It’s well documented that when children develop good reading skills early on, they are much more likely to be better learners and better educated. Reading is the foundation for success for all other subject matter, and the level of success a child attains can be directly related to their level of reading and comprehension.
Learning to read isn’t an easy task for a child. This is why it is so very important that you as the parent is a model for reading and work with and encourage your child to read each and every day.
As a parent or homeschooling parent, you should help ensure that your child develops essential skills associated with reading such as:
> Use of language and vocabulary.
> Having your child respond after listening to stories – read short paragraphs and have your child tell you about what they just heard.
> Lean and recognize the alphabet and letters – use everyday items around your house to use as examples. For example, cut out big letters and have your child find items around the house that begin with that letter and stick the letter to them.
> Work with your child to connect the sound the letters make to the spoken language.
> Read… and read often to your child so they know that reading is a daily activity.
> Work daily with your child to add a new word to their vocabulary.
> Discuss with your child what was just read. This helps you monitor their level of comprehension.
These skills are vitally important for the pre-first grade level reader. Once you child gets to the first grade level the focus becomes building upon these skills that the will set the stage for the child essentially for the rest of their lives. As a parent it’s not enough to merely incorporate these skills into your child’s daily activities, you keep your fingers on the pulse of your child’s progress and understanding. At this early age, it is critical to get the reading journey off on the right foot.
At its simplest form, reading is a skill. Just like any other skill, it takes practice to become proficient at it. In fact, reading is such an important skill… it takes more practice than a child will receive if they attend a traditional school. As a parent you need to augment the school’s reading program with daily reading time at home. If you are homeschooling, make reading a daily top priority type of activity.
Introduce your child to your local library as soon as you can. Get them signed up for summer reading programs. Set aside an area in your home where your child can have and develop a library all their own. Put their favorite chair in their library or where they like to read and have you read to them.
Reading truly is fundamental to education and successes. Without good reading skills, much of life will always be a struggle. Build a sound and solid foundation for your child by ensuring early on that you help establish a love for reading in your child and success will follow.
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