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Helpful Tips to Get Your Child Ready to Read

By Jessa McClure
By Jessa McClure

Elementary Pupil Reading With Teacher In ClassroomTeaching a child to read can be a daunting task. While many children learn the basics of reading during their first years of school, parents play a big part in helping create skilled readers who love to read.

If you've been wondering where to start with your little one, here are some ideas that might help.

Read to Your Child
Curling up with a good book on a rainy day or at bed time is not only a great opportunity to bond with your child, but it's also a great way to foster a love of reading.

And reading out loud to your child not only gives them a chance to hear the rhythm and cadence of a story, but it can also help them move easily from oral language to written language. A study published in Neuron, found that when a "child listens to someone reading, there is increased activity in the language output center in his or her brain as they are trying to store the spoken words."

Read Stories that Rhyme
"Rhyming is key for younger kids to learn how to segment the sounds," said Andrea Nall, speech pathologist and owner of Therapy Group of Waco. "They can hear the word ‘at' and be able to pick out the sounds they hear in other words."

Books with rhyme schemes and poetry can also help children begin to blend the sounds they hear and recognize words that sound alike.

Parents can foster this sound recognition even more by asking the child to identify objects that have the same initial or ending sounds. You can play this game at home, in the car or during a trip to the grocery store.

Build Confidence with Familiar Stories
Does your child have a book that he or she makes you read over and over again? If you've answered yes, then you're probably pretty sick of that particular story. But your child enjoys knowing what happens to the characters in the book, and you can even use these well-loved stories to promote reading comprehension.

The National Association of School Psychologists suggests asking prediction questions when you're reading one of these familiar books like "what do you think will happened next?"

Practice Sight Words
Nall said that 80 percent of what we read is sight words. But in order for your child to be able to recognize these words, they have to see them again and again. Flashcards are a great option for children who are just learning to read or those who want to increase their vocabulary.

During Therapy Group of Waco's summer reading camp, children practice identifying and writing sight words by spelling them out in shaving cream and writing with sidewalk chalk. Involving your child's other senses will help to cement those words even more into your child's brain.

Use Motivational Tools
Reading comes easily to some more than others, and it might be necessary to motivate a child who is struggling or not interested. Nall suggests using educational games to encourage your early reader.

Cookie.com offers children the chance to practice reading skills with short, easy-to-read books, games and printable worksheets. PBSkids.org is also a great resource for educational games and activities that might even feature your child's favorite character.

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