Reading is a great way to learn, discover new worlds and expand your imagination, yet some kids get turned off by books because they are unable to get the hang of letters and reading. Ease the frustrations and anxieties that your children might feel by trying out these techniques to teach your child to read.
Stop going goo goo ga ga
Speaking is an important part of language learning. That is why it is so important to speak to your child normally. It doesn’t do them any favours if you continually communicate with them in baby talk. Your tone should vary from high to low and take on an animated quality, but your words when talking or reading to them should still be articulated clearly.
Remember that while a child might not always listen to us, their eyes are always watching. So always set a good example by picking up a book or the newspaper to read instead of reaching for the TV remote after work. When you exhibit a love for reading it might encourage them to pick up the habit as well for they are curious why their parents are so interested in things called books.
Spell that sound
Kids usually recognise sounds before recognising shapes and letters, that is why it is so important to simultaneously sound it out when your kids are spelling out a word. For example, the word bear would be sounded out as ‘bbbb, eeer, arrrr’. If your child is starting out, remember to take it easy and use simpler words such as chair, brown and staying. It doesn’t matter if he or she spells the word incorrectly, for example beare for bear or chair for chare. The reality is that these letter combinations sound similar and can be confusing for a new learner. Yet, you should always commend your child for remembering the sounds these words make as you correct their spelling.
Turn it into a poem
Poems are a great way to learn reading, after all they are groups of words that rhyme. An activity you can do with your child is to write some words that rhyme such as bear, mare, hair, there. Come up with a four line poem that utilises these words. Remember to keep them short and silly as this will keep your child interested and entertained. You can then read the poem together.
RELATED: The basics of baby sign language
Theme it up
Another great way to teach your child to read is to make a day out of it. I remember when I was about four, my father used to pick books and leave them on the kitchen table every Saturday. This was code for a ‘theme day’. For example, he would put a picture book of animals and me and my sister knew that we would be learning all about animals that day. My dad would read a passage to us about lions and accompanying that reading time were lion shaped chicken nuggets my mum had fried for us. It was always fun and something that we looked forward to. In fact, we always begged him to get new books to turn into a theme day!
We hope you have found these suggestions useful. What other techniques do you use to teach your child to read? Also check out this video of a parent teaching her toddler how to read: