Set a good example. Show your child that reading is interesting and worthwhile by reading for yourself. Spend a minimum of ten minutes a day reading when your child is around, so that they see you enjoying the activity on your own. Even if you’re not an avid reader, find something to read - a magazine, the newspaper, or a cookbook all count. Soon they’ll become interested in reading on their own, simply as a result of seeing you doing it too.
Fantasy worlds rule. Many of the best middle-grade books are fantasy, and some of the best fantasy novels, period, were originally intended for middle-grade readers (from “A Wrinkle in Time,” to a certain young boarding-school wizard). Middle-grade readers like a chance to escape through reading. That’s where fantasy novels come in — they offer fully thought-out worlds that have their own rules, with just enough distance from reality for a young reader to reflect on the rules of his own world.
You will not see me disagreeing with you on the importance of play. In fact, teaching my preschoolers to read has taken (at most) 30-60 minutes a week. Some of my children have had more interest in it, and we do it a few days a week. One of my sons resisted, so we took quite a few months off while he enjoyed his Legos, until he wanted to give it another go. Most days we just enjoy reading books together, and they have a lot of independent play with their siblings. LOTS of it. I absolutely do not believe in forcing children who are uninterested to be early readers, but when they enjoy it – and it’s done in a developmentally appropriate way – it’s fabulous. They LOVE being able to read, and they enjoy school because it’s not a struggle. It’s also a wonderful thing for a parent to have the joy of teaching his or her child to read, and it’s a wonderful sharing experience for both of them.
When your four-year-old knows the alphabet and shows an interest in language, he might be ready to read. You can teach this essential life skill at home, without expensive curriculum or a degree in early childhood education. You have already taught your child many life skills, such as dressing and using the toilet. Teaching your child to read simply takes time, patience and an awareness of your child's readiness.
@B. Leekley, thank you for your very insightful comment. I must say that did not intend to imply that once a child knows how to read there will be no more work to be done, what I simply meant in my article is that once a child knows HOW to read then he or she will have the most basic tool for learning. Thank you for your recommendation as well, I downloaded a pdf copy this weekend and am looking forward to reading it and implementing it into my son’s schooling. I really enjoyed your comments and am very grateful for your support.
But even as our expectations continue to increase, the latest brain-development research shows that, on average, kids are simply not ready to start learning until around age 5. And those who do start sounding out words at younger ages aren't necessarily brighter, says Beverly Cox, an associate professor of literacy and language at Purdue University: "An early walker isn't destined to be a great athlete, and an early reader isn't destined to be more intelligent."
I’ve taught 1st grade for five years. I’ve also taught 2nd and 4th. From my experience reading is not only about word call and decoding. Your child needs to look at the print, slide their finger under what they are reading, get their mouth ready and sound it out. Work with word families and use an easy reader that has the word family in it. When you begin a story reload the vocabulary. You can use magnetic letter, dry erase markers on a table to to sound out main words in the story. For example if you have an easy reader that uses the family -op, then work and teach words that are in the story like mop, top, etc. Then when the child sees the word in print in the context of the story they should be able to recognize the family and use decoding skills to figure out the word. Don’t ever tell them the word b/c then they will get use to having someone read the words to them and they do not use the strategies taught. One last thing, your daughter is only five. Fluent reading normally doesn’t kick in til mid first grade. She just may not be developmentally ready to just pick up a book and read. Keep doing what you are doing and use the suggestions above and you will see progress. Don’t stress. Your daughter is already ahead of most of her kinder peers already.
Fast ForWord is a computer-based program that focuses on the link between spoken language and written words. The software aims to help kids master reading by improving things like memory, processing speed and attention. But the impact the program reports to have on these skills isn’t widely accepted. Nor is its impact on improving reading. Fast ForWord is used by clinicians and specialists.
These are great for beginner readers. They use simple beginning vocabulary and repetitive text. It's hard to find books that aren't too difficult for my emerging little reader. Many times these particular books are sold with 5 of each book in a set that's meant to be used at school. I was happy to find this set because there's only one of each book - just the number we need! Be aware that they're all black and white inside. At least the cover is in color. My child likes to read books independently and hasn't complained about the lack of color so far.
Why should it not be done? Unless it is stressing the child out or forcing him I do not see why it “SHOULDN’T” be done. That is a nice analogy but I don’t see how it is a valid one. Just because a child I advanced or allowed to be ahead of the game does not mean they are not being allowed to be a child. Maybe he is gifted maybe not perhaps he is interested in learning. Children love to learn so yes I agree Let him be a child.
The more you read to your children, the more knowledge they absorb, and knowledge is important in all aspects of life. There have many studies that show reading to babies and toddles gives them a head start and helps to prepare them for school later down the line. After all, reading with your children gives them the skills needed for when they start to read themselves.
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