Based on my experience with my kids, nieces, nephews and other kids, I believe that it is very important to help kids learn how to read when they are young. I have seen how valuable it was to those who could read and how hard it was for those who could not.
Why Should You Teach Your Kids to Read?
Because It Is Very Important
It is worthwhile to teach kids to read because when you do, you are helping to develop their understanding. In helping to develop their understanding, you are also helping with the development of their mind. In addition, when you help kids learn how to read, you are helping them to develop their listening, language and communications skills.
Some kids are slow learners so a jump start in reading would be very beneficial to them. When you help teach them to read, you will be helping them to build their self-esteem and become a better communicator. As you continue to teach them and they begin to recognize letters, words and sentences they will get excited and be more willing to spend time reading.
At this point, both parents and kids are happy, relationship between parents and kids grows stronger. Now, teaching them begins to be enjoyable instead of feeling like a chore.
How Should You Teach Your Kids to Read?
There are many ways to help kids learn how to read. You can use educational toys, songs, nursery rhymes, phonics, word cards and word games, to name a few.
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Reading should be fun and the best way to introduce it is by doing it.
Reading to your kids should start at an early age to introduce them to the learning process of reading.
We are aware that this can begin even before the child is born. It is natural for the pregnant mother and others to speak or sing to the child while he/ she is still in the womb.
In addition, some parents start reading to their child at that time as well.
While there are parents who continue reading to the child after birth, there are others who spend less time reading. Or, have stopped doing so because they might be too busy or too tired.
I heard a story of a mother who listened to a particular radio program every day while she was pregnant. She continued to listened after the child was born.
The person who hosted the radio program also had a television program and one day while the child was sitting in her high chair the mother was watching the program.
According to the story, the mother said that based on the child’s reaction, she realized that the child recognized the voice of the speaker because she had being hearing it for some time.
I thought that was very interesting, but it should not be surprising, since it does not take long for a baby to recognize the mother’s voice.
It Is A Matter Of Choice
Reading to kids while they are still in the womb; and continuing after birth, is a good way to help getting them interested in reading as they grow older.
Using age appropriate books and allowing them to choose the one they want you to read is also a good way to go.
As they grow older you can start asking them questions about the story you are reading, and ask them to point to specific pictures in the book.
I believe that introducing them to new materials should be done slowly as this will give them the opportunity to get more involved in the reading process.
When Should You Teach Your Kids to Read?
The answer to this question will vary since some may say three years or older, while others may say you can start before age three.
I can only speak from experience. We started early, because that is part of our culture, we were taught that way and kids are still being taught that way.
My sister-in-law who was taught that way is now a principal at one of those Basic school.
We knew it worked so we chose to start early with our kids. However, the pre-reading activities are very important in laying the foundation and getting ready to help kids learn how to read.
If you have been reading to and interacting with your kids as you read, you should know when your kids are ready and when to introduce other materials.
Earlier is Better
I came across an interesting article in Wikipedia about “Reading readiness.” Part of it said,” Early and enjoyable pre-reading experiences set the stage for a child’s desire to learn.”
“By participating in developmentally-appropriate activities (activities that are fun and challenging, but not frustrating), the child gains knowledge that will serve as the foundation for further learning as he or she enters the school system.”You can read the full Wikipedia article here.
I read that if a child can recognize a McDonald’s then it might be an indicator that it is time to start teaching him or her to read.
My kids started to learn to read at two years old, the eldest was taught at Basic school.
However, before that my husband and I were reading to her. We were also introducing her to different types of age appropriate materials to help prepared her.
When she was four years old, she was already reading. So, the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program was used to keep her going until we could find a school for her.
The program that we had was for ages 3-8, but we started using it with the youngest one after she turned two, going on to three as I mentioned before.
We did that because, while the eldest one was using the program, she was observing what was going on.
Do You have 30 Minutes To Spare
The program started off using an 18 minutes cassette set to music, and flash cards to teach the Alphabet Letter Names and Sounds.
My daughter would follow the tape and turn the cards. After using the tape and flash cards, she would go to the book to learn words. This would be done daily until she mastered tape one, then she would moved to tape two.
It took less than an hour per day to teach her. Since the lessons were short, additional materials were added at intervals to keep the teaching time exciting.
My eldest daughter reminded me that I made numerous trips to ACE Educational Supplies store when I was teaching them to read. If I remembered correctly, a teacher told me about the store.
The store had everything that was needed to help teach the kids and get them involved in the learning process. The materials created a classroom like experience and kept them active while helping to make the learning process interesting.
What is the Best way to Teach Your Kids to Read?
There are Many Ways, You Choose
Today, there are many ways to help kids learn how to read, and if the pre-reading foundation was being laid the kids should be getting more interesting in reading.
Parents who were too busy to read to their kids, may have used age appropriate educational toys, CDs, DVDs or something else.
I think it is better to read and communicate with the kids by asking questions and allowing them to actively participate in the learning process.
However, if the kids are interacting well with the materials that are being used then you can continue using that method.
If the kids have been using the materials for some time and they are not enjoying them or are not making progress, then you might want to introduce something else.
I think of it like this, if unborn babies were not exposed to music before birth, chances are they were introduced to music by those turning musical instruments that are attached to babies’ cribs.
After a while, babies will start reacting to the sound and the moving instrument.
Using nursery rhymes that are usually lively and catchy is a good way to help prepare your kids. As they grow older, they will start responding by clapping, singing and dancing.
I believe that using a step by step learn to read program is a good way to help kids learn how to read and that is because I have used it.
However, if you have been doing what was necessary to help prepare your kids for reading you will be able identify the best way to help teach your kids to read.
Once again, it does not have to be costly if you want to help kids learn how to read because many resources can be found on the Internet.
You Are Your Kids Best Teacher
Yes You Are
I believe that parents are the best teachers for their kids, we should be the ones to lay the foundation to help our kids learn to read.
We should be the ones to help reinforce what they are learning in school, and if we already had a system set up at home it will be easier for us to continue helping our kids.
Some of the materials, especially the work books that I bought at the ACE Educational Supplies store proved to be very valuable.
Sometimes the kids would come home and informed that the work they did in class was in the workbooks they were using at home.
That helped them to feel more confident because they were already familiar with the material.
My daughter decided on using the Little Champion Reader to help teach Azy to read. The program looks similar to the Hooked on Phonics.
She is working on setting up a schedule to start using the program, and we are going to help her. So, we will all be learning and having fun together.
I am looking forward to sharing more with you on Azy’s reading journey.
Thanks for the visit.
More to come.
Hello, my name is Jackie. My family members and I are teaching my grandson Azy to read and I am writing about the challenges and the joy that comes from doing so. My goal is to write articles that will encourage and help parents and others who want to do the same for their kids or other children. Thanks for travelling along with us. Blessings, Jackie