Th#2 – Reading: The Whys and the Hows
We all read for different reasons. We read for pleasure; we read for work’ we read books, magazines, and Internet articles as a daily part of our lives. We all know that reading and high literacy levels are important factors for educational success. But how did we get there? As children, we learn to read on a very slow but detailed basis. We start with sounds, the Gagas and Go0-goos of infancy are a child’s way of orally communicating with us. They all have somethign to say, but until they have the words to form those emotions, we’ll get grunts, tantrums and tears. As children get older, they learn to speak before they learn to read. Learning to read then uses their prior knowledge of forming sounds and vocabulary.
Introducing infants to print introduces them to the concept of books, of ideas, and of words. They learn how words and letters function. Reading with your infant teaches them that we read from left to right, top to bottom. We can use illustrations to help interpret the text, we can sound out the letters and form words and rhyme schemes to help progress the story along. Visuals can come in really handy when approaching new words or sounds. The more vocabulary your child has to start with, the faster they’ll pick up on the words in print. They’ll hear the word apple, they’ll see and eat an apple, and when they come across the word apple in a book, they’ll be quicker to pronouce that word and move on to the next.
It is very key to talk to your child about everything, even the most mundane occurances of your day. They learn routines, they learn structure, they build their vocabulary and will be able to anticipate what happens next in a story about a child helping with laundry, or going for a walk in the park.