While schools are there to develop reading skills and for education, starting the skills actually starts at home. It is never too early to start reading to your little one and encourage him to learn the different words and sounds. Here are a few tips to help with this development.
Get into a routine as early as possible by reading to your little one on a night. Your newborn won’t really be interested in the words but will be settled by your voice.
Keep the room dark and your voice low to encourage your newborn to shut his eyes and go to sleep.
As your child gets older, it is time for him to put sounds to the images. Choose big books with pictures and point them out as you read the words aloud.
For example, you could point at the different animals and sound out the noises they make.
Your child will be more entertained. Do this during the day though and use the night time reading as a way to quieten down and relax.
As the development continues, encourage your child to point at the pictures while you read. You could ask him to point to the man in the story or where the sun is in the book.
This shows you that he is learning. If he gets it wrong or struggles, help him gently and then remember to point the same thing out later. Development comes from repetition.
This is the time for your child to learn so encourage questions along the way. He may point out something in the pictures and ask what it is. He may point out a word and ask what it says.
Instead of answering it straight away, ask him what he thinks it is. This encourages him to think and builds the confidence to answer questions.
Allow him to read the story to you. This is a great way to see how the development is going. If your child is still in the early stages, you could ask him to tell you about the pictures and what he sees instead of the words.
Don’t shout at him for getting a word wrong. Simply stop him and correct him gently and get him to repeat the word.
You don’t want to push him too hard. Find books that are designed for his age and level.
Younger children will need books with more pictures rather than words. They prefer colours and will learn more from it.
Before bed is not the time to help with development. This is the time for relaxing and getting ready to go to sleep.
Do the learning process during the day or just before dinner. This is when he is more likely to get everything out of it.