Thursday, March 3, 2011

Educational idea: Preparing to read

Here are some ideas to help your child get ready to learn to read.
  1. Point out signs, children often learn to recognize familiar signs and can "read" them.
  2. Talk about the letters in your child's name, these are often the first letters your child learns.
  3. When you write you child's name, write the first letter as a capital (upper case), the rest lower case; don't make them relearn it the right way for kindergarten.
  4. Make the letter sounds, ex. "S" sounds like "ssssss". Then ask your child "What else can you think of that sounds like that sound?"
  5. When you read a book, if it has a repeating word, point it out to your child and have them "read" it.
  6. READ to your child every day! Twenty minutes a day from infancy to grade school gives them a distinct advantage in learning to read (and in success in general in school). They will have a much larger vocabulary than children who are not read to regularly.
  7. Expose your child to new books, new ideas and talk about the book, "What might happen next?", "Where did they go in the story?" Questions that help your child think about the story, not just answer questions. It is important for children to understand what they are hearing or reading about.
  8. Music helps children learn. Putting learning to music helps children learn faster too. Listening to classical music helps learning too.
  9. Rhyming words is a good pre-reading skill to work on, help your child think of words that rhyme with cat, etc. Then tell them three words, two that rhyme, one that doesn't, ask them which one doesn't rhyme.
  10. When you read a book, tell your child who the author and illustrator is of the book. Put your finger under the words you are reading and move your hand left to right as you read.
  11. Make it fun! Learning is fun.

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