Learning to read is one of the most important skills a child learns in school. Now more than ever, children are being transitioned from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” earlier and earlier in their academic life. Unfortunately, learning to read is a complicated skill that doesn’t come easily to many children, and falling behind on literacy can quickly lead to falling behind in school in general. However there are experiences you can provide for your child at home that can help them develop critical skills which will help them to learn to read more easily when the time comes. How can you help your child get on the right track? Take a look at these tips for developing early literacy skills:
Read, Read, Read: One of the best ways to prepare your child to read is to read to them. Reading books together is great, but reading doesn’t have to stop there. Draw attention to print throughout the day. Point out signs or other text and read it aloud. When at a restaurant, instead of just telling your children what food is available, look at the menu together, and run your finger along the print as you read. Little experiences like this can go a long way towards helping a child make a connection between print and meaning.
Learn About Letters: Make letters a part of your child’s daily routine. Give your child toys that include letters of the alphabet and point out letters on day-to-day objects. Learning that letters are different from each other and each one has a different name and sound is essential for early literacy.
Build Sound Awareness: Help your child to notice the smaller sounds that make up words and learn to manipulate them. Rhyming games are a great way to draw attention to how some words are alike and different. You can also practice taking the sounds of words apart and putting them together to make nonsense words, or making lists of words that all start with the same sound.
Enlist a Professional: Speech therapists don’t just help children communicate; they’re also trained to help improve literacy and reading skills! The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association collected information from educational professionals and found that over 70% of teachers who responded believed that students who received speech therapy services demonstrated improved pre-reading, reading or reading comprehension skills. If you think your child may be having difficulty developing the necessary skills to learn to read, make an appointment for a speech-language pathology evaluation and see how speech therapy might help.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.
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