As a mom, one of the hardest things to face is the fact that your child may not be progressing as quickly as they should. If your child is not reading at the correct grade level and you are a bit worried you don’t have to panic.
You can teach your child to read and do it successfully. However, you must be prepared to learn as much as you can about the reading process.
There are varying opinions about what works and what doesn’t. There are also opinions about what age children should be able to read.
If all this difference in opinion has you wondering, “When do kids learn how to read?” find out the answer to this question and discover some of the best reading strategies that you can use to help your child.
Use Nursery Rhymes
A nursery rhyme will capture your child’s attention. Children will hear rhymes and syllables in the words they are reading. This will help to build their phonemic awareness skills.
Phonemic awareness is the skill that allows your child to identify and manipulate the individual sounds that are found in the spoken word. You and your child should clap to the rhythm of the rhymes together.
While your child is having fun they will be setting the stage for developing solid reading skills in the future. Nursery rhymes are a great way for children with speech problems to learn how to pronounce words.
Make Word Cards
You can buy word cards but it is so much fun to make them. Begin with three-letter words and ask your child to choose cards and then call the word. Ask your child to identify each of the sounds they hear in the three-letter words.
Examples of good words to use are cat, cup, and pig. Try to choose three-letter words that lend themselves well to pictures since this will make it easy for your child to remember the word.
Creating cards takes very little time and they are a great way to build your child’s decoding skills. If your child is starting to learn the alphabet then this is a great activity to use to introduce them to the sounds each letter makes.
Make Your Home Print Rich
You should make it a practice to label everything in your home. In this way, your child will learn that everything has a name. This helps your child to connect words to concrete things and this makes it easier for them to learn.
When you are out with your child, make a conscious effort to point out printed words in the environment. A good place to start is by drawing their attention to signs that you see.
You can sound out the letters for them that make these words. You can begin by focusing on the sound of the first letter in the words you see. Ask your child to tell you the sound of the first letter and what word rhymes with the word you pointed out on the sign.
You can also begin using the word in a sentence right away and let your child repeat these sentences. This is the best way to subtly help your child understand the meaning of a word.
Children Love Games
Children like to play and word games are the perfect way to capture their attention and keep it. These games should help your child to identify and manipulate all the sounds they hear in a word.
Another great way to get your child interested in learning new words is to write and use sand or wool to outline them. Let your child close their eyes and use their sense of touch to guess the word they are feeling.
Let them tell you the sound of each letter they have identified in the word.
Know the 5 Skills
For your child to read and comprehend what they have read, there are five skills they need to develop. Once you know what they are then you should do all you can to research them and find learning materials that will help to develop each skill.
The skills that your child must master are the following:
- Phonemic Awareness
- Reading Comprehension
The first hurdle you need to cross is phonemic awareness. Next, you need to develop your child’s skills in phonics. When your child begins to understand the connection between letters and the sounds they make then they are well on their way to developing their vocabulary.
Comprehension is probably the hardest skill for many children to develop. This is why as soon as you can you should have your child use the words they have learned in sentences this will ensure that they have a solid idea of the words they are reading.
Fluency will develop when all the other skills are developed. Fluency happens when your child is confident in identifying words. This brings speed and accuracy.
One of the easiest ways to grab a child’s attention is to use videos. With so many videos available on the internet that teach phonics and developing reading skills, it is up to you to choose the one that is right for your child.
Pay attention to your child’s expressions as they learn from the videos. Ask them questions afterward to see what they have grasped.
Once you find a style of video that works then you can use it often to make your child develop reading skills.
There are also software, apps, and learning academies online that will help you to teach your child. The wonderful thing about the internet is the amount of information it provides. You don’t have to go it alone.
Model Good Reading Habits
If you are that parent who doesn’t like to read then it is time to change all of that. It’s good for your child to see you reading since this will help them to develop their interest in reading. Aside from this perhaps the best reading strategy you can use is to read to your child daily.
Read a variety of books to your child. This approach will help you to introduce a lot of different stories. Make sure you read books about things your child is interested in since this will make it easier for your child to relate to what is being read.
The next thing you should do is buy read along books. Those that have picture clues are the best ones and make it less likely that your child will fail at recognizing a word. This will help them to develop confidence.
Help your child to select books that they are likely to succeed with. The five-finger test is an excellent way to know if a book is too hard for a child. To do this test open the book to the middle.
Ask your child to begin reading the page. Every time they see a word they don’t recognize they should raise a finger. If by the end of the page five fingers are up then the book is too hard for them.
Time to Read
Now that you know some of the main things you should be focusing on it will be a lot easier for you to get your child to read.
Once you notice your child’s strengths work to develop them even more. The same is true for any weaknesses that you notice. Be consistent and patient because every child develops reading skills at a different pace.