Before my son started school, I did the best that I could to help him learn all that he could in preparation of the intense learning classroom learning environment. However, I don’t have a lot of patience nor am I a certified teacher so my abilities were limited. Since he has started school (and we are blessed with an amazing Kindergarten teacher), these tips are some of the things that I have taken away that you can use to help your child learn to read. They may seem easy or like common sense for some of you but trust me… this advice is going to help some parent.
- Stock up on index cards. Rather than just buying flash cards with random words on them, we make our own and I use words that he is interested in or that are featured in books we are reading. We have added religious words, food items and pleasantries like Thank You. It may take a while for him/her to learn the words but try to review them at least once per day.
- Rhyme words. My son likes to focus on words that rhyme which makes it easier for him to recognize a words such as cook and look based on learning book. It is also a great way to expand their vocabularies. When using your index cards, challenge him/her to come up with words that rhyme with whatever your reading and then talk about the definition of the words.
- Blend words. When I was growing up, we called it “sounding out” but I think the new term is blending. When working with your index cards, take the time to sound out each syllable. I even ask him to spell the word that he is looking at because it helps him to commit the letters to memory.
- Write the words. Choose five words per week to focus on writing each day. Don’t worry about penmanship because it will improve (that stressed me out for a while but it has gotten better). Have him/her write the words at least three times per day on ruled paper.
- Read daily. Choose books that feature some of the words that you are learning and allow him/her to read the words that they recognize rather than you reading the entire book. You will be amazed at how excited they get from being able to contribute to story time. It takes longer but it is so worth the effort.
Leave me a comment with some tips that you have used to help your child learn to read…. Remember reading is fundamental.