Many informed parents have embraced the endless list of virtues that come from reading aloud to infants and to children. Studies show a marked increase in mental cognition and communication skills. Findings even reflect a strongly augmented vocabulary capacity in adults who were read to as children. But part of the process requires the traversing of an essential, yet delicate time where there is a bridge between reading to your child, and allowing your child to read for themselves. In addition to the joys of explorative progress, it also can also be a surprisingly stressful time, full of worries. Perhaps you feel your child should be reading faster, or maybe you notice that they have forgotten a word that they understood the day before. All of these concerns are absolutely normal, and part of the process. Let’s take a look at a few helpful tips that parents can use while navigating this all- important time of reading transition.
Repetition is the name of the game!
Repetition is the key to learning, and it is no different with a child that is beginning to read. Whereas it may seem like a good idea to frequently switch out stories and books for new reading items, nothing could be further from the truth. Especially with very early readers, going over the same words in the same stories is one of the strongest learning processes that you can offer to your child. Numerous studies show that reading plus repetition adds up to effective and efficient language development. While owning a variety of books and regularly adding new ones is a fantastic idea, you’ll want to be sure to bring old favorites and trusted titles back into rotation on a regular basis.
Point and pronounce!
Though as an adult it seems that left to right reading is instinctual, it is not a trait that we are born with. Following words and sentences with your finger is one of the simplest and most forgotten parts of the effective reading process. It greatly assists your child with recognition of key syllables and words. Pointing to illustrations that match words will also make a huge impact on cognition and recall. Take your time to pronounce each word fully, and backtrack with your finger to repeat if necessary.
When children are navigating the transitory phase of beginning to read, taking turns and establishing a ‘reading rotation’ removes anxiety from the process, and assists your child in feeling confident as they learn. You can read one line, and have your child read the next, or alternatively you can read a full sentence and then return back to the beginning of that same sentence to have your child repeat it for themselves. Many of these small tips go a long way towards helping to support and nurture your young reader as they learn. Follow these key rules, and before long your child will be happily and expertly reading on their own!