As a parent, you are without a doubt the most important teacher in your child’s life. Chances are that in the past couple of years, you have taught a lot to your child about the use of language… however, those were only the basics.
If you want your child to keep on developing his or her skills, then you will need to regularly partake in reading readiness activities with them. Now, I’m not going to dwell on specific activities you may want to go through, but rather, I’ll give some ideas as to the general approach you should take to the whole subject.
Never Stop Practicing
First, I’d like to note that the use of the term “never” is quite loose, and it goes without saying that the occasional vacations from it are not only permitted, but will actually end up doing good.
In any case, if you want your child to keep on developing his or her skills, then it is important to allocate a certain time every day to going through literacy-related activities. This is because children are in need of:
- The opportunity to develop.
- Regular positive reinforcement with the use of praises and encouragements.
- The understanding that learning is important to their future success.
- Help from their parents or caretakers to go through the learning activities.
- A place they can call their study or workplace, somewhere they can read and write without any interruptions.
On Vocabulary Development
It is important to keep in mind that speaking comes before reading and writing, and developing it also contributes to developing your child’s literacy, and especially their vocabulary. Seeing as how talking is meant to be second nature to humans, you probably won’t be lacking in opportunities to practice with reading readiness activities such as:
- Discussing important events which happen or have happened in the context of the family and its history.
- Having your child dictate letters which you then send to friends and/or family.
- Sing very simple songs which use very basic literary devices.
- Learning nursery rhymes by heart (don’t force it too much though).
- Finding words that rhyme with each other.
- Playing simple word games such as Simon Says or I Spy Something.
- Invent new names for everyday actions and objects.
- Make-belief activities, such as creating a fantasy story, or perhaps even roleplaying through dressing up.
At its core, reading is all about recognizing the words typed or written on a piece of paper and attributing meaning to them based on their sequence. Preparing your child to be proficient at this activity takes time and dedication, and here are some reading readiness activities you may find to be quite effective:
- Reading stories aloud to your child for about thirty minutes per day.
- Make trips to the library a special weekly, bi-weekly or monthly event.
- Reading from numerous materials, especially ones with pictures while covering subjects your child is interested in.
- Make your child read nursery rhymes, preferably the ones they already know by speech.
- Explain to your kid what the cover, title and author have to do with a book and how they can reflect the story inside.
- Reread parts of your child’s favorite story, leaving out some words and asking him or her to fill in the blanks.
- Always take the time to discuss your child’s opinions in regards to a story you just read, something which helps them actually develop a liking towards reading stories and forces them to actually think about what they are learning.
All in all, there really isn’t a lack of reading readiness activities you can perform with your child. Keep in mind that you won’t necessarily be able to do all the activities there are out there, so you should try and pick the ones which will are best suited to correct your child’s weaknesses. Above all, remember that this is a process which requires you to constantly work at it and be present to guide your child through it.