When teaching how to read, it’s great to have some goals in place for your child to work towards. The aim of teaching how to read is never as short-sighted as completing a worksheet or activity, rather it should be to give the child the ability to read for meaning, enjoyment and to further their education.
To ensure that this ultimate goal of learning to read is achieved, it’s helpful to be aware of some of the general truths of teaching how to read:
Learning how to read is actually a complex process that involves multiple areas of reading instruction. The best reading programmes instruct in five key literacy areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension. Concentrating on just one or a couple of these areas results in an unbalanced reading instruction that does not sufficiently help kids learn how to read fluently, and understand what they read all at the same time.
Reading activities, worksheets and lessons provide an effective means to achieving reading fluency, but the ultimate goal of reading is to read real books for meaning and comprehension. Make sure your child applies the reading skills acquired from reading activities to the reading of actual books. Ensure that you provide them with a wide variety of books that you can read with them, or they can read independently.
All reading instruction should also be aimed at getting kids to read in order to understand the meaning within the text. Kids need to be able to read for understanding and comprehension, not just for the satisfaction of completing a task. Asking your child questions relating to a text, for example, who the main character is, what the setting is like, what the character’s intentions are and so forth will help them build vital comprehension skills.
Part of the delight of reading is that it can be enjoyable as well as informative. It’s important to ensure your child associates reading with enjoyment early on. Before reading, make sure you and your child are comfortable, choose books that you enjoy, and try to find times to read that are less hectic and stressed, so that the reading need not be rushed. Reading time can be a very enjoyable time that communicates to the young reader that they are important and that reading is much more than a task, it can be a very fun part of life.
My girls love Reading Eggs! They are eager to go to their map and crack their egg to see what hatches. I love the variety of lessons it offers.
- Mom 4 girls, Co-op Member
Reading Eggs is a comprehensive, well-integrated programme which I have found to be of great help in developing children’s skills and interest in reading. Even the senior students wanted to have a go!
- Lynne Brehaut, Nungurner Primary