Has your child mastered their ABC’s and can they recognize each letter? If you answered yes to those two questions, then they are on the right path to becoming literate. However, if your child is still struggling here are 7 things that can help them begin to read effortlessly.
- The first thing your child should be taught is how to spell their name. Their name is one of the most important words to them so start with the first letter of their name whenever you see it. “Then do some letter scrambles using blocks, magnetic letters or letters on index cards. Mix up the letters of the child’s name and work together to put them back in the proper order (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/learning-to-read/).” After your child has mastered their name move on to the names of their siblings, cousins, etc.
- Next you want to make sure not only does your child know the letters in alphabetical order, but they can recognize each letter out of order and know the sound it makes. You should begin pointing out random letters and their sounds after they have mastered the letters in order (using their full name is a great start). Then use relatable and likeable objects to point out letters http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/learning-to-read/).” For instance, if their name was Brittany you can start out by saying B for ‘Brittany’ and B for ‘blankie’ Then you can continue to say words like ‘bear’, ‘ball’, etc. also start with the letter B.
- Introduce you child to lowercase and uppercase letters early on so they don’t get confused when they finally notice them in a book (https://study.com/academy/lesson/teaching-students-to-recognize-uppercase-lowercase-letters.html). You can play games with your child where you have them point them out in a book.
- Practice early writing techniques such as: practicing writing with paint, sand and with their finger in shaving cream. This creates a fun learning environment for practicing the alphabet (https://www.prekinders.com/alphabet-letter-formation-activities/).
- Connect objects with words. You should illustrate objects with words and point to the object when you say the word. You can point to the first letter while saying the sound that first letter makes. Then you should move on to the whole word while your pointing to the picture of it (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/learning-to-read/).
- Practice print referencing (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/learning-to-read/). You should point to the title of the book as you read it so your child learns every book has a title and that we read from left to right.
- Lastly, read, read, read! Read with your child every day and read everything you see together: posters, signs, etc. However, never forget to celebrate your child’s successes, because learning to read is a big accomplishment.