Teaching your child to read is a big job. It can be frustrating and the cause for a great deal of impatience on the part of both you and your little one. However, literacy is the single most important thing you can teach your child. Without it, his or her life will be very difficult.
Here are four tips on how to accomplish this essential parenting mission.
1. Read every day
One of the best ways to teach your child to read is to read aloud to your son or daughter on a daily basis. The more you foster a love of reading different stories, the more interested your child will become in learning to read.
Additionally, it helps if you allow your little one to follow along the words with you. Use your finger to indicate where you are as you read, so the child can learn to associate the appearance of words in writing with the sound of words coming from your mouth.
2. Surround your child with books
The more books you have on hand, the better. Your child needs a variety of books to become interested in reading. Go to the library and allow him or her to check out new books that are interesting. Buy books instead of toys when you go shopping.
And buy books that aren’t all the same. Try to incorporate a little of everything, from fairy tales to Dr. Suess, and silly stories to books teach the alphabet and the different sounds letters and words make.
3. Make reading fun
Don’t grumble and groan when it’s time to read to your child. One of the worst things you can do when teaching a child to read is make it seem like something you don’t want to do. Yes, you might be busy with housework or other kids, but you have to make your child feel that reading is fun.
If you can’t do it right now, tell your child with excitement that you can’t wait to read, but that you have to finish the dishes or feed the baby first. By making it sound like you can’t wait to be done with all the boring stuff so you can sit down and read, you encourage your son or daughter to believe reading is that much more exciting.
4. Use labels
Identifying objects is a great way to help kids learn to read. Use labels to stick on the toy bins, for example. Eventually, your child will learn to read the labels and associate them with the various items, which will help in the quest to read.
Reading is the single most important thing a child will learn in his or her young life. Without the ability to read, your child will have a very difficult time getting through life, landing a job, and making a living. Do your child and favor and encourage reading in your household.