Ready Your Child For Reading

Ready Your Child For Reading

It's never too soon to​ start your child on the path to​ reading. Simply talking to​ your infant and toddler helps her develop the vocabulary she will need as​ she enters school and begins to​ read. as​ you point and name objects, she will begin to​ understand the meaning of​ words, and will eventually begin to​ incorporate those words into her vocabulary.

The U.S. Department of​ Education recommends beginning to​ read to​ your baby when she is​ six months old. According to​ their 2018 report, "Hearing words over and over helps her become familiar with them. Reading to​ your baby is​ one of​ the best ways to​ help her learn."

In that same report, the Department of​ Education also recommends that parents reach out to​ groups that can:

* Help you find age-appropriate books to​ use at​ home with your child;

* Show you creative ways to​ use books with your child and other tips to​ help her learn; and

* Provide year-round children's reading and educational activities.

A child's love for reading grows when the words on the page come to​ life through experiences shared as​ a​ family. For example, after reading Eric Carle's Ten Little Rubber Ducks to​ your toddler, you can learn all about real ducks, make ocean snacks, or​ go on a​ family outing and feed the ducks at​ a​ nearby pond.

In order to​ help your child get ready to​ read, the Department of​ Education also recommends:

* Using sounds, songs, gestures, and words that rhyme to​ help your baby learn about language and its many uses.

* Pointing out the printed words in​ your home and other places you take your child to, such as​ the grocery store.

* Spending as​ much time listening to​ your child as​ you do talking to​ her.

* Taking children's books and writing materials with you whenever you leave home. This gives your child fun activities to​ entertain and occupy herself while traveling and running errands.

* Creating a​ quiet, special place in​ your home for your child to​ read, write, and draw.

* Keeping books and other reading materials where your child can easily reach them. Having her own bookshelf or​ small bookcase will not only make her feel special, but will also communicate to​ her that reading is​ special.

* Reading books, newspapers and magazines yourself, so that your child can see that reading is​ important.

* Limiting the amount and type of​ television you and your child watch.

The best thing for you do to​ ensure that your child will grow up reading well and loving to​ read is​ to​ read to​ her every day. The time you spend reading together will create a​ special bond between the two of​ you, and will open the doors for a​ dialogue that will continue throughout the more trying years of​ adolescence. The Department of​ Education suggests that, when you're reading, you discuss new words. as​ an​ example, they suggest that you say, "This big house is​ called a​ palace. Who do you think lives in​ a​ palace?" Likewise, they suggest taking time to​ ask about the pictures and what your child thinks is​ happening in​ the story.

The same report suggests additional strategies for early literacy:

* When reading a​ book with large print, point at​ each word as​ you read it. Your child will understand that the word being spoken is​ the word she sees.

* Read a​ favorite book over and over again.

* Read stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat, and have your child join in.

* Read from a​ variety of​ children's books, including fairy tales, poems, and non-fiction.

The more strategies you can incorporate into your child's reading experience, the more likely you are to​ help your child develop into a​ strong reader.

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