Preparing your child for reading

   
bullet 

Establish a Reading Routine:  Set aside a special reading time every day with your child.  If possible, establish a reading spot for you to enjoy books with your child.  Creating a reading space and regular reading routine will help your child develop a love for reading and books.  Remember: if you read to your child every day one day they will read to you, the best reward a parent could ask for! 

bullet 

Model good reading habits:  Make time to read for yourself!  Whether it’s the newspaper in the morning or a book in the afternoon, make sure your child catches you reading just for fun.  If your child sees you enjoying reading, they will be more interested in doing it themselves.

bullet 

Beginning Literacy skills:  From when your child is able to hear (yes, that’s still in the womb), you can start some of these beginning literacy skills.  From singing to reading, getting your child used to hearing sounds and words is the best thing you can do for your baby.  There are 6 early literacy skills you can practice with your child that have been proven to produce better readers.

 

           

           

bullet  Vocabulary Building:  Build your child’s vocabulary by reading many books to them as there are many more words in the books than what you would regularly use on a daily basis. By reading to your child you are building their vocabulary far greater than during regular day to day conversation.  Also, name things you see. Everywhere you go, be it the grocery store, at home, on a  walk, or at the park, point out objects and say the name of them.  By hearing the variety of words, your child will have a much wider vocabulary to use when talking to you and others.
 
bullet 

Print Motivation:  Motivate your child to the printed word by making sure they have many books readily available to them.  This can be accomplished by visiting the library regularly or stocking your own home library.  Make reading a habit for yourself as well. If your child sees that you enjoy reading, they are going to show more interest in reading as well. 

bullet 

Print Awareness:  Help your child become aware of the written word and basic writing rules.  You can accomplish this by pointing out words everywhere you go. For example, read labels on items at the store or signs anywhere you go. These things will raise your child’s awareness of words everywhere you go!  You can model basic writing skills by using your finger to guide you as you read, so your child learns reading occurs left to right, top to bottom.  Another way to help with basic writing knowledge is by tracing letters with your finger to model how letters are written.

bullet 

Narrative Skills:  Build your child’s narrative ability through questions.  After you read a book, ask them follow-up questions about the book. Have them retell what happened in the story or their favorite part.  This will also help to build their reading comprehension skills.  Additional ways to build narrative skills are to have them make up a story or tell you about their day, in the order that the events occured.

bullet 

Letter Knowledge:  Practice letter knowledge with your child through pointing out letters on signs or in books, name the letter and say the sound it makes.  Another exciting way to practice letter knowledge is by creating letters in fun ways, for example: writing in the dirt, use leaves, string, or clay to make a letter, walking, hopping, or skipping in the shape of a letter, or writing letters with chalk on the sidewalk.

bullet 

Phonological Awareness:  The best way to practice this is through rhyming.  Read rhymes to your child, say rhyming words, or make up silly words to rhyme with a word you read.  Another way to build this skill is by saying a word, but pausing in between syllables and having your child try to put the sounds together to create the word. (for example “wa” and “ter” makes water)