Thursday

Teaching Reading at Home

There are many resources out there for parents to teach their young children to read. I've even seen videos that claim to teach babies to read. However, the research doesn't support the claims.

Reading really is developmental. A child must put together the pieces and be able to decode the language, which develops differently in each individual child. That being said, most children are ready to have more formal reading instruction between four and seven years of age.

You can really get bogged down trying to pick the best materials, but I think I've found the best starting place. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a fantastic first step. I would say that it's probably the best start you could give a child and it really is easy. It only takes about 10 minutes a day and by lesson 10 the child is already reading simple words and can feel a sense of accomplishment that will make getting through the remaining 90 lessons fun.

The thing I love the most about the Teach Your Child to Read program is that it gives the parent a script to read (printed in red) and the part for the child to follow is in black.  It's very easy, because you don't even need to come up with something to say.  You just sit down with the book for ten minutes each day.  It really is very simple.

You will still need a phonics program to follow this, but this program teaches the basics of how we decode words. From there you can move into pretty much any basic phonics program and have a child who is a competent reader.

My favorite website to enforce reading skills is www.starfall.com This is a great website even for young preschoolers, because the songs and videos are so catchy and educational.

Young preschoolers benefit greatly from a letter a week curriculum. By picking a letter each week to work on writing, the letter sound, and words that start with the particular letter helps young children recognize that letters have meaning which is a crucial first step in the reading process.

So, wherever your child is on the spectrum of learning to read there are resources out there that will help enforce the skills necessary to become a great reader. 

Don't forget the best thing you can do for any reader is to continue to read aloud in your home.  Instill a love of reading by letting your children see you reading.  Visit the library often and make books a part of your home and everyday lives.

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