Teaching Reading Strategies for Young Children
Small children love to learn about new things and develop new skills, and learning to read is one of the most rewarding experiences for the child and the parents. The child not only develops a sense of accomplishment and self dependence once they learn to read, they also develop one of the most critical skills for success later in life. Children as young as 2 and 3 years old can be taught to read effectively if given the opportunity and using the appropriate techniques, methods, and strategies for teaching reading. Below, we share with you some important teaching strategies in reading that will help children learn to read and also develop better reading comprehension skills as well.
Read out loud and read often to your children. Prepare your child for reading and language development right from when they're born. Reading loud to your child is the foundation for literacy development, and it is a key activity to enhance reading success. When you read out loud to your child, you help expand their imagination, help them acquire new knowledge, enhances their language acquisition, and also help expand their vocabulary. At the same time, you're helping your child discover what a fun activity reading can be.
Focus on reading strategies through the use of phonics and phonemic awareness, and avoid whole word language methods. The whole language or "look and say" method teaches children to sight read and memorize word configurations, without analysis of the individual parts that make up the words. This method of teaching reading has failed miserably, and continues to produce poor readers. Using phonics and teaching phonemic awareness (PA) is a far better strategy for teaching reading. Instead of having the child memorize hundreds and thousands of words, phonics and PA takes a very analytical approach to reading where the child is taught individual parts of the words, and discovers the relationship between those parts that form to make the complete word. A simple phonics and phonemic awareness program teaches a child letter names and letter sounds, and teaches them to effectively blend the sounds together to say the complete words.
An effective teaching reading strategy should use focused and short lessons. It's not easy to teach young children to read, especially if they are 2 or 3 years old with very short attention spans. This is precisely why very short, focused, but productive lesson plans should be used. By short, we mean 2 to 5 minutes per lesson, sometimes even less, but repeat the lesson several times a day to give the small child lots of exposure and practice. This type of short and focused lesson plans help drill in the reading concepts, while at the same time, isn't too taxing on the young child lasting for only several minutes. Rewards such as treats and stickers are great motivators.
Asking Questions. You can help your child improve their reading comprehension by asking simple questions about what they are reading during and after reading. Instead of just asking questions after your child is done reading, you can ask questions while they are reading. These types of question and answers during and after reading helps the young reader become more aware of what they are reading. They gain a better focus on the important points in the text, and ultimately, it helps them better understand what they are reading. During reading, you can ask about what your child has just read, and at the end of the story, you can ask question and discuss more about the entire storyline.
A fluent and skilled reader does not simply "decode" the printed text, but engages in a process of active comprehension where they are able to quickly decode the printed text, understand what they've just read, and search for answers and ask questions when needed. To help you child develop better reading comprehension skills, ask a variety questions, and chained questions such as:
"What was the story about?"
"What did the big dragon want to do with the people in the town?"
"Did he succeed?"
"How did the little girl defeat the dragon?"
"What happened after the dragon was defeated?" and so on...
Reading is an important skill that we must all master, and simply being able to read and mechanically decode printed text is not enough. To become an effective and fluent reader, the young child must be able to quickly decode printed text, understand its meaning, and engage in an active process of reading comprehension and answer seeking. To get to this stage, they must first be given the tools, knowledge, and practice that will allow them to quickly and effectively decode printed text. This can be easily achieved with a simple, step-by-step learn to read program that is designed to teach very young children to read.
Click here to discover a simple technique that will allow you to teach your child to become a fast and fluent reader.