Reading from the beginning
Children and reading skills.
To have successful future reading skills children need to develop the foundation of primary skills, which according to www.zerotothree are:
- Fine discrimination in sounds that will prepare them for phonological awareness
- Recognition of differences and similar will prepare for letter recognition and print awareness
- Oral language
- Words have meanings
From birth, parents and caretakers can start exposing children to sound by lap reading, singing, and talking. According to the National Education Goals Panel, a study revealed that 30 percent of parents do not read to their children. Parents and caretakers can purposely expose children to books in their daily routing, making it playful and fun. Frequently, children desire the same book, and the same playful games. Repetition is essential to learning; the brain develops those sounds that are heard over and over again. “I often compare it to learning a new language; one would need to hear it numerous times until we “get it.” Rhymes can be fun and integrate different beginning sounds that will help build sound discrepancy.
Secondly, Michigan State University Extension recommends creating an environment rich in literacy. Parents can do so by having newspapers, a variety of books, including cook books, and to encourage writing at home. As parents make use of literature around the home, they can expose their child to words and writing. One simple exercise is simply, reading recipes aloud and pointing, as the parent moves from one step to the other. As the child gets old enough to scribble, they can pretend they are making grocery lists. Doing it together, or including the child is important. This provides the child with the understanding and models that words have meaning. With frequent exposure to books, the child develops the ability to organize details and make sense out of a story. The parent or caretaker can help draw out details from the child about the story to help the child develop an understanding of the progression of a story. For instance, what happened first, next, and so on. Parents can make the story even more fun by asking, funny questions that will help the child guess what will happen next, or guess how a story will end. It will also draw the child’s interest. Finally, using conversation about what we do, how we do it, etc., will help the child learn.