A lot of teaching your child to read is first instilling in your child a desire to read. It’s so very important for the child to know that reading activities and learning to read are fun. Early on, for instance, if you haven’t yet, set aside an area of your home where your child can have their very own reading area and little person library. This will get almost all your reading activities off to a great start. Having their own special place for reading activities will encourage the child to spend time reading.
Encourage them to begin to find their favorite spot within their area for their reading activities. Grab yourself a comfy chair and join them, and you’ll be amazed how much your child will want to go into their reading area and have you with them for a reading session. And an added bonus to the reading area is a great place and time for you to spend with your child reading to them and vise versa. Reading is nothing more than a practiced skill. Practicing being the operative word. Instilling good reading habits in your child early on with consistent and daily reading and practice sessions is laying the bricks to a solid learning foundation no matter what the subject matter.
Books from bookstores, garage sales, flea markets, and such are a great way to begin building your child’s reading library content. Grab a cardboard box, an old milk crate, or two and decorate them with your child, so they can have their own library and take pride in how it looks and help them organize their reading materials. If you already have bookcases, then clear one of the shelves and make that special place for your child’s books. It’s fun to do and your kids will have fun too. Build momentum early with how much fun reading and exploring books can be.
Also, make good use of your public library. Teaching reading skills begin with developing your child’s interest and love for reading. As your child’s library grows along with their reading skill they will understand that books are important, enjoyable, and always filled with new things to learn.
A good reading activity can involve very little actual reading. Use picture books with very few or no words and ask your child to describe the picture or tell a story about what the picture is about. This will allow you to monitor the child’s vocabulary and the use of the words they have been learning. Don’t overlook the importance of vocabulary building along with building reading skills. A strong vocabulary goes well with understanding what you’re reading which, in turn, keeps the frustration level down, and the fun factor up.
Encouraging your child to verbalize to you a story or even a couple of pages of something they have read about gives them great pride (while you listen for accuracy) and makes them feel like a reader! And when kids feel good about their reading skills they naturally strive to learn more.