Every parent who cares about their harmonious, correct and holistic development thinks about the importance and role of reading in the life of their children. But if in some families it is enough for moms and dads to simply send their child to a kindergarten or school, shifting, let it not sound loudly, the responsibility on the shoulders of educators and teachers, then in others, caring parents prefer to deal with the kids on their own.
The information from this article is intended just for people of the second category, because those who belong to the first are unlikely to search the Internet for relevant information. But let's continue.
Despite the great desire to teach your precious child to read as soon as possible, this process should be approached with maximum attention and caution, because there are subtleties and nuances that simply cannot be ignored. The fact is that, contrary to popular belief, “the sooner you start learning the basics of reading with your child, the better,” many specialists (neurologists, child psychologists, etc.) are convinced that this can lead to negative consequences in the future. For example, early learning to read with the accompanying premature stress on the visual apparatus often causes myopia and other vision problems.
Thus, it is very important to know at least the basic features of the formation of the child's body, when to start teaching children to read and how their readiness for this process is determined, and also to adhere to the basic relevant rules. These fundamental questions will be discussed below.
How a child is formed: general information
Here we will present only general information, since it will be quite enough.
So, starting from the early stages of pregnancy and ending with the age of three, the first functional block of the baby's brain is formed, which is responsible for his bodily, cognitive and emotional perception.
From three to five or eight years, the formation of the second functional block of the brain takes place, which controls the five senses – touch, taste, smell, hearing and vision.
As for conscious mental activity, it develops in the period from about seven to fifteen years.
It should be borne in mind that the formation of functional blocks of the brain is a sequential process. Any attempt by a parent to “skip” any stage negatively affects the child’s development inherent in nature, since unnatural “adjustments” are made to it. The insidiousness of the consequences lies in the fact that, quite likely, they will not affect immediately, but after years. Subsequently, an already matured child may have problems that are expressed not only in speech disorders, neuroses, motor failures, etc., but also in difficulties in relationships with people around them.
Based on this, you need to start teaching your child to read at a certain time.
When can you start teaching your child to read?
There are several opinions about when you can start teaching your child to read. Some experts believe that it is possible to start certain work, for example, showing Doman's cards (Glenn Doman is an American physiotherapist, author of teaching methods for children), already after the baby reaches six months of age, while others believe that it is best to start at 3 -4 years, and from the primer. However, all teachers agree on one thing: no reading instruction is completely unacceptable and impossible until the child has mastered speech skills. If somewhere around the age of 3-4, the baby begins to be keenly interested in books, it is not only possible, but necessary, to start learning to read.
It is also worth noting here that with the manifestation of restlessness and indifference to printed materials, before learning, one should understand how to arouse a child's interest in reading. In solving this problem, parents will be helped by an incredible selection of books that stand out, in addition to brightness and colorfulness, by the presence of many moving elements and even sound accompaniment. Thanks to this, reading becomes not only an interesting activity for children, but also an exciting game. At the initial stage, any book serves not so much as a source of knowledge, but as a way to get involved in the very process of reading.
Continuing the conversation on the topic of a child’s readiness for reading, it can be determined by several signs:
- Firstly, the baby has already formed speech, and he is able to pronounce words and sentences, as well as compose at least small coherent stories.
- Secondly, the child does not have speech therapy disorders, and this applies to both incorrect pronunciation and violations of melody, tempo and rhythm of speech.
- Thirdly, the baby is able to navigate normally in space, and does not confuse the concepts of “right”, “left”, “down” and “up” with each other.
- Fourthly, the child has a sufficiently developed phonemic hearing, that is, he can easily recognize sounds in different parts of words.
If there are problems with any of the above, you should deal with them – take some time to work out the difficult moments, visit a speech therapist, neurologist, etc. If everything is in order (or after the problems have been eliminated), you can proceed to learning to read.
A few words about the correct teaching of reading
The presented question excites, perhaps, every parent. And the first answer to it will be the traditional method, which boils down to daily monotonous reading of the primer. But this option is not very effective, because almost always the child gets bored and gets tired quickly. Plus, he does not learn to read thoughtfully at all. Of course, the baby will learn some skills and knowledge, but it is a stretch to call it a good way of sensory-emotional development, knowledge of the world around him and his place in it. In order for the process to become exciting and creative, for it to arouse interest in the child, for the skill of reading to be mastered effectively, other methods must be used.
Before you start learning to read and apply any methods, it is imperative to study the basic rules that you should rely on in your activities. They can be called the basis of the whole process. Although slight deviations are allowed, it is still recommended to adhere to all the rules, otherwise the reading skill will be mastered by the child less effectively, which should never be allowed.
Basic rules for teaching a child to read
So, if you intend to help your baby learn such an important skill as reading, follow these rules.
1. Don't force
Remember that you can’t force a baby to read, and any such strategy is erroneous, wrong and ineffective in advance. To make the child want to read and begin to show interest in books, just surround him with them. So, you can arrange books around the house – on shelves, tables and other easily accessible places. In addition, you yourself need to pick up books and read something interesting to your son or daughter. You also need to read for yourself so that the child sees you with a book. Given that children strive to be like their moms and dads, your child will most likely ask what you are doing, or pick up a book himself.
