special to San Diego Family Magazine
Nothing generates more pride for a parent than a child that is reading early and well. Yet, how do you as parents make reading a fun and engaging activity for kids?
Before you start teaching kids to read, promote reading. Teaching young children the alphabet song is wonderful. Introducing them to shows like Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow can be great reading tools too. But the very first thing that you can do as a parent is to let your kids see you reading. Read stories to your children and make sure they see you engrossed in your latest novel.
UROK Learning Institute, a San Diego/Los Angeles company with a highly effective, research-based, reading intervention program, recommends that parents demonstrate to their kids how reading helps them in their daily lives.
“When you are driving with your child, read road signs aloud. Then comment on how helpful you found the information,” said Deanna Chambers, director of education, UROK Learning Institute. “By incorporating reading into daily activities and sharing it with your child, it will plant the seed for a good foundation when it comes time to start teaching them.”
The lessons they will grasp are that reading helps them understand their world better and it will help them learn about new things.
When teaching your children to read, be patient as they learn to sound out the letters and sound chunks. Give them positive feedback often. Show them that mistakes are no big deal – they are part of learning.
Many parents try to set up a classroom environment while they teach kids about reading. They want their children to sit still at the kitchen table to learn. It is not a bad idea to give kids the opportunity to sit still and focus, but do not make that the only format in which you teach. Take kids on “word hunts” through the neighborhood. Read signs on stores, street signs, and (appropriate) newspaper headlines.
“Remember, kids will excel at what they think matters,” added Chambers. “What matters most to young children is having fun!”
UROK Learning Institute is an educational research, products and services company with primary emphasis on a highly effective, research-based, reading intervention program. It offers individuals, teachers and schools a variety of clinics, workshops and services.