How to teach your child to read

Title:How to teach your child to read


Full Text & Source:

The Internet, Online, 13/08/2016

Sample Text:

  • There’s learning to love books and there’s learning to read books. If you can get the first one sorted, the second will follow much more easily.
  • There are many different methods for teaching a child to read, and just as many controversies over which method is best.
  • Reading readiness varies enormously from child to child. Some children can read fluently before they even start school; others take much longer. But, by and large, they all get there in the end and, a couple of years down the line, you’d be hard pressed to tell which children in any group were the early readers.
  • Content is everything. Many a child is put off reading by content that is boring or inappropriate.


Laying the foundation: reading to your baby/toddler

If you have been sharing books with your child from babyhood, she will already know that the same pictures or sounds can be visited again and again within a book. She will also know that it feels good to sit in a loving embrace and to have the enjoyment doubled by sharing a book. For her, looking at books is never a chore or a forced activity. This child has a head start.

You don’t need to stick to the text (such as it is) when you’re reading books with your baby (which is just as well or you’d both die of boredom). Feel free to go ‘off piste’ and warble on about the pictures you’re looking at (“Look at that cat! Big, black cat! Just like Granny’s cat. Big, furry, cuddly cat.”) At this stage, it’s all about the sing-song sound of your voice and the connection between books and pictures and sounds and fun.

Make sure at least some of your baby books are accessible, preferably in a toybox with other sources of fun, so your child can look at (and suck and chew) them whenever the whim strikes. Chew-friendly cloth books are the best bet here. Look for ones with different textures to touch, feel and crackle or squeakers to press and shiny ‘mirrors to stare in and giggle at.

As your child gets older and her understanding grows, you can move on to slightly more complicated picture books, with a tad more text to read (hurrah!) and even the outline of a little story. Look for simple, colourful illustrations and toddler-friendly subjects: mainly animals, vehicles, animals doing toddler-type stuff, vehicles doing toddler-type stuff and, of course, toddlers doing toddler-type stuff!

“Before you even think of buying or borrowing a new book for your toddler, you need to repetition-proof it very, very carefully. This is the age of ‘Again, again!’ If the book’s a hit, you will be reading it over and over and over and, exhaustingly, over.” Porpoise

Oh, and intricately designed pop-up books are all very lovely but they will stay rip-free and sticky-fingerprint-less for about ten nanoseconds; wipe-clean board books really are the way to go for now……………

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About Author Annette J Dunlea Irish Writer

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