2. First sounds, then letters
Many parents make a big mistake by first explaining to the baby the pronunciation of letters, and only then – sounds. It is necessary to do the opposite: first of all, it is important to tell what sound this or that letter in the word has, and only then – how it is pronounced by itself. That is, initially explain that the letter “er” in the word sounds like “r”, “en” – like “n”, “em” – like “m”, etc. And after that, teach that “er” – this is "er", "en" is "en", "em" is "em", etc.
3. Learn not letters, but syllables
It must be understood that syllables, and in some cases even whole words, are absorbed by children much better than many single boring letters. Therefore, the letters must be shown in whole words. As an auxiliary material, you can use specially printed cards with syllables, with the help of which it is convenient to teach the baby to read by syllables and make words.
The frequency of repetition of the material studied with the child depends on how well he will remember and learn it. However, there is one trick here – many kids do not really like it when they are satisfied with checks and tests, and therefore repetition as a teaching method must be presented in the form of a game.
5. First simple, then complex
As we said, initially it is most effective to teach the child the pronunciation of sounds, and only then complicate the process – move on to reading by syllables and combining syllables into words. All information should be provided in a dosed and step-by-step manner so that there is no “porridge” from the knowledge gained in the child’s head.
6. Learn simple words
Learning to read should always begin with the simplest words where letters are repeated, for example, the words “mother”, “woman”, “dad”, “uncle”, etc. After that, it is allowed to move on to learning words, where a letter is added to the syllable , for example, “bass”, “cat”, “house”, “poppy”, “lacquer”, etc. And having already mastered such material, you can begin to engage in elementary sentences, such as “mother washed Mila”, “Kolya colitis stakes”, etc. As for the letters “y”, “b” and “b”, it is better to leave them in the end.
7. Learn anytime, anywhere
It doesn’t matter what you and your baby are doing at the moment: walking, shopping, standing at a bus stop or having a snack in a cafe – you can read anywhere and anytime. Almost everywhere there are signs, advertising posters, signs with the names of shops, streets, stops, etc. Use this to your advantage and your child, and let him read everything you show him.
Teaching a child to read, as well as any other skill, should take place in a playful way. Come up with your own games where you need to know the sounds, letters and syllables. For example, you can ask your child to look for specific letters in words and pronounce them. You can also buy home letters on magnets and make words on a special board or refrigerator. And another game will help develop mindfulness – take letters on magnets or cubes, make a series of letters where all but one are consonants, and let your baby find a vowel.
9. Generate interest
In order for your child to learn reading better and easier, you need to interest him in this. And for this it is very good to show that reading is necessary for a full life among other people. Therefore, clearly demonstrate to the baby the importance of this skill – show him letters, postcards, notes, tablets, write notes so that he reads them. Over time, the child himself realizes that learning to read is simply necessary.
10. Read aloud
Reading aloud, and even for a while, is considered a very effective way of teaching a child to read quickly. But you need to apply it, of course, when the baby has already mastered some skills. Based on what your child has already learned, make up your tasks and give them to him to complete, marking, for example, a minute. By the way, the so-called “Reader's Diary” will help a lot here, where you will record the progress of your baby. And so that he completes the tasks with enthusiasm, after every hundred words you read, give him some nice little thing.
11. Read with a bookmark
Reading with a bookmark is another rule for improving the development of reading skills. You need to use a bookmark here as usual, with the only difference being that it should close not the bottom line, but the words you read. So you will help your baby not get confused in a large number of words and focus on a new word.
12. Regularity of classes
We have already talked about repetition, so just add that you need to read regularly and systematically. In other words, you need to pay attention to mastering the reading skill every day, even if it takes only 5-10 minutes. But what is even more important is not to abandon classes, even when it starts to seem that the kid is already reading well.
And in conclusion, I would like to supplement the above rules with a few more recommendations that will help you teach your child to read faster and better.
A Few Additional Recommendations
Your child will learn to read more successfully if you follow this list of recommendations.
- Be sure to get a primer or alphabet. In the future, this literature will always evoke in the child associations with pleasant learning. It is best if the books are supplemented with drawings.
- If you are learning letters, then start with vowels, because you can sing them using your favorite tunes, and this is useful, fun and interesting. It is very good if the classes are accompanied by modeling from plasticine or coloring pictures. This will teach the baby to identify letters and understand them.
- You need to study consonants only after vowels. And do not forget that you first need to explain to the child how the letter in the word is pronounced, and only then how it sounds on its own.
- To increase the effectiveness of learning, it is useful to compose fairy tales about letters, so that acquaintance with them is more interesting for the baby. For example, once upon a time there was a cheerful letter "U". And one day she climbed up the hill, and how she rolled down from it, fervently shouting “Uuh!”. By analogy, make up short stories for each letter.
- In the process of learning, do not neglect creative materials. Remember that a child learns the world through sensory perception, which means that he definitely needs to try and touch everything. Carving letters out of cardboard, sculpting letters out of plasticine, baking cookies in the shape of letters, etc. can be suitable. Such an experience will forever be imprinted in the memory of your child.
- Most effective are short sessions of 10-15 minutes several (3 to 5) times a day. Stick to such a system, and your baby will not only not get tired, but will also look forward to each lesson.
- And, finally, the most important rule in any interaction with a child is benevolence and patience with the baby. Never allow yourself to lose your temper, raise your voice, and even more so insult the little man. Otherwise, there will be no sense from all the activities, and even the child’s attitude towards you may not be the best.
Approach teaching your child to read with love and intelligence, and the first results will not be long in coming.