Best Way to Teach a Child to Read
If you’re wondering about the best way to teach a child to read, consider some of the tips listed in this article. Reading is one of the most essential skills that a child can have, and it’s highly important to develop these skills as early as possible.
The younger a child is, the more likely it is that education will stick, and that they’ll grow reading skills as rapidly as possible. This is why parents, teachers, and peers are so vital to any child’s development when it comes to reading.
A child will benefit from a mix of styles and techniques, including some of the practices mentioned here.
Work on all of these items with your child and determine which one works best for him or her, as all children are unique and learn at varying paces utilizing different methods.
The 4 Reading Components
Phonics is a method that helps children to draw a correlation between letters or groups of letters and the sounds that they make. It utilizes the alphabet, and starts with the smallest sounds (single letters) and gradually introduces additional letters to create more complex sounds.
The simple sounds that create words are known as phonemes, and they are the building blocks of any language.
As children learn to draw the connection between letters and letter groups, they will become more adept at sounding out words while they are learning.
The process of looking at a word and separating it into different phonemes is known as decoding, and it is a major step in a child’s reading journey.
The English language is made up of 40 different phonemes – or basic sounds that make up words – and there are a variety of methods to teach children how to understand them.
The more common phonemes are generally introduced early in the process, as they are easier to identify and will be used more often, allowing the child more time to practice.
Pairing phonemes that rhyme is often an effective method in speeding up the process at which your child may learn.
Phonics is widely used by parents and teachers alike, as it is a great way of breaking words down to the basics, helping a child to learn at his or her own pace.
The initial sessions may take some time before an understanding is reached, but eventually the child will catch on and start identifying certain sounds, rendering him or her more able to put together and sound out words.
It has proven to be an effective method which is why it is the most popular among educators.
2. Whole-word Learning
The whole-world method focuses on learning entire words instead of sounding them out based on their phonemes.
The child will see the word and will be given some sort of context, often in the form of a visual cue, which will help him or her associate the structure of the text with the word and its meaning.
Flash cards can be helpful with this method, as they provide the repetition needed for the child to understand the meaning of the word and the way that it sounds. As certain words start to become more natural for the child, they can be put together into sentences of varying length.
This isn’t simply a memorization exercise for children. In general, they will begin to pick up on patterns in the words, becoming able to single out certain letters and letter groups and apply them to new words, sounding them out as the pattern recognition becomes more fluent.
As this technique is often based on identifying the word immediately upon sight, it is often referred to as sight-reading.
It is a very useful method for teaching the most commonly used words in the language, as it allows the children to breeze through them and only have to sound out the words that they haven’t seen before.
3. Language Experience Approach
The Language Experience Approach is a more personalized method of teaching literacy, drawing from the child’s own experiences and words with which they are already familiar.
The idea is for the educator to be in tune with the child’s current oral vocabulary, and to formulate a lesson based on the words and sounds that they already know.
This can prove to be difficult in a large classroom due to time constraints, but it is a fantastic method to try in smaller classroom and home settings, where one-on-one time is more plentiful.
Try to determine which objects and ideas make a child excited – for instance a food that they love or an animal that interests them.
If they already know the names of these items, you can develop a story based on them, keeping the child intrigued as they learn to put together the text that forms these words.
Drawing pictures can help with word associations, and will stimulate the child’s imagination, opening them up to a whole new potential set of new words and sounds.
Draw a familiar item for the child and label it with the corresponding word. Using these pictures as flash cards can provide even further benefit for the child’s development.
The idea here is to entice the child with familiar content and to slowly include new words. As they associate the new words with those that they already know, they will start to make the right connections as they move forward.
Since this draws from personal experience, the child may be more receptive to longer, more in-depth sessions as time goes on.
4. Combined Method
You don’t have to use just one method to help your child read. Experiment with all of these and see which one works the most quickly for him or her.
Each one provides valuable insight and teaches different skills that can be applied not only to reading, but many other situations in life that require problem solving.
The most important thing here is to read as often as possible and keep your child interested in learning. With the right combination and amount of practice, your child will be happy to become an excellent reader.