Learning to read at a young age confers great benefits for the development of the child. It helps them develop a better understand of their surroundings, allows them to gather information from printed materials, and provides them with a wonderful source of entertainment when they read stories and rhymes. Children develop at different rates, and some children will develop reading skills quicker than other children; however, what’s important is that as the parent, you are keenly aware of your child’s maturity and reading level to provide them with appropriate books and activities to help them improve.
Reading Tip #1: Teach Letter Sounds.
When you begin teaching your child to read, most parents will start with the alphabet letter names; however, the best approach to take – backed up by real science and research – is to teach your child alphabet letters and sounds at the same time. Studies have shown that children learn best when they are taught the letter names and letter sounds at the same time. In one study, 58 preschool children were randomly assigned to receive instructions in letter names and sounds, letter sound only, or numbers (control group). The results of this study are consistent with past research results in that it found children receiving letter name and sound instruction were most likely to learn the sounds of letters whose names included cues to their sounds.
To learn more, we have this discussed in great deail here.
Teaching Tip #2: From Left to Right
It may seem so intuitive and natural to a parent that we always read from left to right; however, we’re not born knowing this. This is why you’ll often see small toddlers and young children try to read right to left at times.
This is why it’s important to emphasize with your child that the proper reading order should be from left to right, and top to bottom.
Teaching Reading Tip #3: Final Consonant Blends
Teach final consonant blends first. Teaching words such “at” and “and” can lead your child directly to learning words that rhyme with these. For example, for “at”, you can have:
For “and”, you can have these rhyming words:
and so on…
You can start teaching blends once your child has learned the sounds of some consonants and short vowel sounds. You don’t need to wait until your child has mastered the sounds of all the letters before teaching blends.
Learning to read is a long process, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Broken down into intuitive and logical steps, a child as young as two years old can learn to read, and older children can accomplish even more.