What to Keep in Mind Before Your Child Starts Reading

Reading is an essential skill and is the key to the future. Children typically learn to read on their own around pre-K level, but it is never too early to expose your child to books and reading in general.

One of the most important things that parents can do is read to their children, but reading has more benefits than many people realize. Even if a child can not read on their own yet, reading along with your child can help them develop key language and speaking skills, it can help train them to become better listeners, and it can also help them think more abstractly, too.

As beneficial as reading to your children can be, it also helps to make it more engaging. Even if they cannot read on their own yet, they can still engage with the text and the story itself. Ask them questions, inspire discussion, inspire them with what-if’s. These sorts of engaging questions can help kids to interact with books more closely even if they cannot read themselves and can also help to boost reading comprehension skills when they do. Reading is not just about the act of identifying words correctly, it’s also about the story, the characters, and the journey. With narrative text, asking questions can help kids think critically about the story and encourage them to ask questions and make inferences. These skills can also easily be applied to informational text, such as that found in textbooks and other materials children will see in school. By engaging with the text, kids can develop skills that allow them to understand abstract concepts and develop essential problem-solving skills.

Most importantly, asking questions about books helps kids think about books before they’re even reading. By the time they are able to read on their own, kids will have already developed a personal relationship with reading and may already develop a love for books as well.

How the Reading Aloud Method Will Help Children Love Reading

When it comes to literacy development, there are not many methods better than simply reading aloud. According to the Bredekamp, Copple, & Neuman, 2000 study, it is the single most important activity for reading success and to boost reading comprehension. It not only provides children with an accessible demonstration of phrased, fluent reading but it also provides them with the immediate rewards of reading, developing the listener’s interest in books and piquing their desire to be a reader as they become more skilled.

Reading out loud can be a great tool for parents, as well as a great activity to share with children. Listening to others read can develop key understanding skills and reading comprehension, even if the child is not doing the reading themselves. Active listening can help kids familiarize with the different parts of a story as well as with different and integral parts of language. On that note, children can listen on a higher level than they can read – meaning that they can listen to books that are more advanced than their reading level. This can be extremely helpful when trying to boost your child’s reading skills, reading level, and generally interesting them in reading on their own.

For the most part, a child’s first experience with reading will be story time with their parents or something similar. By making story time a staple of your daily schedule, reading and storytelling can quickly become a very important part of your child’s life. However, parents can take it a step further, too.

Make Reading a Part of Your Lives
When story time has its own time and place, children find meaning for stories and reading in their lives. There are so many ways in which parents can make reading a part stor
of their child’s everyday world. Have books around, of all kinds. Give your kids a little library of their own, but even magazines and coffee table books around the house can pique their interest – one day, they’ll be able to read those things, too. Kids also learn from example, so if you read often yourself, children will develop an interest in reading, too. But overall, if shared story time is something that you do every night before bed, or in any part of the day, they become habits and the comfort they provide can help to ensure that your child is always interested in books, reading and learning.

Encourage Kids to Listen and Form Opinions
Reading aloud is one thing, but it can play a huge role when it comes to active listening. Active listening during story time can help build vital reading comprehension skills that kids will utilize once they can read more independently. Ask your kids questions about the story. Request an overview after every book or chapter. Have them tell you about their favorite characters and why.

Read Aloud – and Think Aloud, Too
In addition to asking kids questions about what you’re reading, asking them to share their thoughts and feelings can help them develop communication skills that can carry across verbal and written forms. Ask them to connect the book to their own life experience, to other books you’ve shared together, and even ask them to connect what they are reading to universal concepts like love, friendship, family, etc. Stories made personally for children can help with this process as they are submerged into the story themselves helping them connect with characters in the story.

Have Kids Read Along
As kids get older and begin to learn, they will surely be able to identify some of the words you’re reading – even if the book you’re sharing is a bit more advanced for them. If kids are encouraged to read along, even if they are still listening, different parts of their brain are being activated and utilized. Kids will have a better idea of the relationship between how words look and how they sound, and they may also develop a deeper understanding of how language flows and how stories develop as well.

Tips for Reading to Children with Speech and Language Problems

Communication may be difficult for children with speech and language problems, and this can be a frustrating process. For children, speech and language issues can manifest in a variety of different ways, affecting the way that children express themselves and understand others. It is important to have concerns like these addressed as soon as possible so that your child can get the proper care, which will provide them with the tools they need in order to cope with these issues and overcome them. It also helps for parents to pitch in as well, and one of the best ways you can help is to read to and with your child regularly.

Speech and language is more than just talking. It is about the way in which we express ourselves, understand one another, and how we relate to others. Speech and language also employ skills pertaining to listening, storytelling and our ability to understand abstract concepts. Reading with your child can help to engage these other aspects of language while also helping you build memorable moments with your child as well.

Build a Relationship with Books
Developing a love for books and reading can help open up doors. It leads to a healthy relationship with learning, curiosity and creativity. One of the best ways to help foster this sort of relationship is to have books available, whether they be for kids, for adults, magazines, or anything else, and it also helps to read to and with your child as well. Doing so can help you spend time together, bond, and have fun. These moments will help paint reading in a positive light, even if children have difficulty interacting with books on their own. With the right encouragement and determination, kids can still associate books with something good and continue to benefit from them regardless of their problems with speech and language.

Reading in a Whole New Way
For parents with children who have speech and language disabilities or other problems, you may feel as if your child may not be getting the most out of reading due to these particular issues. This may be true for some children, but there are ways in which you can make reading a more personalized experience. Children with speech and language problems may benefit from unique tips and tricks that can help them learn how to listen attentively, pick up on words and phrases, and overcome whatever problems they have. Try repeating stories – sometimes kids need a little extra time to listen to learn. Also, try singing, rhyming or acting out stories, too. Reading does not have to be a singular experience, and since people learn in different ways, it helps to remember that reading with a different approach can have a positive impact on your child and may help them learn more about language and communication while also improving their skills.

Revisit Stories and Ask Them Questions
In order to help encourage your children to interact and think critically, you can ask them questions about the story. This doesn’t have to be like homework – after certain pages or chapters, ask your child what they think will happen next. Ask them who their favorite character is and why. It also helps when it comes to building their language skills. Thinking and answering questions can help them communicate, but make sure to help them sound out words, read along with you and even play sound games to help their speaking skills.

There are plenty of things that you can do to help your child if they happen to have speech and language problems, but it is also important that children develop a healthy relationship with books and learning, in order to benefit their academic and intelligent lives. Kids with issues that deal with speech, language, and communication, and even children with learning disabilities like dyslexia, may not begin to interact with books until they are in school or otherwise because they (and their parents) might feel that it is something that should wait until after they get treatment or that it is something that will come in time. It is never too early to have fun reading, whether kids are being read to or reading on their own, and it can help kids develop essential skills, learn to love stories, and develop a sense of self confidence in their ability to learn as well.