Most kids from ages 5 to 7 will be able to learn how to read, which is an essential skill that every child needs to succeed in their life. However, every child’s learning curve in reading is different and there is no one size fits all manual to teach them. Regardless of their learning speed, we must be patient and consistent in teaching them, especially for kids who are slower to learn. Here are several ways here you can use to teach a child how to read effectively. If you live in the West, here is a great kindergarten in west coast singapore you can send your child to.
Teaching Your Children To Read – Tips to Build Effective Reading For Children
Encourage Your Child To Read Aloud
Firstly, children are encouraged to read aloud whether it is a letter or a word. This is the sounding out method and it is effective as kids develop phonemic awareness, which is the association between letters and sounds. One has to first teach their children to associate letters with their sounds, as well as letter combinations in words.
Reinforce Common Vocabulary
Secondly, educators and teachers should introduce and reinforce vocabulary that is common and have a high-frequency usage so that they are not overwhelmed by an unnecessarily large number of words. Common words that children are familiar with are their names and household items. This ensures that the children can focus more on a smaller group of words, thereby gaining a greater understanding of these words while learning more words at once. This will lead to them ultimately learning phrases and sentences more effectively.
Thirdly, repetition is key. Expose and repeat words that have the same or similar letter combinations for them to practice. As they say, practice makes perfect. 50 – 75% of the words in children’s books come from the same set of words.
Use Illustrations And Big Fonts
Fourthly, pictures help children to recognize and associate words with things or ideas. Big fonts can also help children to identify words and their meanings easily.
Find Topics They Are Interested In
Next, give children books that interest them. Identify certain stories and concepts they like, as this interest will encourage them to read and learn on their own. You should not start with books that are too difficult for them to understand as this could discourage them. Kids should be comfortable with the reading level of the books they read so they can stay motivated. One way to tell whether a book is beyond their level is when a child does not recognize more than five words on a page. Should this happen, get them to read books with easier vocabulary and sentence structures first before moving on. Many books have different levels to adapt to all kinds of readers. You can therefore use graded readers and move to a more difficult level as your child improves.
Make Reading Interactive
Last but not the least, incorporating interactive elements in their reading greatly enhances their memory and learning as well. This could include asking them if they understand what they have just read, or asking them to repeat the lesson of the story to you. They might not be able to do so at first, but they will learn as they read more.
Reading Progression: What To Expect
As their reading skills improve, they can recognize words without having to read them aloud, thus increasing their reading speed. As their literacy skills enhance, their comprehension skills also improve, picking up complex stories and being able to read in between the lines. At the same time, reading frequently exposes them to more vocabulary as well.
Furthermore, children can emulate the complex sentence structures that they have read in their writing. Reading extensively thus has positive influences on other areas of their education since writing is an essential skill not only in English but also in many subjects like History and Social Studies.
Before teaching kids how to read, it is encouraged by educators to instill pre-literacy skills in them. Pre-literacy skills include the desire to read, following storylines, and developing phonemic awareness.
As a parent, it is encouraged to have a habit of reading to your children to develop their love for books. Though they may not understand what you are reading initially, it will still help them recognize books, words, and pictures. This habit of reading can spark a desire in children as they grow expectant of engaging and funny stories. It is therefore important for parents to spend time with their children and introduce positive habits and behavior so that the children will grow to like reading books by themselves.
Nursery rhymes and children’s songs help children to associate letters to their respective sounds for them to be able to read their first words. Of course, actions and dances can be accompanied to help them remember certain letters and sounds as well. Parents can incorporate such activities throughout the day and lead by example.
With that being said, some children struggle with reading because of learning difficulties like dyslexia, where reading and writing skills are impaired. Children with dyslexia often cannot associate letters with sounds, thereby affecting their ability in reading. For cases like this, children may need to memorize this association between letters and sounds, vocabulary. Strategies like mnemonics also help greatly in remembering the spelling of a word when reading and writing.
Other learning difficulties include slow processing and behavior disorders like ADHD and ADD. Children who struggle with slow processing may struggle to comprehend and remember numerous words long enough to decipher their meaning. We can help them by reducing the number of words, giving them sufficient time to read, and to teach them more common words.
Children with ADHD or ADD should learn in a conducive environment where they are not easily distracted. Since their attention span is shorter, they should be given more breaks for them to move around in between.
Another effective way to help children who struggle to read is to teach them typing. There is a multi-sensory instrument called Touch-type Read and Spell for children to improve in their phonic and muscle memory. This device gets children to read aloud and type what they see on the screen, and may also be helpful for kids who have dysgraphia and dyspraxia, where they find it difficult to write with a pen and paper. Typing also improves their spelling and writing when they are exposed to more common words. Most importantly, this device gives many positive comments and encouragement and is tailored to each child’s level of reading ability, which is crucial for children with struggles in reading to develop confidence.
These tips can help children of every level to read better. Both parents and educators thus have a huge role by inculcating the love for reading and establishing a syllabus at their own pace so that the children can learn well.