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All parents want what’s best for their children – socially, emotionally, and academically. But, not all parents are certified teachers and working with their child on scholastic skills does not always come easy or naturally. If you want to help your child read, consider trying these early literacy tips and tricks to ensure academic success.
Use Print Around the House
Don’t throw away your newspapers, magazines, and weekly circular ads. Instead, use them as a learning tool. Children learn that letters and words appear on all kinds of objects and those words serve different purposes. You can conduct word hunts, make letter collages, and practice reading basic sight words. Also, when you are both in the kitchen, point out that there are words in cookbooks, on food labels, and packages. This will raise your child’s awareness and they will learn that words are everywhere.
Talk – a lot!
Speak to your children often. They tend to have a richer vocabulary and are more fluent speakers and readers when in school. Believe it or not, but your child will learn all the sounds that they need to know in order to speak by their first birthday. Your infant is looking and listening to you although they are not able to speak back. When you are together, ask your child lots of questions and explain what you are doing if you are cooking, cleaning, or giving them a bath.
Make Books Accessible
Place a basket full of books on the floor near your child’s toys or in a location that is sure to get their attention. Allow them to explore the books on their own first before showing them how to properly hold one and open one. Sit with your child and show them how to turn the page from right to left and point out the book’s title. These simple skills are one of the first things your child will learn about concepts of print and this skill is expected to be known and mastered by kindergarten. Replace the books every week so that your child doesn’t lose interest and is intrigued by new pictures, colors, and even textures.
Visit the Library
Taking a trip to the library today is a rare occurrence because all books are available on handheld devices online today. But, it is important for your child to take this trip and explore various genres. Local authors also visit the library and most of these community centers boast read aloud sessions. So, your child will be read to by someone other than yourself and this visit will help facilitate their listening and questioning skills.
Be a Good Role Model
If you want your child to express interest in books and be a strong reader, you have to be one yourself. Lead by example. Make it a point to curl up with a book for a half hour each day in front of your child or before bed. Encourage your child to look at a story alongside you or sit and read together. It should be a fun, stress-free activity that does not put pressure on them so they develop a love for reading and listening.
You don’t have to be a teacher to teach your child about emerging reading skills. These five simple tips and tricks will help promote literacy at a young age and hopefully install a lifelong love of reading.