Last time, we discussed some pre-reading skills and ideas on how you can support your child’s journey to learning how to read in a fun and enjoyable way. Here are more tips to help you bring out the reader in your child.
Direction. Print goes from left to right, so children will need to be familiar with where to start each line and which direction to go.
Some things you can do to help your child become aware of proper direction in reading:
- When reading to your child, follow the print with your finger.
- Just for fun try reading the words in reverse order, to demonstrate that the story doesn’t make sense if you don’t start in the right place.
- Many activity books have exercises that reinforce left-to-right direction of reading, such as exercises for the child to draw a line to take the bunny (on the left) to its hole (on the right).
- Don’t worry too much if your child makes mistakes when you ask “Which is your left hand?” Lots of adults still get mixed up!
Motor skills. Practicing writing letters and words as they learn to read them will help it all sink in, so a good pencil grip and control is useful.
Some things you can do to help your child develop motor skills needed for writing:
- Encourage your child to be creative―drawing and painting with lots of different tools and materials.
- Let them play with small toys, especially construction sets, for these can help them develop fine motor skills.
- Use activity books with simple mazes and other exercises involving following a path.
- Use child-friendly scissors. Cutting is a useful skill that helps improve fine motor skills.
Concepts of print. This is all about knowing how to handle books―holding them the right way up, turning the pages in sequence, exploring the pictures, knowing that words can be read to tell a story.
Some things you can do with your child to help them develop his or her concepts about print:
- Read books with your child and teach him or her how to properly handle them.
- Have a special place where books are kept, which is within your child’s reach.
- Visit the Cebu Public Library.
- Books can be expensive. Swap books with friends and family.
- Talk about the books you read―point out the title, ask them what they think the book will be about, etc.
Language skills. The more experience children have of language, the more easily they will learn to read. Your child needs to hear and join in conversations (with adults and children) and listen to stories and poetry of all sorts.
Some things you can do with your child to help him or her develop language skills:
- Having conversations with your child about anything and everything is the best way to develop his or her language skills.
- Read stories to them to broaden their vocabulary.
- Take your child on different excursion activities (e.g. visits to the zoo, museum, beach) and talk about what you see, hear, and feel.
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The Freeman and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. is running weekly features on Early Childhood Care and Development to emphasize the importance of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and to increase public support for ECCD.
Photos are taken from the internet