Reading will be an essential part of your child’s development, where literacy skills are gradually built up over many years. Starting early can help your child with their confidence, ability in finding new words to learn, and also to allow them to enjoy learning English in school. Here are some top tips you can use to help teach your child to read.
Focus on letter sounds, not names
The pronunciation of letters will sound different to how they sound when your child is learning the alphabet. Keep practising the sounds of vowels and consonants together so that they naturally know how to pronounce new words as they become acquainted with them. This also takes the pressure off your child to learn words that could easily overwhelm them.
Use picture books
It’s important to start small when it comes to learning new words and follow sentences across the page. Your child should start with plenty of pictures and brightly coloured books to help entice them to learn. As they turn the page, have a surge of excitement in your voice as your child begins to follow the story. Bring out a book at different moments in the day, like at bath time or when you are both settling down for the evening. And don’t feel afraid to start from a very early age – they can begin to get used to your voice and how things pronounce slowly over time.
Use nursery rhymes
To help with your child’s recognition of sounds, rhymes are often used to get children used to similar sounding words. These words will often only contain one or two syllables, which is a good way of helping children pick up on these when they turn to a reading book.
These will be used a lot within a nursery school environment, such as at this independent school south west London, as teachers have the opportunity to teach children about memory, music and development of their first words – all key in helping a child read.
Repetition is key
Making time to repeat words over and over will keep them in your child’s memory far easier. You may have to pick up the same book a few times over and over, especially if your child likes a particular story to be read to them each night. The more these words are repeated the more contexts your child can use the words they’ve just learnt about. It will help with your child’s confidence in picking up lots of new books as well.
So there are many ways you can help your child get to read a book on a regular basis. It’s a good way to bond with your child, and should be a fun opportunity to enjoy reading every day. Try it with your child today to see which books they gravitate towards.