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Is your child going to start school soon? Do you want to give her a head start on reading? Then read on for a few simple and fun ways on how to teach your kid to read.
Reading is at the heart of formal education. So, it is one of the first things a preschooler learns to do in school. Learning to read early in life has numerous benefits, ranging from faster development of the brain to increased creativity, imagination, and self-confidence.
Although most preschoolers display a natural urge to read, the complexities of learning to read coupled with the lack of proper guidance dampen their desire. If your child is eager to begin reading, follow our tips on how to teach your kid to read in a fun and easy way.
After teaching the letters of the alphabet, you need to help your child develop an understanding of phonetics (various letter combinations and their corresponding sounds). Teaching your child phonetics will help him understand how to sound out words. Although initially, your child may find learning phonetics a little confusing, a good understanding of phonetics will help him read better later on.
A scientific study about phonemic awareness (PA) found that "PA instruction helped various types of children: normally developing readers as well as at-risk and disabled readers: preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders..." The study further observed that "PA instruction improved preschoolers' rudimentary word recognition skill. Not only immediate but also long-term."
Practise diagraphs: Learning the concept of how to combine and pronounce two successive letters is essential to read and write well. This should be the next thing you should teach your child. For example, how to pronounce consonant-consonant sounds like sh, ch, tch (shoo, choo, catch) and vowel-vowel sounds like oo and ai (moon, rain)
Once your child begins to understand phonetics, you can begin encouraging her to read 'sight' words. These are the most common words that appear on almost every page of a book, such as I, my, you, we, am, it, is, at, can, not, go, do, to, a and the. These are words that you cannot represent in the form of pictures; however, they can be understood. There are 220 sight words in English and your child will need to memorize them. But, learning sight words is not easy and needs effort on your child's part. Some of the sight words you can teach your preschooler include -Here is how to teach sight words to preschoolers:
How can your child develop the habit of reading if he does not have anything to read from. So, make sure that storybooks or other interesting reading materials are always around for him to pick up and start reading. You can also keep books along with his toys in the play area so that he starts associating reading with a fun activity. Choose simple books that teach letters and numbers to engage him in reading in a way that fascinates him.
Following the above-mentioned tips diligently will help your child learn how to read and become an independent reader quite soon. But, you should keep in mind that reading is not an activity you should push your child into doing against her wishes. As a parent, your role is to create the right environment for her to begin reading, provide her with the appropriate tools, and help and support her in her efforts to learn reading. It is also important for you to remember that every child learns at her own pace.
So, refrain from comparing your preschooler with other children of her age. However, if you think that your child's pace of learning is slower than that of other children, consult a pediatrician or specialist at the earliest.
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