First of all, I’d like to say that it is important to remember that every human being is different in his or her own way, and that there is no be-all end-all method for teaching every child out there how to read perfectly. You will need to customize your approach to the whole thing in order to really make it worthwhile.
Nevertheless, despite us all being different, we still tend to share certain similarities on the basis of being part of the same species, and there are certain facts that apply to virtually every child who is learning how to read, and knowing about them will help you make the most of your time and exercises. Without further ado, here is a look at four factors you should know about reading.
1. It is a Complex Process
Even though it doesn’t seem like much to you, it is important to understand that for a little child, learning how to read is an extremely complicated process that requires them to develop a large number of skills at the same time. As Marilyn Adams stated in 1990 (and I’m paraphrasing), the whole process of teaching how to read is comparable to the operation of a car.
To expand on that, your children will be learning how to build words and sentences (building the car), they will learn how to expand on their basic skills and fix their own mistakes on the way (maintaining the car), and finally, they will have to learn to use all of their skills in the real world (driving the car). You can’t expect your child to be making tremendous progress after a few hours, so take it slow if necessary and above all, be patient.
2. Take the Achievement Gap Into Account
Whether we like to believe it or not, there is an achievement gap in our schools, and as the reading materials become more complicated, that gap becomes more prominent. It was established that whether or not kids fall behind mainly rests on the type of education they have received at home from their parents. In other words, to motive yourself and your child, it is important to understand that not taking the time to really learn how to read will inevitably lead to real trouble in school, and consequently, later in life.
3. There Has to be an Intervention on Your Part
Studies have shown that most children whose parents do not help them to learn how to read after the first grade have a very tough time catching up with the program. It is estimated that around 75% of students who are poor readers at the third-grade level will end up so in high school as well. In other words, it is your job as a parent to work with your child and help them lay a strong foundation to help them stay afloat in the years to come.
4. Learning How to Read is Very Closely Related to Talking and Listening
Reading is only one-third of what I like to refer to as the linguistic package. The other two components are talking and listening, and as it happens, they are all interrelated, in the sense that developing one helps you develop the others. As such, it is important to remember to not only concentrate on reading, but also on verbal and listening exercises. While it may seem like you are doing this for the purpose of communication, down the line, improving all of your child’s linguistic skills will help them become a better reader in the future.