While having taught children to read for 15 years, there’s a lot I can say about reading. Thus, it is necessary to look at the different areas within reading and start at the basics.
Learning to read starts long before the children enter my classroom. It starts in the home from day 1. By building a solid foundation for lifelong reading, learning habits, and methods.
The tools I have developed and used are not news. They are what I have found to work with the highest success and benefit for both children and parents. Some things don’t work, and we will get back to that.
First of all, what you should be aware of as the adult that takes a book in your hand, start opening it and looking inside it. When you study the back and start reading some words, the title, and author, and you do this in front of a child, you are being observed, with curious eyes.
You are an example of how we treat and preserve books and written words, how we use words to learn new words, information, stories, and knowledge by reading them. You are giving them an example of how we pronounce new words, build sentences, put pressure, and understand new terms. Either from the context or from looking in a dictionary.
Besides this, the proven benefits of reading aloud to our children are many. It is also an investment in the future as well as our daily life.
There are fundamental skills a child needs to learn before it can learn anything else. The ability to access knowledge, either by listening, feeling, or seeing, is often overlooked. The better they listen and look, the more they will be exposed to words, letters, pictures, and items. By reading aloud, the child becomes better at listening. Thereby it gains the information others want to convey to them.
But it is not enough to fill in the knowledge. We have to think about how the brain works and remember. The information has to be understood and categorized in the mind. So we have to work a little with what we heard or saw. By repeating and activate more senses. With the body, the eyes, the moth, and by activating the brain with reflections.
The children love routines and habits. Arrange e.x. the reading after dinner and they helped out with the cleaning. Find a particular place or carpet and make yourselves comfortable. Children who are little restless can have paper and crayons and draw while listening.
When reading aloud, we wake the child’s interest in listening. They experience an instant reward just by paying attention. When we read slow and enjoy pronouncing the new or funny words, we show the child that reading is valuable to use time on.
Before starting the reading sessions, it is essential to ask about what you read the last time. What book or chapter, what was it about, what happened, was it fun or boring, why? It forces them to access what has happened and thereby stimulating their memory. Help the children build correct sentences while they explain.
Welcome the children’s questions during reading. They are just as important as the story itself. It shows a genuine interest from the child and that they are reflecting, and it should be praised. Questions also help them understand and remember.
Furthermore, we show the child how to listen by listening to their questions. Help them to build the correct sentence for the question and then take time to answer. Then we might have some questions for them to ask also. This work is a crucial way to build conversation skills. Make the children aware of how they express themselves, how to ask, and answer a question.
Unfolding the Stories
To furthermore, keep attention to the story, we can work with different things. After reading, children can draw some of the items from the book, or write some of the words they like. Save drawings and writings in a particular folder to look at the next time you read. The child can then see their expressions are as important as others. They are worth saving and look at and become motivated to produce more. Later, when they look at all their drawing, they will see how they are progressing and getting better. Thus further encouraging them to proceed in reading and expressing themselves.
The story might be in a series or made as a film, or is read aloud as an audiobook. Maybe there’s pictures and more information on the internet. Likewise, subjects related to the book can lead to new books, films, images, and stories.
What does not work
To give the children the books without any interaction or examples. To suddenly force the child to sit and listen while they are occupied with something else.
Agree on a routine or talk with the child and prepare it mentally for reading. Use reading as a reward for finishing what they are currently doing.
The child can not remember if there are too many days between the readings. All studies and professionals recommend parents read at least 10-15 minutes every day with their child.
Most important in all teaching situations is no stressing or hurrying. Any work done is an achievement to become better. When the child sense that your mind is preoccupied and several things are happening at once. It will break their concentration. When you are focused, you are an example of how to work and progress.
Do You Want to Know More about how to help children establishing better reading habits? Then you can find a lot more in this book published by the author of this article.