How to Help Your Kids
From the first day your child enters this world and hears the sound of your voice, they begin their foundation for understanding the language and becoming a reader.
From that first moment on, each time you speak to your child and respond to the sounds that they make, you are their teacher helping them to improve their understanding of the language that surrounds them in their new world.
Reading is the foundation from which all other education is built upon, and the spoken language is preparation of the surface on which this foundation will be laid.
With language as the surface for the foundation, and infants being such natural sponges soaking in everything around them, every opportunity you have to communicate with your child should be taken advantage of.
Talk, listen, and respond to your child. Sing and read to and with your child and you’ll be mapping a course of success.
A child’s early experience is, of course, language. They take in and very soon begin to imitate that which they see and hear. Soon to follow will be the recognition of the individual characters that make up the language. From there the individual characters morph into words, words then become sentences and onward. And as reading continues to develop, so does the child’s vocabulary as they encounter, recognize, and master even more new words. Then there is writing that soon develops and builds as it all ties back to reading.
All Children Are Unique
With all of this going on, it’s easy to understand that becoming a reader is a step by step process for children. Not all learn at the same pace and some children will need more practice and attention than others.
However, by the age of about 7 most children are on their way. During this time frame, even the children experiencing difficulties can overcome them and become a very successful reader when given the proper attention. Your active participation in this early development of your child’s reading skills is vitally important.
It will be a time not only filled with wonderful moments of bonding and celebrating successes, but it is a foundation you are building that your child will benefit from for their entire lifetime.
Although this timeline is greatly condensed in the form of this article, you should easily see the importance and the direct correlation reading has to the long term success that your child experiences.
When your child is but a baby, read aloud to them regularly throughout each day. Cuddle up with them and read them a story in the afternoon. And by all means don’t forget about the tried and true bedtime story.
Make reading to your child a quiet, comfortable, and loving time for them; one that they look forward to and enjoy. If they are restless, energetic, and in play mode, save the reading time for when they unwind and ready to snuggle up.
Generally speaking, try to spend at least a half hour a day reading with your child. Keeping their natural attention span in mind, early on your reading time will be shorter and more often.
Needless to say, with young children, a set schedule is tough to follow as each day is such a new adventure for kids this age.
Don’t worry if your reading times don’t consistently come together at the same times each day. The key is to look for those quiet opportunities for reading and bonding time. Your child will begin to associate reading with something that is fun and enjoyable and not something that is an interruption to the rest of their day.
Doing this will keep reading fun for both of you, develop good reading habits with your child, and lay the foundation for a lifetime of successes.