Children are not robots; they are little humans. This means that they all do things at different speeds. This includes learning to read. Some children just pick up reading naturally as you read to them and they learn to enjoy books. Other children struggle with reading, and it takes a lot of time and patience from you, and their teachers, to get them to a stage where they can read a book.
This is why there is no hard and fast rule as to what age a child should start learning to read. On average, the learning starts properly at the age of five or six; but there are plenty of reading related activities that should start way before that. Remember, that it’s a good idea to match what you are doing with what is happening when your child is being cared for, or taught, by others. This is why it’s a good idea to check with professionals in teaching and child care in Campsie and other areas, to see how they teach children to read, and support them as they learn.
Starting with the basics
You can start introducing your child to the idea of books and reading from a very young age. As soon as you start to talk to a baby you can read to them as well. Babies love colourful images, so you should choose books with lots of bright colours, and make story time fun.
Reading to your child is the single most important thing you can do to help them develop reading skills as they get older. Once your child has reached the toddler stage, and is able to understand the world around them and have a conversation with you, it’s time to step things up again.
- Show your child the front cover of a book and ask them what they think will happen in the story.
- As you read the book, talk to your child about what is happening and why they think a character is acting in a certain way.
- When the story is finished ask your child if it went the way they expected it to and talk about what you both thought of the book.
All of these actions help children to develop a love of books, preparing them for learning to read.
Tips on teaching your child to read
Teaching your child to read is an important part of parenting. It’s essential that you teach in the right way and that what you do does not conflict with what your child is taught in pre-school or school.
- Talk to your child’s teachers about how they learn to read in school.
- Learn all about phonics because that is the current favored learning style when it comes to reading.
- Do not judge your child against the learning speed of others. It’s not a race and putting pressure on your child will not help.
- Choose books that your child will love.
- Do not stick to a schedule at any cost. It’s not worth trying to teach your child if they are tired or upset.
- Stick to reading in short sessions of 10-15 minutes.
Creating a love of books in your child is something you can do from when they are a baby. Follow this up with fun and informative reading sessions and you will make it a lot easier for your child to learn to read. Once you start teaching them, stick to the methods that are used in school and do not forget to have fun and be patient.