Simple education tips mostly disguised as fun to help develop reading skills in little kids.
Have you ever thought about just how important reading is for your child? Now that my oldest is in school, I’m constantly reminding her to read instructions. Reading is an essential skill that makes everything a little easier.
It’s a fact when children develop good reading skills early in their lives, they are much more likely to be better learners and better educated. Reading is the foundation for success in all other subject matters and the level of success a child will experience in their life.
Still, learning to read isn’t an easy task for many children. This is why it’s so very important that you, as the parent, be a good model for reading and work with and encourage your child to read each and every day.
As a parent, you should spend time with them at home to ensure that your child develops essential reading skills.
Develop Reading Skills In Little Kids With These 9 Tips
Use of language and vocabulary
Don’t limit your language and vocabulary to what you believe your child will understand at his age.
Refrain from baby talk (made up silly words) as much as possible because it’s actually bad for their development.
It IS okay, however, for your child to mispronounce a word. For little ones, it’s not necessary to correct them as much as you’d think. They’ll get there eventually.
Have your child respond after listening to stories
Read short paragraphs and have your child tell you about what they just heard. This will help you monitor their level of comprehension.
Learn and recognize the alphabet and letters
Use everyday items around your house as examples.
For example, cut out big letters and have your child find items around the house that begin with that letter and stick the letter to them. Or use items in a letter craft … creating a large letter on a page and gluing items that begin with that letter to the page.
Work with your child to connect the sound the letters make to the spoken language
In our home, we always sing the letter sounds song that we picked up from a toy (A says “ah”. A says “ah”. Every letter makes a sound and A says “ah”.)
When we work on home preschool, we usually do letter of the week, so I can introduce each letter sound every week. Then, we list off as many items as we can that start with that letter and emphasize the letter sound.
Additionally, you can try things like the Hooked on Phonics app. Above is a picture of my son was very excited playing Hooked on Phonics on the iPad (which happened to be a real treat for me to sit for a while, too).
Read 20 Minutes Per Day
Read often to your child so they know that reading is a daily activity. Start reading to your children while they’re babies and make it a habit to read every day.
An additional key is to read 20 minutes a day. According to K12Reader, reading 20 minutes a day improves academic performance.
But, that’s just one benefit of your child’s daily reading habit.
Work daily with your child to add a new word to their vocabulary
There are books, websites, and apps that will offer a word a day. Make a habit of exploring at least one new word a day, offering as much discussion as they would like about the new word.
It’s also beneficial to teach children to ask questions about words while reading.
For the younger crowd, if they ask what a word means during a reading session, go ahead and provide the answer.
For your older children, teach them to either highlight words or place a sticky note in the book to remind them to look up the new word later if they don’t want to look it up during one of their sessions.
Let your child predict what happens next
Involving them in the story allows them to learn sequencing and can help ensure they’re paying attention to the story. This can also make reading more fun for them.
Let Them Pick Books
Take your kids to visit the children’s area of the library. Here, you can often find story times for young children, where someone may lead them through educational exercises like recognizing letters and numbers.
There are so many benefits of visiting the library with your kids, but it will also help them to build their interests if you let them pick out their own books to be read.
Make Reading Fun
I think fun is a crucial factor in helping to develop reading skills in little kids. I mean, if you’re not having a good time, do you want to do something, yourself?
Play is the backbone of education for young learners, so remember this when you want to develop reading skills in little kids.
How to make reading fun:
Introduce your child to your local library as soon as you can.
Get them signed up for summer reading programs.
Set aside an area in your home where your child can have and develop a library all their own.
Put their favorite chair in their library or where they like to read and have you read to them.
If you liked those ideas, check out my other post on ways to make reading more fun for kids!
These skills are vital for the pre-first grade level reader.
Once your child gets to the first grade, they’ll be building upon these skills that will set the stage for the child essentially for the rest of their lives. As a parent it’s not enough to merely incorporate these skills into your child’s daily activities. Instead, you keep your fingers on the pulse of your child’s progress and understanding.
At this early age, it is critical to get the reading journey off on the right foot.
At its simplest form, reading is a skill. Just like any other skill, it takes practice to become proficient at it. In fact, reading is such an important skill… it takes more practice than a child will receive if they attend a traditional school. As a parent you need to augment the school’s reading program with daily reading time at home. If you are homeschooling, make reading a daily top priority type of activity.
But don’t forget the fun!
Reading truly is fundamental to education and successes. Without good reading skills, much of life will always be a struggle. Build a sound and solid foundation for your child by ensuring early on that you help establish a love for reading in your child and success will follow.