My daughter and I have just reached an amazing milestone for a bookworm family. She is 6 years old and she is reading very well. I am buying her books and she is devouring them like any good bookworm should.
I love reading and I have fond memories of going to the library and bookshop as a child with my mother and sisters. Seriously there is no better way to spend free time than reading a good book, add in some coffee and chocolate and I am in heaven.
Seeing the delight on my daughter’s face as she reads a new book is such a treat for me. It is incredible to see how fast she has picked it up and how she loves her spelling tests as school. I am one proud bookworm mommy!
I believe it is never too early to help your child to learn to read. If you want to help your child to read here are some great ways to do it:
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Read To Your Child
Reading to your child is really important. This will be the start of learning to love books. I read to my children every day and I have done this from birth even though many people told me it is pointless to read to a newborn baby. Reading is a great way to bond with your children, yes even from a newborn. Your newborn baby will hear your voice and find it soothing, as well as start to recognize the pattern of speech.
If you read to your child every day she will start to enjoy story time and look forward to it as part of your daily routine. Our daily reading time is after my kids have had their bath just before they go to bed. I cuddle up with both my children in bed and read a story. We sometimes read short kids books that are easy to read in one sitting, other times I read a longer book over a period of time. Each evening we read one chapter and my kids have started really getting into it to see what happens next.
We have read many wonderful Rauld Dahl books such as Matilda, George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Witches and The BFG. We are about to start on Enid Blyton books, she was one of my favourite authors when I was growing up.
Start With The Basics
Teach your child the basics first and go from there. Everything that you teach your child takes time. Potty training and learning good manners didn’t happen overnight and neither will reading. Start off with playing with letters with your child and start reading very basic books that your child can say along with you.
Teach your child how to write her own name and spell out each letter in her name so she can start to understand how it all comes together. Show your child common names such as Coca Cola on the Coke bottle or the Woolworths sign above the store entrance.
Read Out Loud
Have your child read out loud as this really helps your child to sound out the words and letters. When my child gets stuck I tell her to read the letters out loud and usually she figures the word out very quickly.
Before we do our evening story my daughter first reads the story out loud before I read it to her and her brother. It helps her to hear how I have read the story after she has tried. It helps her to hear where I pause at the end of a sentence and how I emphasize certain words.
Make It Fun
Everyone learns easier and faster when learning is fun and exciting. Sing the alphabet song, play I Spy With My Little Eye and down load some reading and writing apps for your child to use on the tablet.
Buy alphabet sweets and get your child to write her name and other words with sweets. When she gets a word right she gets to eat the sweets. Trust me this one is a winner!
When your child has started to get a grasp of reading, writing and spelling you can start playing Scrabble or other reading games.
Sight Words Flash Cards
Make or buy sight words flash cards. This is an amazing way to help your child get familiar with certain words, especially words that are used often.
Before you give your child a new book to read make some flash cards with the words your child does not yet know and go through them every day for a week. When you give your child the book to read she will most likely fly through it because the words in the book are now familiar to her.
After your child has read a book as her to tell you what the story was about. This won’t help her with reading the book since she has already done it but it will help your child to think about what she has read and to remember things. These skills will help to prepare your child for the future when she has to write tests and do school work. Reading is not only about being able to read what was written, but also to understand it and retain that information.
Good literacy skills is not limited to reading, it also involves writing. Make sure your child has access to paper and crayons and encourage her to write down things that she learns.
One of the things I do now, which daughter loves doing and saves me a lot of time and effort, is get my daughter to write down the shopping list while I am busy with other things. So if I am cooking dinner she will sit in the kitchen and I will tell her what to write down. When we go to the shop she keeps the list and a pen and ticks of the items as I put them in the trolley.
I can’t wait for my kids to be big enough to read – it is such an essential skill. For now I am just reading to them every day and I hope and pray that they will become little bookworms one day.
I read to my son as much as I can, he is four. However, he has no interest in books in his second language. Any advice?
I think that is tricky Patricia. My kids are also not interested much in their second language. They love reading in English though.