Teaching Children To Read

Teach reading at home
A fun & easy learning to read program

How to read to childrenHow to read to children - butterflies

Children who live in homes in which story book reading occurs regularly have an educational advantage. Reading with your child is a proven way to promote early reading skills. Early childhood experts around the world all agree that regular reading to children is the best predictor for successful reading acquisition.

Read to children everyday. Every minute reading with your child will make a difference. Not only will you be promoting good reading habits and developing their comprehension skills, but you will also be creating incredible memories they will carry with them for life.

Commencing a reading session when your child is tired or hungry will not be enjoyable for either of you. Pick a time to read when your child is alert and relaxed.

Mother and baby - how to read to children

Get involved when reading

When reading to children, really get involved. How you read is more important than what you read initially.  It’s the soothing tone of your voice that your infant will enjoy.

Don't be afraid to go over the top with interesting and excitable noises, the more enthusiastic you are the more your child will enjoy it.

Reading to very young children

When babies are approximately 3-4 months old lay down beside them to read. This way you are getting into their zone, physically touching and viewing the book from the same position.

When you are reading to a very young child, it is not important to turn pages in the right direction or even to finish the book. Just enjoy your time and play with the book like it is a toy, read as much as they will allow you.

Provide actions with words

When reading to babies approximately six to eighteen months old add actions to the words. For example if you are looking of a picture of a rabbit and saying something like "rabbit, this rabbit is hop, hop, hopping", bounce your hands while you say the words. Providing an action with the words allows the child to associate the words with actions.

Young children can do the action of "hop, hop hopping" with their hand before they may be able to say "hop" or "rabbit". They will really enjoy the reading experience if they are able to participate by doing some of the actions while you read.

Babies will soon let you know which is their favourite book and favourite page. It will often be a page with an animal that makes a great sound such as a tiger. Every time the book is opened on that page your twelve month old will expect to hear you say "tiger, RAAAAA". 

Reading to children 12 months to two years

Reading to children of this age should occur for short periods through out they day, whenever they are interested. Children of this age are really busy, they may only sit for a few minutes at a time. So it is important to take the opportunity when it arises and share a story. You may not get to the end, or even start at the beginning, none of this matters, just read for as long as they are interested.

Children of this age definately have favourite story books and often will want the same story read over, over and over again. Persevere, and be enthusiastic even if you do not want to read Kipper for the seventh time that day. 

Re-reading stories

Young children really love to hear the same story read again and again. Although reading the same book over and over again may not be that interesting for you, it is very beneficial for children. They know the story well, the characters become friends. Hearing the text repeated, children will be able to predict what is coming next. These are great pre-reading skills to encourage. Ask your child to participate in the reading and finish the sentences while you point to the words. You could even encourage your child to read the book to you from memory. 

Reading to children 2 to 4 years

Children aged two years onwards are developing longer attention spans and will sit for periods of time and hear several books read one after the other. 

At this age children enjoy stories that have likeable main characters or particular themes.   

Role modelling reading

Just telling them that reading is important will not in itself get them enthusiastic; reading with your child every day is a far more effective motivator.

You're a reader, so ensure you make the time to do some reading of your own. Children love to imitate their parents, so if they see that you're interested in reading, they will be more inclined to follow your lead.

Talk about books you are reading or the headlines from the newspaper. This helps them understand that the printed word provides messages whether in a book, magazine, on the computer or when written on household products.

For information about improving your reading speed and comprehension skills check out this site: Speed reading - how to read and comprehend more.

...Next - Reading and comprehension

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