Reading begins at home. As a parent, you are the first and most important step on the road to reading. Begin reading stories to your child at an early age. Even newborns are able to sense your enthusiasm when you read to them. Set aside a special time every day where you and you child can enjoy books without interruption. I have found that before naps and bedtime work well for us. When you are just beginning to read, be in tune to your child's cues of when he or she has had enough. As your child becomes used to this routine, your child will be able to sit and listen for longer periods of time.
As your child gets older, let him or her choose their bedtime books. It is so much fun to see which ones emerge as favorite. Remember repetition is a good thing so even if you feel you are reading the same book over and over, your child is ultimately benefiting from it.
Encourage your child to "re-read" the book. Even if he or she is making up words or memorizing it, it is still building confidence in their pre-reading skills. Be sure that your child has the opportunity to see you reading. Even a newspaper or magazine will help them see that reading is something you enjoy and it is a part of life.
The preschool years are spent acquiring skills that they will need later
on to be able to read and write. Activities for this are simple and
require little or no materials or preparation. The following are easy
things you can do with your preschooler to help learn how to recognize,
match, sort and know the sounds of some letters. Children are
surrounded by letters and print all day long. Don't make the mistake of
teaching each letter in alphabetical order. The secret is starting with
letters your child is familiar with like the first letter of their name.
Then possibly you can move on to the letter "M" for Mom and McDonalds.
- Begin by teaching your child about the letters in his/her name. Label
your child's name on some of his things (bed, cup, backpack) Children
can be very motivated to learn when it is something that directly
involves them and their name is definitely one of those!
- Write notes to your child with their name written on it and the letter
you are currently working on
- Make letter shapes with dough
- Finger paint letters, write them in the sand, write them in shaving
cream, or sidewalk chalk. The key is to practice with lots of different
mediums: crayons, markers, pens, pencils can also be used.
- Go on letter hikes
- Begin a letter book and try to work on a page a day. For example The
"L" page could have a leaf and a Lego taped on it.
- Continue to read to your child every single day!