adult talk
        have time for adult – child talk. Aside from the vocabulary, children also learn communication skills, use appropriate volume and speed when speaking, participate in discussion and follow rules of polite conversation, taking turns, use language to express and describe their feeling.
      • Ask children questions and encourage their participation

What do you talk about ?

      • Labeling game
        point to things and name them. Do this everywhere, at home, at the park, in the car.
      • Sequence talk
        this is what we’re going to do, we’re doing it, and we did it. This will help children learn to understand sequence and follow directions or instruction.
      • Stories
        tell them stories, make up stories, let children tell their own stories.
      • Just about everything !
        Come on, you don’t really need me to tell you what to talk about, right ?

 Read

      • Read aloud
        Reading aloud is the single most important activity you can do to help children read. It builds the knowledge required for success in reading.

        • make it enjoyable, choose a comfortable place
        • read frequently, at the start or end of day, before nap, after morning play
        • help them learn as you read, offer explanation, observation
        • ask questions as reading
        • encourage them to talk about the book
        • read many kinds of book
        • choose books that help you teach, alphabet books, color books, etc
        • reread favorite books

      • Set an example
        Let children see when you read, either magazines, your favorite books, recipes, maps, shopping list, nutrition facts on cereal boxes, the bills, letters, anything. Reading is a part of our life and children will want to learn how to read if we show them we do it.
      • Introduce prints
        children need to recognized prints in theirs surroundings, understand that prints mean something and experience it through writing

        • show children that prints are everywhere, read it to them, in shirts, boxes etc
        • have them make signs and labels
        • draw attention to the many use of prints, shopping list etc

 Don’t forget to listen

    Success in reading also depend on opportunities to talk and listen to peers to gain language skills. Help children read by listening to them. Allow them to practice talking. Set an example for children to be good listeners, too.

What you do really help children learn to read. The American Library Association summarizes the pre-reading skills that children need to learn :

  • Vocabulary – Knowing the name of things
  • Print motivation- Being interested in and enjoying books
  • Print awareness- Noticing print, knowing how to handle a book and knowing how to follow the words on a page
  • Narrative Skills- Being able to describe things and events and tell stories
  • Phonological awareness- Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words
  • Letter knowledge- Knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds and recognizing letters everywhere