5 Ways to Raise a Reader
Help your child get ready to read with simple activities every day.
Talking with children is one of the best ways to help them learn new words and information. While walking, driving or riding the bus, count the trees and cars you see on the street, talk about the lettes on street signs and describe what you are doing and where you are going. Vocabulary building early on impacts reading success when children enter school.
Songs are a natural way for children to learn about language. Sing songs like "The Wheels on the Bus," "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "The ABC Song," The rhythm and wordplay help children hear the sounds of spoken language. This develops their phonemic awareness, which is one of the most important components of reading.
Reading together is the single most important way to help children get ready to read. Share books with your children every day, from the time they are babies. You can read text or simply talk about the pictures and illustrations and ask things things such as what is happening, who the characters are, where they are and how the story might end.
Writing and reading go together. Scribbling and writing help children learn that written words stand for spoken language. Keep pencils, crayons and paper handy and help children write their name, make up shopping lists and phone numbers. Have children tell you a story, write it down and read it back to them. They will begin to connect language and text this way, and understand the power of the written word.
Playing helps children put thoughts into words and think symbolically so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences. Pretend with your child that you work at a clothing store while folding laundry, a grocery store while putting away cans and boxes or a restaurant while cooking and serving food. Children will learn about the world they live in and develop their language and math skills by sorting and classifying. And, you will get some help getting your chores done.
Early literacy begins with you.