Early Reading Strategies for Children and Parents
Kindergarten generally marks the point where children go from being familiar with their letters to actually learning to read, and you can help your child make this transition by adopting some early reading strategies at home. By offering support and guidance to your child, you can play a strong and integral role in his or her literary success.
Effective Early Reading Strategies
As a parent, you can lay the foundation for learning and reading readiness in your child by implementing some of the following reading strategies and activities.
Establish a Routine and Stick to It
Like play time and other scheduled activities in a child’s life, reading should be a fun routine in which a child engages on a daily basis. Parents should set aside a specific block of time and spend at least fifteen minutes reading aloud to their child while encouraging him or her to look at pictures and discuss the story. Your child takes his or her enthusiasm cues from you, so it’s important to maintain an optimistic attitude during your reading routine.
Give Your Child the Freedom to Read
One of the most effective reading strategies for keeping your child’s interest is to let him or her participate in choosing a book or story. You should keep the books within reach for your child, so he or she can peruse them at leisure. It’s also a good idea to visit a bookstore or local library with your child and see what new and exciting books peak his or her interest.
Teach Active Reading to Your Child
You should make sure your child is actively participating in the reading process by asking questions and otherwise engaging him or her in discussion. As your child learns to read, he or she is simultaneously learning how a book is held, how the pictures relate to the text on the page, and basically assimilating the facets of this new and unfamiliar process. You can point at pictures, ask your child questions about what a character will do next, and even ask your child to search for specific images on the cover or in the book’s illustrations. By doing this, you’ll be encouraging your child to stay involved and active.
Show Encouragement and Affection
Most importantly, remain encouraging and positive during the reading time with your child. Not only is reading a wonderful time for cuddling your child, but it’s also a great opportunity to offer affection and support. Respond to your child’s queries with positive feedback, such as “What a smart question,” or “You’re doing good job following this story!” This, along with the other early reading strategies, will help transform the act of reading from an unfamiliar and uncomfortable process to an enjoyable activity, and will hopefully spark your child’s interest in learning.