How To Teach A Child To Read

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Old 27-Mar-2011
How To Teach A Child To Read

Reading takes you places you can’t visit and through things you can’t see. It is an experience in itself. Maya Angelou once said that – “any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him”. Parents are perpetually worried about their children’s reading habits and this worry gets downright bothersome when the child doesn’t pick up a book. There are certain methods to try and teach your child to cultivate this excellent habit. A teacher is someone who teaches the child at school, but the first and real teacher is the parent since reading begins at home. Apart from your kid, you, as the parent, will also have a rewarding experience once your offspring starts pronouncing words. Some parents may have trouble initiating this process but help is at hand. To get some tips on how you can teach your child to read, explore ahead.

Helping Your Child Learn To Read

Read Daily
One habit that dies hard is reading. Read to your child every night. Allot a specific time and allow him/her to bring you a book of their choice. This way your child gets a headstart over other children before attending school. Put your fingers along the words as you read. A keen interest develops in the child and he/she will want to read on his/her own and will know that how some of the written words are pronounced.

Sounds Of Letters With Names
The first thing that your child needs to learn is the sounds of alphabets and not how the name of the letters looks. For example, while pointing to a letter C, pronounce it as ‘see’ and similarly show him that cat is pronounced “kat”. Make sentences such as “I see a cat”. Ask your child to give you examples with other alphabets as well. Remember that this is not the ultimate test. Let your child make mistakes! Sometimes, children may have regional accents and acquire auditory skill weakness. Don’t rush them too much as some kids begin reading by 2 while others only by 4.

Lower Case Letters
Capital letters constitute only about 5% of written English. So it is better you start teaching your child lower case letters first (schools might have a practice of teaching capital letters first). Lower case letters are much more important when it comes to fostering their reading skills. Focusing on one letter at a time is better than teaching him/her all the 26 alphabets in a single day! Each time your child masters a sound/letter, a sense of pride will prevail within him.

Other Senses
Some kids learn faster when sound, touch and sight are incorporated into the reading material. Encourage your child to draw the letter and paste pictures relating to the letter. Songs such as the ABC is beneficial too. You need to be creative with ideas on how to associate the text with the child.

Slowly, your child would have picked up the art of reading and will try and read everything they can lay eyes on. This is a good sign. However, some children might even show an aversion to text; these kids must either be medically examined or given some more time and patience. Preschoolers cannot handle complicated concepts or grammar at this point. They don’t have to learn vowels, consonants and long sounding words as yet. By the age of 4 or 5, when the child has grasped reading considerably, you can concentrate on mechanical skills.

Read every day to nurture this habit into your child. Take him/her to the library to pick up some simple books.

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