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 How to Help Your Child Learn to Read



Which way is best to help your child learn to read? There are dozens of commercials on television promising the one true way to teach your child to read.

There isn't just one answer but a number of strategies that have proven effective over time. Here are some of them to help your child become a reader.

You can start helping a child learn to read at any age by giving your child new language experiences throughout their day.

You should talk to your infant and toddlers often in short, simple sentences and avoid baby talk as tempting and cute as it may be.

To teach your child to read tell  them stories,  nursery rhymes or poems, sing songs and describe the world around them in words. Name things, such as "here is your blue duckie". This will help them make connections.

 When teaching your child to read, encourage them to talk to you. This is an important step in teaching a child to read, arouse curiosity.

Make an effort to read aloud to your children for at least half an hour a day, starting when they are infants. Have your spouse continue the activity if you are not available.

Be sure and have your child's sight and hearing tested early and at least once a year.

If you think that your child may have a disability, seek a doctors help. Evaluations and assessments are often available at no cost

 You should call the early childhood specialist in your school system or call the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities. Their number is  800 - 695-0285

Try and choose a day care provider or baby sitters that will spend time talking and interacting with and reading to your child.

Request an assessment of your child's reading level from their teacher and  ask them for ways that you can bolster your child's literacy skills at home.

When helping your child learn to read try and avoid television but when you do allow them to watch, choose educational programs such as Sesame Street or learning videos. Try some of the new reading games such as Leapfrog.

To help teach your child to read encourage your kids to take books to bed and read on their own, then join them for story time.

As they become older, help them get their own library card and  take them there to pick out their own books.

Ask the librarian or bookstore owner about what books are best for children at different ages and reading abilities.

When helping your child learn to read, show them by example.  Model the love of reading reading by spending  time yourself reading your favorite book.  Kids will often want to follow your example by lying down with their favorite book and it can also help to give you some quiet time.

When you are shopping, show them that reading is important by pointing out the names of the products you buy on the labels.

For birthdays and holidays give books or magazines subscriptions to children as presents. Magazines such as Ranger Rick or National Geographic for Kids can make them feel special when the mail arrives.

To teach your child to read consider a combination of phonics and sight words - a whole language approach to reading.  A sight word approach is developing a memory approach to high frequency works like "to", "the", etc. You can use flash cards, sight word programs, letter stamps, games, etc.

Kids need to read a lot of books with high frequency vocabulary words and a predictable pattern. Rhyming books such as Dr. Seuss are very good.

Phonics remains a very popular method of teaching kids to read. Start early with ABC blocks and getting toddlers to associate sounds with letter shapes.

Programs such as Hooked On Phonics are available at bookstores and are considered one of the best ways to help a child learn to read.






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