Reading books aloud is one of the best ways you can help your child learn to read. This can be fun for you, too. The more excitement you show when you read a book, the more your child will enjoy it. The most important thing to remember is to let your child set her own pace and have fun at whatever she is doing. Do the following when reading to your child:
· Run your finger under the words as you read to show your child that the print carries the story.
· Use funny voices and animal noises. Do not be afraid to ham it up! This will help your child get excited about the story.
· Stop to look at the pictures; ask your child to name things she sees in the pictures. Talk about how the pictures relate to the story.
· Invite your child to join in whenever there is a repeated phrase in the text.
· Show your child how events in the book are similar to events in your child's life.
· If your child asks a question, stop and answer it. The book may help your child express her thoughts and solve her own problems.
· Keep reading to your child even after she learns to read. A child can listen and understand more difficult stories than she can read on her own.
Listening to your child read aloud
Once your child begins to read, have him read out loud. This can help build your child's confidence in his ability to read and help him enjoy learning new skills. Take turns reading with your child to model more advanced reading skills.
If your child asks for help with a word, give it right away so that he does not lose the meaning of the story. Do not force your child to sound out the word. On the other hand, if your child wants to sound out a word, do not stop him.
If your child substitutes one word for another while reading, see if it makes sense. If your child uses the word "dog" instead of "pup," for example, the meaning is the same. Do not stop the reading to correct him. If your child uses a word that makes no sense (such as "road" for "read"), ask him to read the sentence again because you are not sure you understand what has just been read. Recognize your child's energy limits. Stop each session at or before the earliest signs of fatigue or frustration.
Most of all, make sure you give your child lots of praise! You are your child's first, and most important, teacher. The praise and support you give your child as he learns to read will help him enjoy reading and learning even more.
Ms. Nora Sierra