You may already be working with your child on reading skills. Still, teaching your child to read may seem like an extremely challenging task. Not to worry. The Osceola Reads team has compiled a list of ways that you can start working with your child on reading today! We even have a free program to help you in case you don’t have the resources already at home.
Read to your child
This is the most important thing you can do in helping your child prepare to be a reader. Hearing you read aloud from a young age helps your child develop a love for reading that can carry into their future, leading to school success. Worried you don’t have age-appropriate books at home? Visit your library’s children’s section or log in to Footsteps2Brilliance and check out their Nursery Rhyme Karaoke library.
Talk about the story
Not only is this a great way to engage with your child about what you just read together, but you will also begin to help build their understanding, or comprehension, of the story. Your discussion can be as easy as discussing the pictures or who the story is about. Looking for some help? Footsteps2Brilliance offers Book Buddies with most stories. These questions ask about the book you’ve just read and even offer a hint for you and your child to go back into the story to help find your answer.
Identify letters and letter sounds
Pointing out letters you see in day to day activities is one of the best ways to teach your child about letters and their sounds. Another way would be to read stories focused on specific letters and letter sounds. Pointing to words and letters as you are reading with your child will help them to recognize these shapes as letters that hold meaning. Stories in the MegaMouth Decoders library on Footsteps2Brilliance can offer assistance with letter identification and letter sounds. In addition, the MegaMouth Decoders Songbooks offer a song to go along with each letter. The See It, Catch It game also offers a chance for your child to work on letter identification. Once your child is grasping the letters and their sounds, you may want to move onto building words. Games like Word Wall can help with word building.
Find word families
Learning about rhyming words shows your child patterns in reading. Once they learn words within word families, the task of reading other words in the same word families will seem easier. Reading stories that rhyme and identifying rhyming words is great practice for this skill. Check out the Academic Language Program library for some rhyming stories. Another idea is playing rhyming word games with your child. Footsteps2Brilliance has a game that fits the bill, Rhyme Slime.
Recognize sight words
Since some words in the English language don’t follow the sound -them-out norm, these are words that we must know simply by sight. There are different lists of sight words that you can work on with your child to build their reading fluency but only focus on about five words at any one time. Games like Whack-a-Word on Footsteps2Brilliance focus on a few sight words and even let you know the words your child could use more practice with.
There are many more aspects to teaching your child how to read, but we hope these ideas offer you a good starting point or additional strategies to add to your tool belt at home. Have a favorite tip for helping your child learn to read? Share it with us today!
Looking for more tips on how to help your child’s development? Check out our blog, 9 Ways to Have Fun With Your Child After Reading on Footsteps2Brilliance, or our blog series, Tips to Rock Your Child’s Reading Development.