Learning to read is one of the most important skills children can learn. learning to read is not a 'natural' process that happens all on its own. It's a complex one that requires the proper teaching of various skills and strategies, such as phonics (knowing the relationship between letters and sounds) and phonemic awareness.
It's important to remember that learning to read involves various different skills. There are five essential components of reading that you can read about here. These are the skills all children need in order to successfully learn how to read. In summary, these include:
- Phonemic awareness – the ability to hear and manipulate the different sounds in words
- Phonics – recognizing the connection between letters and the sounds they make
- Vocabulary – understanding the meaning of words, their definitions, and their context
- Reading comprehension – understand the meaning of text, both in storybooks and information books
- Fluency – the ability to read aloud with speed, understanding and accuracy
Here are 5 simple steps to teach your child to read at home:
1. Read storybooks to your child: The more stories you read aloud, the more words your baby will hear and the better they'll be able to talk. Hearing words helps to build a rich network of words in a baby's brain. Kids whose parents talk and read to them often know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time.
2. Use songs and nursery rhymes to build phonemic awareness:
Children's songs and nursery rhymes aren't just a lot of fun—the rhyme and rhythm help kids to hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps them learn to read. A good way to build phonemic awareness (one of the most important skills in learning to read) is to clap rhythmically together and recite songs in unison. This playful and bonding activity is a fantastic way for kids to implicitly develop the literacy skills that will set them up for reading success. You can check out Lattu Kids App for kids up to Grade 2.
3. Play word games to teach tricky sight words:
Sight words, sometimes known as core words, are the foundation of a child’s reading and writing skills. If he can’t quickly recognize common words, your child is more likely to stumble as he tries to sound out everything he reads.
Create daily opportunities to build your child's reading skills by creating a print‑rich environment at home. Seeing printed words (on posters, charts, books, labels etc.) enables children to see and apply connections between sounds and letter symbols. When you're out and about, point out letters on posters, billboards and signs. In time you can model sounding out the letters to make words. Focus on the first letter in words. Ask your child “What sound is that letter?” “What other word starts with that sound?” “What word rhymes with that word?”
5. Play games to memorize high-frequency sight words every day
Sight words are ones that cannot be easily sounded out and need to be recognized on sight. High‑frequency sight words are ones that occur very often in reading and writing (e.g. you, I, we, am, had, and, to, the, have, they, where, was, does).