It’s never too early to instill a love of reading in your child. Experts recommend reading your child from infancy to help them develop a positive connection with books. But what about when your child finally starts reading on their own? How can you help them to continue to develop their reading skills at home? Keep reading for some tips from our experts in childcare in Springhill, TN.
First and foremost, be patient with your child. Remember that this is a brand new skill for them, and just as you didn’t expect them to be able to run the moment they took their first steps, you shouldn’t expect them to be able to read quickly either. Beginning readers are inconsistent; they may be able to read a word one day, then not recognize the same word the next day. They will read slowly, and they may want to read the same book again and again. Have patience, and always keep reading a positive experience.
Practice Every Day
Like with any new skill, practice is essential, so make sure your little reader has plenty of time to work on their reading. Your beginning reader should spend at least 20 minutes a day reading to you or working on their phonics. Make sure you have easy books for them to practice with, such as the Dick and Jane books or these free I See Sam printable booklets.
Let Them Reread Books
While you may find it exhausting and repetitive, rereading the same books, again and again, is actually very important for beginning readers. Seeing the same words and practicing them over and over helps to build fluency and improves their sight-reading skills. Over time, you’ll notice that your child will start to recognize the words in the books they reread, and they’ll spend less time having to sound out and decode those words.
Help Sound It Out
When your child stops or stumbles over a word, you may be tempted to just supply the word for them. Instead, try to help them sound it out. Point to one letter at a time and work through the sounds that each word makes. If it’s a very difficult word, or your child is having a hard time sounding it out, it’s okay to say the word for them; just make sure to try out the letter sounds first.
Take Turns Reading
Your child may be reading now, but that doesn’t mean you should stop reading to them completely. Hearing you read will help your child to understand what fluent reading sounds like and provides an example for them to work towards. You may even want to try reading a short passage aloud, then asking your child to reread the same passage. This will allow them to practice recognizing the words you’ve just read, as well as reading with fluency and expression, as you just demonstrated for them.
Manage Your Expectations
It’s important to know what to expect from a young reader. While you may inherently understand the rules of phonics and all their exceptions, your child does not. They will also read slowly for quite some time. For example, by the end of first grade, children are only expected to read about 60 words per minute, so achieving quick, correct reading will take time.
If you have questions about your child’s reading level and how we help with early literacy in our classroom, come by our preschool in Spring Hill, TN, or give us a call. We also have a preschool location in Franklin, TN.
We have two convenient locations: Franklin, TN, at (615) 790-2273 or in Spring Hill, TN, at (615) 302-0950.