As a Prep teacher I often have parents ask me how to teach their child to read. In this blog I give parents 6 tips to teach their children to be readers!
Read! Read to your child… just for fun.
It is so vital that children hear expert readers read to them every day. The best way to do this is to make reading a daily routine. For me this means mum or dad reads at least three books to our children each night.
Read! Model your love of reading.
No seriously you need to read to your child but you also need to model being a reader to your child. They need to see you reading for fun and for meaning.
Read! Play games with your child that encourages them to sound out letters.
You could begin by playing sound games when your driving in the car. For example, play a game such as “I spy a sign starting with the sound ‘s ’. It is important to work with the sounds rather than letter names because children learn to read at first by recognising the letter sounds. For example, when your child can put together the sounds ‘s-t-o-p’ they can read the word ‘stop’, when they stretch out the sounds together. If they are too heavily focused on letter names then this becomes slower. Once a child knows all the sounds then they can learn letter names. But it is not as important.
Read! Involve children in daily tasks you do that involve reading for meaning.
Show them how reading helps you accomplish tasks and place a strong value on the gift of reading. Eg. when your cooking or reading a shopping list ask children to see if they can recognise any letter sounds or words.
Read! After you read a story get your child to retell the story.
This can be done with props too, such as hand puppets, which enhances the learning experience.
Read! Oh yeah, did I mention how important this was?