As a parent, you would always want to ensure that your child develops in the right stages. One of these developments include reading and language skills. Most parents would be proud if their children learned to read and speak earlier than most children but there is really no right age that a child must know when to do these.
What most parents do not know is that reading is an acquired skill from birth. This is affected by various language skills that help them develop in reading. This is a fairly complicated process but amazes most people too. The progress of learning how to read involves certain skills which are learned as they progress from one stage to another.
I. Birth to 1 year
At this stage, you might even think that it is impossible to do anything that will affect the reading skills of your child. You may want to start at this early age of development to create a learning atmosphere for your child. Do read to your child constantly at this age. It is important that you show her the pictures in the books that you use. Observe how your child responds because you will know if she is interested in story telling time.
II. 1 to 3 years
At these ages, your children will be in a crucial stage when it comes to the learning process. This is when she will learn how to talk, making room to learn more language skills, especially reading. Statr teaching your child how to read the alphabet. Knowing the alphabet can really go a long way in your child’s development. You need to make sure that you have interaction when you tech your child how to read. When reading, do make gestures and facial expressions that they can associate with certain emotions. It is also recommended to read animal stories, and accompany it with matching animal sounds. Kids really love animal stories at this age.
You should read a lot and even make it a habit to read to your child. This is when you will be able to teach them. There are picture books that show pictures of words that children might associate with. You may start teaching them how to read words or even phrases.
III. 3 to 4 years
During preschool, your child will further her reading skills since they will start going to school now. They will spend most of their time interacting with other people. Most school activities will include their teacher reading to them storybooks, mostly fairy tales. You child may even have a favourite character and imitate them. You may start teaching them how to write and how to read more difficult words as well as sentences. You need to teach your child how to handle the books properly.
There are some signs and labels that your kid must be familiar with like stop signs, female and male signs and others that will be helpful when they are left in school without you. Most importantly, teach them how to ask if they are unsure of the signs that they are reading. Teach them phrases like “I love you” or “Thank you’. These are phrases which they can use in preschool when interacting with the teacher or fellow students.
IV. 5 years
At kindergarten, you may need to ask them if they want to read the lines or words for you. This can be great training for the kid so that they will not be afraid to learn. Allow them to read to you and actually listen to them. Explain to them that reading should be done left to right going down the page. Start playing reading games, giving a prize for every correct word that they read. Also, if they know the meaning or if they can give a word that starts with that letter, she will get a special prize. They may also work with familiarity with starting sounds as well as ending sounds. Kids love to associate things and find that this is an effective method, do allow them to discover their way of learning.
Subtly correct them if they make mistakes, but do not make them feel that they have done a big mistake. This will discourage them from reading in the future. Descriptive language is recommended when asking questions. You may make learning a fun experience by engaging in rhyming games. You can now match written words with spoken ones so that they may be able to comprehend phrases as well as sentences.
V. 6 years old
This is the culminating stage of the reading process. Sure enough, beyond the first-grade, children will still continue the reading process, but more or else, your child will have an idea on how to read properly. Rereading stories are what kids this age do best, they will reread their favourite stories to anyone, including you. You may want to incorporate a game where you predict what will happen, or asking questions about the story and they must find the answers in the book. Ask them to read aloud, and be proud of what they are reading. They will be confident that what they are doing is right and allow them to enjoy that freedom when they read to you. Yes, children love the idea that they are given a change to read a story with print, picture clues and memory. They will be able to associate stories with these elements. Let them learn new words by associating phonetics with similar words and you may even help them if they are having difficulty.
Ask them to identify new words just by looking at them and figuring out how to read them. You may throw in a little vocabulary so that they will know what those words are when they start to read them in a sentence. Besides from this, you need to teach them how to write sentences and how they feel. They need to learn punctuations, capitalizations and the right way of combining words to form meaning.
The developmental stage of your child is very crucial. You need to take each stage seriously as part of their learning process. Build interest in reading because this can really be a big part of your child’s development. There are so much that they can learn from reading so do not take this skill for granted
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