Chatter on Children
Helping Your Child Become A Reader
Evidence is plentiful throughout the years that when parents and families actively support and encourage their children, the children are far more likely to succeed educationally. When you as a parent or family member are actively involved in a child’s learning process, you give them a significant advantage. Even more specifically, the foundation from which to build the foundation for this success is reading. How well your child learns to - and enjoys reading, is absolutely directly related to not only how well your child will do in school, but how successful they will be throughout their lifetime. When a child develops good reading skills they have developed a foundation on which all other learning is built upon. From the day a child is born they begin to learn.
From the moment you begin to talk or sing to your new baby they begin to hear and to respond to sounds. The more your talk and sing to your child, the more you strengthen and advance their understanding of language. You are laying the first blocks for your child to becoming a reader. As a parent you yourself don’t have to be the world’s best reader in order to help your child become a successful reader. It is your time, your interest, your enthusiasm, and your dedication to your child’s success that is important.
Remember, it is reading that is the essential element that all other learning is dependent upon. Every child learns to read at different paces. It is a step by step process with each step mastered leading to the next. Early on babies and toddlers learn primarily by experiencing the sights and sounds that become a part of their world. Babies are natural born curiosity seekers and learners. They are in a constant explore and discover mode. As a parent you should take great advantage of this natural desire. As a part of this early discovery and leaning stage babies quickly learn to imitate those events that they both see and hear. So, right from the beginning, parents should be reading, singing, gesturing, smiling and making funny faces with their children. Believe it or not, these are the very first activities that begin to establish a child’s path toward understanding the language and ultimately begin reading.
So you see, even though your baby hasn’t officially began learning to read in a structured manner, becoming an eventual good reader starts from the first day your child begins to hear what is to become their primary language. The first steps of translating sounds into words, words to sentences, and sentences to meanings is, in a sense, the foundation for the foundation of reading.
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