Children will typically learn to read around 6 to 7 years but some can learn as early as 4 to 5. There are many studies that show a child that is able to read when they begin school will be more likely to excel in school. Reading sets the foundation for lifelong learning, therefore helping your child learn to read is an essential part of their academic future.
Here are three things parents can do to support their child in learning to read:
Reading to your child
Reading books aloud with added excitement to your to your child is one of the best ways you can help them read. The important this is that your child needs to set their own pace and have fun when they are reading. Below are some key points on what to do to help your child read.
• As you read, use your finger to underline the words to show how the words carry through.
• Use animated voices or noises to help gain excitement in the story.
• Take time to look at pictures in the story and talk about the relationship between the story and the pictures.
• Stop to answer any questions your child may have. This helps them express their thoughts and for them to solve their own problems.
• Show how things in the book are similar to your child’s life.
• Even once they learn to read continue reading to them.
Listening to your child read
• Let your child read aloud to you and take turns reading with your child, which helps build their confidence and enjoy reading.
• If your child needs help with a word help them right away so that they can continue on with the story.
• If your child substitutes a word, see if the replaced word makes sense. If not, ask them to reread the word because you are not sure you understood what he said.
• Let your child stop reading before they get tired or frustrated.
• The most important thing is to praise your child and acknowledge their effort at this important milestone.
Learning to read in school
In elementary school your child will start their formal reading education, the best way to help them with this is to emphasize word recognition so that they can understand the meaning of the word and how it is to be used.
• Dedicate time every day to read with your child. Bedtime is a great opportunity to do this to help them wind down and prepare for bed.
• Have books in your child room so that they can enjoy them on their own.
• Focus on reading books that your child enjoys because they will often learn words in their favorite books.
• Don’t push your child on words or other items, but make it into a game which can get them excited and curious.