Literacy is very important to me. I love to read and I taught my children to read early as well. I wanted my children to explore the world beyond their physical reach through books, so as babies I read to them often and even during their infant years they listened and looked at the book’s pictures. At the age of 1 they learned their phonetics and remembered a few words. At the age of two they read a little better and now at three years old they are early readers who can comprehend the words they read.
How do you encourage a love for reading?
- While your child is young, even a baby, point out words all around you. Words are everywhere, if you love words like I do, share that love with your children.
- Show your excitement about new words by reading to your kids, even while they are infants. While my kids were little, I labeled common household objects that they could see.
- Read creatively. For instance, I cook with recipes and show my children the cookbooks so they can read which ingredients we need to use. I show them words on their shampoo and lotion bottles, in magazines, and on TV. (We also learn new words with on my iPad with apps and look up words in a dictionary.)
- Sometimes while I am cooking and cleaning in the kitchen, I sound-out simple words and allow my girls to create those words on our refrigerator with our Leapfrog refrigerator magnet set, which helps my kids learn how to create new words and learn word association. We started playing this game when they were 2 and they still enjoy it. I love it because it keeps them busy while I am getting things done.
- Explore words in their environment. When we take our daily walk we read the street signs as we walk pass them. Whenever we see interesting posters or billboards, I ask them what it says and we discuss the words. I also write down simple words with chalk on our pavement and we hop from word-to-word like it’s a game (I write simple words and also draw pictures of the words as well so they can match them).
- Read daily. We enjoy story-time as a part of our daily routine. I let each of my children choose 2 books and we read them together. Now, we usually alternate pages, so both will get a chance to read on their own.
- When we play games, I let them help me read the instructions. I also let them type their names when on the computer, the iPad, or on their Innotab.
- Another game we enjoy together is guess that letter game. Similar to “Eye-Spy” but it uses words/letters instead of objects. While we are reading I ask them to show or tell me the word that begins with the letter I say out-loud.
- My sister-in-law told me about a really fun activity she does with her children. For the letter of the day, each child looks through the newspaper to find words that began with the letter of the day. Then they create a collage out of the words.
- I also let my children see me reading and allow them to have their own quiet reading time as well.
- Play the rhyming game with your kids and let them choose books about topics they are interested in.
- Lastly, while we ride bikes together I teach them how to spell their name, their birthday, and other useful facts.
How does reading develop in a child 3-4 years old?
My children showed an early interest in learning to read, but even if your child hasn’t shown this interest, you don’t have to worry. Here are some of the developmental stages for children 3-4 years old.
- The child should be able to recognize and say familiar words, such as the names of restaurants visited by the family often, street signs that he or she is familiar with, and names of their favorite cereal or boxed treat.
- If you read the same books often, your child/children should start recognizing common words.
- Children should start recognizing and be introduced to rhyming words and words that begin with the same sound.
- The tag system is great for this age group because the child should be able to hold a book, turn its pages, say, and recognize some words.
How does reading develop in a child 4-5 years old?
- At this age children should already understand that words have meaning and are not just a string of letters.
- Children should be able to tell you a story from their memory.
- Children should be able to sound-out simple words and put the sounds together to say the word.
- By 5, most children should know their letters and sounds and their numbers from 1-10.
Overall, your child can learn a lot more if you expose him or her to more while they are younger. Learning is continual and there is nothing wrong with sharing the knowledge if your child wants to learn it. Just don’t force the information on him or her try to keep learning fun.