Literacy and reading skills are one of the leading indicators of school success. Many children struggle throughout school because they struggle with reading. Once children get to about second or third grade, most content in most subjects involve reading and comprehension; science, social studies, and even math all end up with huge reading components.
Give your child a leg up in reading by adding some simple tips and tricks to your day! Watch their skills grow painlessly without the stress and anxiety that often comes with struggling readers.
What skills should you focus on?
- Vocabulary!! Knowing words and names for everything! Just keep talking. Chat about whatever you're doing, and try to give everything a name. Don't forget about synonyms! If you know two names for something, use them both. Whether it's a kitty-cat, puppy-dog, or the potty/toilet, you child will understand and learn twice as much.
- Alphabet Knowledge Recognizing and naming letters. Letters and words are everywhere. Point and them, and say their names. The more you point, the more they learn! Adding extra letters, words, and writing to toys and play will add exposure and help children learn.
- Phonics/Phonemic Awareness Hearing the sounds and parts in words, letter sounds. Play with your words! Stretch them out, say them slow, say them fast, and make rhymes! Word play helps children hear sounds and put them back together, which is essential for reading.
- Reading/ Sight Words Recognizing words instantly, without sounding out. Words are everywhere. Point to them, spell them, read them out loud!
- Listening/Reading Comprehension Understanding and responding to what they hear both in speech and reading, including when being read to! This one is so simple to practice. Read to your child and ask them about what you read. Talk about stories, books, or shows afterwards and see how much your child remembers and understands. Keep practicing, these skills take years to build!
One of the greatest keys to strong literacy skills is exposure to books, so keep them handy. Take lots of trips to the library, and enjoy reading as a family.
Also, check out The Imagination Library (www.imaginationlibrary.com) and see if it is available in your area. It is an amazing program that provides a free book every month to children ages 0-5!