Reading is well known for being one of the greatest skills and assets a person can attain. Whilst it may seem small to many, it plays one of the biggest roles when it comes to success and ease in many areas of life. However, with the copious amounts of information that is out there, it can be difficult to figure out the best way forward when it comes to teaching a child how to read. As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s education, which means the act of learning how to read, heavily falls upon you. Developing strong reading skills at an early age sets a solid foundation for your little one’s academic success and lifelong learning. If you feel as though this process may be quite overwhelming, don’t worry. Below is a blogpost advised by this private nursery in Harpenden, that explores some top tips to make the journey of teaching your child to read, a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Focus on the sound of letters, rather than the sound of names
We all have collective memories of being taught that the letter “b” stands for ball. However, when the word ball is said out loud, it sounds completely different to when the letter “b” is pronounced on its own. At this stage, it has to be understood that this concept alone can be extremely confusing for a child to grasp. Instead, try and focus more on the sounds that are associated with each letter of the alphabet. Once they have fully wrapped their head around this concept and secured a link between a number of letters and sounds, your child will find it a lot easier to sound out small words. For example, spelling out the letters for the word ‘cat’, will make it easier for them to make the connection and recognise it on paper. As the links grow, so will the number of words your child can read.
Discuss uppercase letters
Once again, a relatively confusing concept to understand for first timers. However, learning letters is a lot more simpler when each one looks different. This is why it is clever to approach letters through uppercase letters with those who are just starting out on their reading journey. This is because when comparing upper and lowercase letters side by side, it is clear that uppercase letters are much easier to distinguish from one another, making it a lot easier to identify for little ones. To help your child begin this journey, engage their physical touch by using materials such as sandpaper and coloured foam and cut out different letters. Get your little one to close their eyes and place a letter in their hand. They will be able to use their sense of touch to guess each letter, making it an effective way for them to retain the information.
Talk a lot
Children are like sponges, meaning that they absorb absolutely everything they hear others say. Talking with your child is a simple activity but can engage their listening skills and increase their vocabulary. It is also a great way to help them understand how to form sentences and become familiar with new words as well as how they are meant to be used. All of these skills are extremely helpful for when it comes to your child’s journey to read, and gives you both an excuse to create moments that you will remember forever.
Overall, reading is something that will come with time and practice. There is no use getting frustrated if your child is not progressing as fast as you’d hoped. Give them the time and space to develop in their own time, ensure they practice every day, and they’ll be reading fluently in no time.