Read to your child every day…
for the fun of it!
When does a child learn to read? Many would answer kindergarten or first grade. But researchers have found strong evidence that children can begin to learn reading and writing in their earliest years, long before they go to school.
Children are born ready to learn! They learn best through everyday activities with those whom they love and trust. Reading to your child every day is the most effective way for you to lay the foundation for reading success and lifelong learning. And it’s never too early to start!
Six pre-reading skills your child can learn starting from birth:
Being able to describe things and events and tell stories
• Read favorite books again and again. Stories help children understand that things happen in order first, next and last.
•With older toddlers, switch places – you be the listener. Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read.
Being interested in and enjoying books
• Begin reading books early, when your child is a newborn. Make book sharing a special time for cuddling and closeness. Children who enjoy being read to will want to learn how to read.
• Let your child see you reading and visit your public library often!
Being able to hear and play with smaller sounds and words
• Read nursery rhymes and poetry so your child hears words that rhyme.
• Play word games such as, “What sounds like ‘cat’?” Being able to hear the sounds that make up words helps children sound out words as they begin to read.
Noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the words on a page
• Read aloud everyday print – labels, signs, menus. Print is everywhere!
• Let your child hold the book, turn the pages, and read or tell the story. Point to some of the words as you say them. Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books.
Knowing the names of things
• Read together every day. Vocabulary is learned from books more than from normal conversation.
• Point to the pictures in your book and name them. When you talk about the story and pictures, your child hears and learns more words. Knowing many word helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.
Knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere
• Read alphabet books. Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children sound out words.
• Help your child see different shapes and the shapes of letters. Point out letters on toys, food boxes and other objects around the house.
The public library has a large collection of age-appropriate books and recommended titles that can get you started. Library story-time for babies, toddlers and preschoolers are fun, interactive programs, using good books and a variety of activities to help develop reading readiness skills.
For more information on ways you can help your child prepare for success by age 6, call 859/534-5810.