It is no doubt that reading is important. We use this learned skill to navigate so much in the world around us, from looking things up on the internet to reading signs while driving to buying items in the grocery store. (If you haven not already seen this 4-year old talk about the importance of reading, check it out!)
As a fluent readers, we tend to take for granted the process of learning how to read. For some kiddos, they pick it up super easily, almost magically. For most, however, it is a process that happens over time with some work involved. And, for a few, it is a more challenging process that needs extra support by someone who understands the intricacies of reading.
No matter where the kiddos are on this continuum, it is essential to keep reading fun, especially in these beginning stages!
Here are some simple, juicy ideas:
Cooking in the kitchen: Have your child help with any known sight words like "the" or "add" or "mix." Helpful Hint: You do all the harder words for now, and them them just do what they know. Remember, it will feel more fun when they are successful!
Going to the local library: Get new books that they get to choose.
Reading signs while walking/driving: Your child has a sense of these with the meaning, so you get to reinforce sliding through a word like "s-t-o-p" to get "stop" or chunking the word "cross-ing" to get "crossing." Please note: "Sliding through" only works on certain easy words like stop or cat. Sometimes, people say "sound it out" instead, but have you ever tried to "sound out" the word t-e-a-c-h-e-r? You'll never get teacher from that strategy! We'll talk more about this in future post soon ;-)
Helping at the store: Have you child pick known items from the list off the shelf. Because they have a connection to what it is, it easy for them to get it, and then you can reinforce the letters/words that go with it. For example, "You got the apples, and that that starts with a-a-a for apple!" or, "You got the pancake mix, and you can see two words in it, pan and cake!"
Making reading a routine : Kids thrive on routines. Check out our last blog post for ideas on this.
Just like adults, kids also thrive on things when they are fun & mostly-easy to do.
Ms. Heather is the daughter of two life-long teachers. She started her career in education upon graduating from college in 1997 in San Francisco. After being a Kinder and 1st grade teacher and a Director of Education, she got certified in Reading Recovery through Saint Mary's College. She has been working as a Literacy Specialist since 2010, focusing on students reading and writing below grade level expectations. She looks at what they know and builds up this knowing with confidence, while strategically adding in new things to learn. She adores helping kiddos become problem solvers and meaning makers in the process of learning to read and write!